20 Unexpected Signs of Bipolar Depression: Part One

By Julie A. Fast

I’ve found that there are two kinds of bipolar depression. Here are the signs of an angry and irritated downswing.


It’s easy to spot what we consider traditional depression symptoms: crying, lack of movement, sadness, silence, brain fog, slumped body, lack of desire, fear, hopelessness, helplessness and an overall worry that life is not worth living.

I’m here today to talk about the OTHER depression that is often mistaken for a personality flaw or seen as someone simply being in a bad mood.

I call the first kind of depression WEEPY DEPRESSION and I call this depression ANGRY and IRRITATED DEPRESSION.  People with bipolar tend to experience both, but rarely get help for the second type as helping someone in this kind of a depression is like talking with a really angry snake.

Are you ready to explore your own depression or the depression of someone you care about who has bipolar disorder? Let’s Go!

Ten Signs of Bipolar Depression

  1. Pissed off at everyone and everything. Kittens and puppies make you mad.
  2. Thinking is out of control. You think about thinking about thinking. Then think about thinking about the fact that your thinking about thinking about thinking. ARRRGGGGGG!
  3. You second guess everything you do. Turn right and your brain says, “You should have turned left moron!”  Unfortunately, you do this with the people in your life as well. Nothing anyone does ever feels right.
  4. What is the point of doing anything since everything is so #$#@ed up!  There is a LOT of cussing in this downswing. This can’t be ignored or softened just because people don’t like vulgar words. When you’re in this mood swing, your language WILL change.
  5.  You feel you will never reach your goals and will be stuck in this current ‘hell’ forever.
  6. The body hurts. Headaches, backaches, eye strain, painful hair (yes, your hair can hurt when you’re really depressed). You can’t get comfortable and change locations a lot looking for a better resting place that never arrives as the pain is internal.
  7. YOU JUDGE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Especially yourself, but outwardly, you will tell people what you think and can be very, very unkind to people you love.
  8. Your face looks displeased. Your judgmental feelings come out in pursed lips, signs, rolled eyes and other physical signs that you are not pleased with something.
  9. Your world view is negative. You will find the garbage in the gutter when there is a rainbow in the sky.
  10. You can’t see the positive. It’s not that you don’t want to see the positive, you simply CAN’T see it because this kind of depression makes you focus on everything that is going wrong.

Wow, that is only ten of the symptoms of angry and irritated depression. I can tell you from a lot of personal experience that this episode is a relationship wrecker. You are miserable inside and miserable to be around.   I will list the final ten symptoms in my next blog and also offer some tips for managing this type of depression.

Please note that these are also the signs of a dysphoric manic episode, also called mixed mania, but only if typical mania symptoms are also present. Mixed mania is a combination of mania, anxiety and depression.

How do you know if it’s dysphoric mania and not plain old angry depression?

It’s all about the energy behind the symptoms. It’s possible to have all of the above symptoms and still sleep normally, talk regularly, watch your spending, keep a regular libido and stay at a consistent and often low energy. If the above symptoms are actually dysphoric mania, you WILL have one or more of these symptoms:  noticeable sleep changes,  an increased libido, the desire to spend, rapid speech, goal driven activities that you actually do and an overall sense that your organs are trying to jump out of your body due to profound restlessness.

Isn’t bipolar disorder fun! The only way to manage this illness in my opinion is through symptom recognition and management. All of the above symptoms are from my own life…. on the SAME DAY.

20 Unexpected Signs of Bipolar Depression: Part 2

About the author
Julie A. Fast is the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, Get it Done When You’re Depressed and The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder. She is a columnist and blogger for BP Magazine and won the Mental Health America journalism award for the best mental health column in the US. Julie was also the recipient of the Eli Lily Reintegration award for her work in bipolar disorder advocacy. Julie is a bipolar disorder expert for the Dr.Oz and Oprah created site ShareCare. Julie is CEU certified and regularly trains health care professionals including psychiatric residents, social workers, therapists and general practitioners on bipolar disorder management skills. She was the original consultant for Claire Danes for the show Homeland and is on the mental health expert registry for People Magazine. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder. Julie is currently writing a book for children called Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression. You can find more about her work at www.JulieFast.com and www.BipolarHappens.com.
  1. God is amazing one day I found myself Praying asking God why I put myself through so much in life as I waited patiently for an answer as he began to speak too me I began to mentally look back on my life in every detail that he gave me an answer I’m bi polar Praise God I’m on the right path now

  2. OMGOD!!!! I have a best friend who is in her 60’s. She is bipolar/Anosognosia. She is a mother figure to me, and has always been there through the years when my family abandoned me 🙁

    She is obsessed with sex/and when I say obsessed, its not the dark way and serious pot head!

    I talk to her, she has regressed over the years and she wont listen….

    She exhibits every single one of these depressive states. She will call me weeping, flipping out, then hang up and smoke and wander into “her” orbit and become promiscuous.

    OMG 🙁 I don’t know how to approach the topic, I have tried in every way. I’m stressed and don’t want to ban her from my life, I read all the sexuality post and nothing fits her.

    I’m sad.

  3. This is very informative and makes me feel better knowing my partner doesn’t hate me, he just can’t help himself. I just wish understanding where it all comes from could bring back the man I love and the father of our perfect child. “Relationship wrecker”…..correct. I’m just hurt, and it is not my intension to sound sarcastic, really no sarcasm here:) I wish all sufferers only good things and that it gets better, you’re not alone and you don’t need to be what society deems to be normal. And to all the supporters, just do your best, that really is all you can do. And when you can do no more, take a break and take care of you as I know how emotionally exhausting and depleting it is. It’s also okay to love from a safe distance. And everyone, remember, one has to be selfish sometimes and ensure that you’re good and whole, so that you can actually care for the ones you love. Julie, thank you for being someone that actually does something to help as apposed to people like me who sometimes only think about it and never action it.

    1. I’m going thru the same thing with my husband. Sometimes I feel I can’t handle him being mean, aggravated for no reason, always the angry look on his face, negative, etc.. I’m a very positive person and he just brings me down. He says he doesn’t know why he feels like this. He definitely isn’t the man I married 4 years ago. He says he loves me and I’ve done nothing wrong, but the actions he has tells me something different. I cry behind closed doors all the time wondering how someone that says he loves me can be so distant and say mean things. He has not been diagnosed with anything, but has agreed he will go to counseling. A “relationship wrecker” yes it is…

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