According to a recent study bipolar disorder is often preceded by mood swings and sleep disturbances, and these findings apply to both Type I and Type II bipolar disorder. The study was published in the medical publication Journal of Affective Disorders. Some of the most common changes that may occur shortly before bipolar disorder surfaces include weight gain, irritability, tiredness, impatience, social isolation, and an increase in suspiciousness. According to Ruhr University, Bochum Germany researcher Dr. Eike Zeschel and associates the symptoms exhibited “might be indicators for early recognition of bipolar disorder.” Patients who have either type of bipolar disorder often reported changes in mood and a disturbance in their daily rhythm in recent months before experiencing their first episode of depression or mania. The researchers also found that symptoms of psychosis were experienced significantly more often before an episode of depression than they did before an episode of mania.
The study on mood swings, sleep disturbances, and the development of bipolar disorder involved structured interviews. There were 42 study participants who were receiving treatment for bipolar disorder at one of three selected German university hospitals. There were 27 study participants who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder type I, and 15 study participants who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II. Only one participant was not on psychotropic medications while they were interviewed. Almost every single study participant with both types of this disorder reported having a minimum of one pre-onset symptom shortly before they experienced their first episode of mania or depression.