Bipolar hypersexuality can be a very troublesome thing to experience. It can cause discord in one’s life that can tarnish relationships and bring forth disarray in many aspects of one’s life, such as their feeling of self-control or willpower. Bipolar hypersexuality often occurs during the manic phase, where the individual will experience an extremely heightened desire to engage in sex.

It is not entirely impossible for someone experiencing bipolar hypersexuality to also develop OCD and hypersexuality as well. It would of course depend on many different factors such as genetics, one’s own predisposition to develop mental illness, as well as how severe their individual hypersexuality is, among other things.

Bipolar hypersexuality may be more common than you think. In fact, “Hypersexuality is found among an estimated 25-80 percent of all bipolar patients who are experiencing mania. This is not a trivial or minuscule number by any means. It is estimated that about 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population who are 18 years of age and older, live with bipolar disorder.” [1] These are very important statistics that should be taken into consideration when looking at how prevalent bipolar hypersexuality truly is.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of depression and mania. During the depressive phase of bipolar, they may find it extremely difficult to get out of bed due to apathy and lethargy. They may also lose interest in things that they once loved doing. Mania is the other side of the coin with bipolar. Mania is characterized by having high amounts of energy, creativity, euphoria, and over-activity.

Essentially, there are four main types of bipolar disorders: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder,Cyclothymic Disorder, and other specified and unspecified bipolar related disorders. From these different bipolar variations, the moods range from periods of extremely “high” and energized behavior (also known as manic episodes) to very “down,” or hopeless periods (also known as depressive episodes). They may also experience less severe manic periods that are called hypo-manic episodes. [2]

Causes of Bipolar Hypersexuality

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut cause of bipolar hypersexuality. However, the development of such an illness may be due to genetics, environment, or stress, among other factors. If you have parents or siblings who have been diagnosed with bipolar hypersexuality, then this may increase your chance of developing this mental illness. The verdict is still out on exactly what causes bipolar disorder, let alone bipolar hypersexuality in manic individuals.

According to Medical News Today, “Patients who suffer from bipolar disorder often show physical changes in their brains. However, the link to confirm why this is so remains unclear. A contributing factor may be brain-chemical imbalances. Neurotransmitter imbalances appear to play a key role in many mood disorders, including bipolar disorder.

Another possible reason as to why someone may develop bipolar disorder is due to hormonal problems: Hormonal imbalances might trigger or cause bipolar disorder. We also must not forget about the significance of environmental factors such as abuse, mental stress, or some other traumatic event that may contribute to or trigger bipolar disorder.” [3]




Symptoms of Bipolar Hypersexuality

Someone experiencing bipolar hypersexuality will often have difficulty controlling their sexual urges or impulses. At times, they may find it nearly impossible to control these urges. They may engage in unprotected sex or other risky behavior. Below, you’ll see some common symptoms of bipolar hypersexuality:

  • Experiencing mania
  • Low sexual impulse control
  • Difficulty maintaining romantic relationships
  • Intense sexual desires
  • Engaging in risky sexual behavior

Bipolar Hypersexuality Diagnostic Criteria

To get diagnosed with this condition, you will need to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist. They will ask you about your family history, as well as what symptoms you have that may be pertinent to getting diagnosed with bipolar hypersexuality. According to Web MD, Daily “mood swings” that only last from moment to moment don’t necessarily indicate a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Rather, the diagnosis depends more so on having periods of unusual elevation or irritability in mood that are coupled with increases in energy, sleeplessness, and fast thinking or speech. [4] This is especially relevant when we look at bipolar hypersexuality due to the fact that this particular type of illness is experienced during a manic episode.

Treatments for Bipolar Hypersexuality

To get properly treated for this mental disorder, you will need to get treated by a psychiatrist and/or a therapist. Bipolar disorder cannot be cured, but it can be treated. The main type of treatment for this illness is a type of medication called “mood stabilizers.” Some common mood stabilizers are Depakote and lithium. Anti-psychotics may also be prescribed, such as Seroquel and Latuda. Anti-depressants may be prescribed as well. This, in conjunction will psychotherapy is often recommended.


References

1) Melancholia, Jess. “The Symptom of Bipolar Disorder We Don’t Talk About.” The Mighty. https://themighty.com/2016/08/hypersexuality-the-part-of-bipolar-disorder-no-one-talks-about/
2) “Bipolar Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml
3) Nordqvist, Christian. “What You Should Know About Bipolar Disorder.” Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37010.php
4) “Bipolar Diagnosis.” Web MD. https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis#1