8 Personality Traits in People with Bipolar Disorder

8 Personality Traits in People with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which a person’s mood swings are so high. Sometimes they are manic ( high energy levels and thoughts) and sometimes they will be depressed. Let’s discuss these personality traits in people with bipolar disorder in this article. 

There are three types of bipolar disorder based on the severity of episodes of mania and depression. 

  • Bipolar disorder l: a person suffers an episode of mania for 1 week and depression for typically two weeks.
  • Bipolar disorder ll: hypomanic ( not serve as mania) and depression episodes will be seen. 
  • Cyclothymic disorder: the recurring episode of hypomania and depression but not severe as bipolar disorder ll. 

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness but bipolar disorder is often associated with positive personality attributes and creativity. Some researchers were curious about it and noted some personality traits which are common in bipolar disorder patients. 

8 Personality Traits in People with Bipolar Disorder

There are two types of personality traits in bipolar disorder, some are positive and some are negative (1). All traits have their effect on the personality of a person. Let’s see some traits: 

  • Creativity


Many people suffering from bipolar disorder become creative. Their thinking abilities change and reach a higher level. In a manic episode of bipolar disorder, a person will be more creative and think out of the box. Some research also shows that people with a genetic predisposition to bipolar disorder are more likely to be creative and artistic. According to some people, high energy levels and euphoria during manic episodes enhance creativity levels but it is also argued that depression may also increase creative capacity in some people. 

  • Resilience 

 It is the stress response pattern of a person and their ability to bounce from adversity. Despite the challenge of living with bipolar disorder, many people demonstrate resilience and the ability to persevere through difficult times. It has been observed that people with bipolar disorder are more resilient and according to some research you can increase your resilience by experiencing a ratio of 3 to 1 of negative and positive emotions but it is important to remember that mania and hypomania are not emotions, they are States. 

  • Spirituality 

An increase in spirituality is also considered as a symptom of bipolar disorder. People will start thinking or acting more religiously. Hyperreligiosity can be a symptom of mania. For some people, spirituality is a tool to support medication for bipolar disorder and talking therapy. 

  • Empathy 

It is observed in a research in 2017 that during mania emotional empathy levels are higher than during depression. For people who are dealing with bipolar disorder, their emotions can be more intense or someone might feel a complete loss of emotions.

  • Neuroticism 

 Neuroticism is a fundamental personality trait. It is a trait disposition to experience adverse effects like self-consciousness, depression, irritability, and emotional instability. A study in 2017 shows that people with bipolar disorder l and ll are more likely to have neuroticism.

  • Disinhibition

 It is a behavior in which a person will stop following social rules about how to behave. They will start behaving rudely, tactlessly and can be offensive. It is also called impulsivity because people will become impulsive and do not want to listen to someone. An example of this behavior is snatching someone’s things without even asking them and behaving rudely. People with bipolar disorder have been observed to behave like this during manic or hypomanic phases. They do such actions without thinking about the consequences. 

  • Aggressiveness


 Bipolar disorder patients are more prone to agitation which may result in aggression. During the mania phase, the level of thought and energy you feel is high which can lead to feeling more anger, irritation, and frustration. These can lead to aggression and burst out of emotions. 

  • Realism

 It is being realistic about something happening around you. If something is awful you will feel that and if something is amazing you say it is amazing. But when someone is a bipolar realist they may be forced to think that there are more awful things than amazing ones. You get negative thoughts about yourself. 

Big five model of personality traits

It is a famous personality theory that describes personality as a play between five different traits. These traits or factors are: 

  • Neuroticism
  • Extraversion
  • Openness
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness

Relation between Bipolar Disorder and Personality Disorder

Relation between bipolar disorder and personality disorder

People with bipolar disorder are also diagnosed with personality disorders like antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder (2). The reasons behind the co-occurrence of these disorders are unknown. A study shows that one-fifth of people have both conditions. 

Someone might get confused between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder but the key feature to differentiate between them is bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. In contrast, borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder. Bipolar symptoms occur in episodes while borderline personality disorder symptoms are constant. 

An antisocial personality disorder is more in people with bipolar disorder l. 


People with bipolar disorder suffer from a range of moods. It affects their personality traits also. They can be so creative, can have a High level of resilience and other positive traits also. There are many things to know about them which made researchers find out many things. 

Along with positive traits people with bipolar disorder can have negative traits also like aggressiveness, neuroticism, and impulsive behavior. 

Bipolar disorder is a treatable disease that can be managed but the treatment also has some effects. It is also observed that bipolar disorder is associated with personality disorder. The reason behind their co-occurrence is unclear.