Women tend to experience depressive episodes and rapid cycling forms of bipolar disorder more often than men affected by the disorder, according to L.M. Arnold writing for the journal of the Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Women are also characterized by more seasonal patterns in their symptoms then men.
The rapid-cycling subtype of bipolar disorder more common among women is characterized by at least four distinct episodes of mania, depression or hypomania in the same year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Rapid-cycling bipolar patients often report experiencing their first symptoms of the disease up to four years earlier than most people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, regardless of gender.