What Is Bipolar Depression?

When a person has a disorder known as bipolar depression, he’s subject to having manic episodes that could happen at least once a year and possibly more. These episodes are unique in that they develop into patterns of mood cycles and exhibit both depressive and manic behavior. This disorder usually shows up in teenage or early adult years and is present throughout the affected person’s life.

A manic episode takes the form of an abnormally high or irritable mood swing that lasts for as long as a week. These mood swings can result in drastic changes in lifestyle for the person, including divorce or reckless behavior that could cause harm to the person or to others.

Other ways that manic episodes could ruin a person’s life is turning to alcohol or drugs for relief, thoughts and actions of suicide and not taking the proper medication. At first, the episode might feel like a good thing to a person suffering from depression. The immediate “high” that comes with a manic episode may feel somewhat euphoric.

But, as the mood progresses, the person with bipolar depression might not be able to concentrate on tasks, go to work or class or perform other activities. During these manic episodes, some people may turn to drugs or alcohol and not be able to stop even when the episode subsides.

Studies about bipolar depression have found that those with bipolar disorder often complained about not being able to do their work correctly, shame at their behavior, unnecessary arguments, being upset about the most minor of uncomfortable situations and extreme disruption in social and family life.

If someone in your family’s past has suffered from bipolar depression, it’s more likely that you will develop the disorder. Environmental factors are also figured in to that likelihood. Often, bipolar depression is diagnosed with another disorder such as schizophrenia and treated with the wrong medication or even commitments to institutions.

Mood stabilizers and psychiatric medications are sometimes used to treat bipolar depression, but in extreme cases, where the person may be at risk of harming himself or others, an involuntary commitment might be in order. However, these cases are beyond the norm and bipolar depression can usually be treated without taking such a drastic course.

Persons during the depressive state of bipolar depression may experience feelings of anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, guilt, loss of pleasure and fatigue. A manic state of bipolar depression might bring on feelings of high or euphoric feelings, extreme irritability, bolts of energy and activity and risk taking.

If you suspect that you or someone you love or care about might have bipolar depression, keep a log of feelings and actions so that you can be correctly diagnosed and treated.

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