Depression and Bipolar Disorder
“We all experience changes in our mood. Sometimes we feel energetic, full of ideas, or irritable, and other times we feel sad or down. But these moods usually don’t last long, and we can go about our daily lives. Depression and bipolar disorder are two mental illnesses that change the way people feel and make it hard for them to go about their daily routine.” –http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/facts-about-depression-and-bipolar-disorder/#.VKcVJyvF-So
There are many ways in which these two mental illnesses exisit with one another. A lot of people experience depressions in their lives. Sometimes only once or sometimes once a year and for others its a major part of their lifes.
“A state of feeling sad. A serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way. A period of time in which there is little economic activity and many people do not have jobs” –http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/depression
Everyone’s depression is different. Each person feels differently and reacts differently to certain circumstances.
You can’t tell someone who is depressed to just not think about it and then they will feel better that is not how it works. It is hard to change your thinking. It is hard to make an reoccurring bad feeling or fear just disappear. It takes practice and time to work with your fears and anxieties. It takes even more time to overcome them.
In a perfect world it would be that easy to just forget about them or put them aside. But depression doesn’t just go away it takes time to help yourselves and others overcome their depression.
Depression can exist for long or short periods of time.
Now let’s talk about the difference between bipolar disorder and depression and how depression co-insides with bipolar.
The difference between bi-polar and depression:
“A common question asked of clinicians is, “What’s the difference between bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) and plain old depression? It’s a simple question to answer, because depression can either be a stand-alone diagnosis, or a part of another disorder, like bipolar. Therefore a mental health professional is going to examine whether there are other symptoms present (or have occurred in the past), to see if the depression is just depression, or whether it’s a part of a larger disorder.” –http://psychcentral.com/lib/whats-the-difference-between-bipolar-disorder-and-depression/000906
Bipolar disorder contains times of depression and times of mania or hypo mania. There are a few different forms or bipolar. Here is a brief description of four different forms of bipolar:
- Bipolar 1-is a bipolar spectrum disorder characterized by at least one manicor mixed episode. Bipolar I disorder sometimes occurs along with episodes of hypomania or major depression as well. It is a type of bipolar disorder, and conforms to the classic concept of manic-depressive illness, which can include psychosis during mood episodes. The difference with bipolar II disorder is that the latter requires that the individual must never have experienced a full manic episode – only less severe hypomanic episode(s). -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_I_disorder
- Bipolar 2-is a bipolar spectrum disorder (see also Bipolar disorder) characterized by at least one episode of hypomania and at least one episode of major depression. Diagnosis for bipolar II disorder requires that the individual must never have experienced a full manic episode (unless it was caused by an antidepressant medication; otherwise one manic episode meets the criteria for bipolar I disorder). Symptoms of mania and hypomania are similar, though mania is more severe and may precipitate psychosis. The hypomanic episodes associated with bipolar II disorder must last for at least four days. Commonly, depressive episodes are more frequent and more intense than hypomanic episodes. Additionally, when compared to bipolar I disorder, type II presents more frequent depressive episodes and shorter intervals of well-being. The course of bipolar II disorder is more chronic and consists of more frequent cycling than the course of bipolar I disorder. Finally, bipolar II is associated with a greater risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than bipolar I or unipolar depression. Although bipolar II is commonly perceived to be a milder form of Type I, this is not the case. Types I and II present equally severe burdens.Bipolar II is difficult to diagnose. Patients usually seek help when they are in a depressed state. Because the symptoms of hypomania are often mistaken for high functioning behavior or simply attributed to personality, patients are typically not aware of their hypomanic symptoms. As a result, they are unable to provide their doctor with all the information needed for an accurate assessment; these individuals are often misdiagnosed with unipolar depression. Of all individuals initially diagnosed with major depressive disorder, between 40% and 50% will later be diagnosed with either BP-I or BP-II. Substance abuse disorders (which have high comorbidity with BP-II) and periods of mixed depression may also make it more difficult to accurately identify BP-II. Despite the difficulties, it is important that BP-II individuals are correctly assessed so that they can receive the proper treatment. Antidepressant use, in the absence of mood stabilizers, is correlated with worsening BP-II symptoms.-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_II_disorder
- Rapid Cycles- Rapid cycling bipolar disorder can be a dangerous condition and carries a high risk of suicide. When a person with bipolar experiences four or more manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes in any 12-month period, it’s defined as rapid cycling bipolar. While the term rapid cycling may make it sound as if the episodes occur in regular cycles, episodes actually often follow a random pattern. Because of the rapid mood swings associated with this type of bipolar disorder, the individual may feel as if they’re on an emotional roller coaster; swinging from the highs of mania to the depths of depression — all in the course of a few days or even hours. –http://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-types/rapid-cycling-bipolar-disorder-symptoms-treatment-effects/
- Cyclothymia– Cyclothymia — or cyclothymic disorder — is a relatively mild mood disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity of major depression or full mania. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than occur in full-blown bipolar disorder. –http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/cyclothymia-cyclothymic-disorder
You can learn a lot more about each of these disorders by going to the links provided. This is just a brief description of each and I am sure their are more forms that you will be able to find with more research.
I wanted to inform you all of a few of the mental illnesses a lot of people experience. Some are on the lower side and others on the higher side.
Mental illness is very common and some people wont even realize they have one until a lot later on in life if ever at all.
What people need to know is that it is okay to have mental illnesses it is not a downfall. It is very brave if you are able to admit that you do and get help. It takes a strong person to know that you will be okay and to know that it is okay to ask for help when you need it.
Because we are not alone. There is help. If you seek it you will find it.
I believe it is better to know and deal with your anxiety’s, problems, fears as they come rather then putting them aside and trying to forget about them because they will ultimately come back to haunt you. It is basically just prolonging the inevitably. Just like leaving the dishes. They aren’t going to magically do themselves. A lot like your fears. They aren’t going to magically go away.
Depression is usually always a part of bipolar. Some peoples it is a lot less then others. In bipolar 1 depresssion doesnt last nearly as long as bipolar 2. But people with bipolar do frequently experession days weeks or months of depression.
A lot of the syptoms of regular depression are the same for bipolar patients however they can be hightened when you have bipolar as most moods are. It is hard to see things differently then they way you do. This is normal. But there is ways to help yourself get out of these hard times. Find a good doctor 🙂 And remember:
You need to be kind to yourself and if you can’t fix them yourself get help. It is not a weakness!
Will write more on this as I go. But a short post for now.
Check out the links provided for more information.
Until Next Time,