Among those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the depressive symptoms of the illness (bipolar depression) can often be more debilitating than the manic symptoms of the illness. It is crucial that you record and discuss all of your symptoms with a medical provider. This includes both the depressive and manic episodes that you have experienced.
The depressive symptoms of the bipolar illness are very similar to and can often be misdiagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). In order for a medical provider to diagnose an individual with bipolar disorder, the individual must have gone through a significant period of mania or hypomania (a less severe form of mania). This is why it is so important for you to discuss any and all of your symptoms as well as your manic episodes with your health care physicians. This will help them to recognize and understand the difference between the frequently similar disorders.
A few of the indicators of bipolar depression include the following:
- Loss of interest in things that you once enjoyed
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Being overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness, failure and guilt
- Experiencing physiological changes, such as:
- weight and appetite changes
- energy level changes
- sleeping patern changes
- Becoming sad and unable to remember things, concentrate or even make very simple decisions
- Contemplating suicide or death (in extreme cases)
It is possible to treat bipolar depression effectively, and this can be done through lifestyle changes, medications and therapy. These types of treatment choices may be able to help reduce the impact that the disorder has on your life, family and friends. Some treatment options could potentially prevent the depressive episodes from becoming more severe or recurring. Bipolar disorder can be genetic. Generally, syptoms become apparent in early adulthood.
If you suspect that you have bipolar disorder, contact your doctor. A health checkup will be able to rule out any underlying health issues or additional illnesses that could be causing changes in your mood. When bipolar disorder is left untreated, it can damage relationships, result in poor school or job performance and potentially lead to suicide. However, there are successful treatments available like talk therapy and medicines. Generally, a combination of the two is best.
To find out more about bipolar disorder, the treatments available, or to simply talk to someone about your individual situation, reach out to the professionals at Shadow Mountain Recovery. We are here to provide you with the help that you need, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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