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How Long Does Bipolar Depression Last

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What Causes Bipolar Disorder

How Long Does Rapid Cycling Last? Switching vs Cycling

Scientists dont know what causes bipolar disorder. Abnormal physical characteristics of the brain or an imbalance in certain brain chemicals may be among the main causes.

As with many medical conditions, bipolar disorder tends to run in families. If you have a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder, your risk of developing it is higher. The search continues for the genes which may be responsible for bipolar disorder.

Researchers also believe that severe stress, drug or alcohol abuse, or severely upsetting experiences may trigger bipolar disorder. These experiences can include childhood abuse or the death of a loved one.

How Long Depression Lasts Depends On Many Factors

Depression affects everyone differently.

Even though there are a few established symptoms of the condition, not everyone experiences them in the same way.

For some people, depression symptoms are persistent over the years. For others, symptoms will come and go at times.

Some research suggests that the symptoms of clinical depression can last an average of 10 months if no other mental health conditions are present.

But this is not always the case. Because there are different types of depression, symptom duration varies greatly.

For example, a depressive episode caused by mourning might last a few days or weeks and often resolves on its own.

In most cases, however, depression requires the support of a health professional.

There are many types of depression, and the type youre experiencing may impact how long or intense your symptoms are.

Track Triggers And Symptoms

Keeping track of moods and symptoms might help a person understand what triggers a depressive episode. Spotting the signs of depression early on may help them avoid a full-blown depressive episode.

Use a diary to log important events, changes to daily routines, and moods. Rate moods on a scale of 1 to 10 to help identify which events or activities cause specific responses. See a doctor if symptoms persist for 14 days or more.

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What Is The Difference Between Major And Minor Depression

Dysthymic disorder/dysthymia Also known as a moderate form of depression, the symptoms last a long time at least two years but are not as severe as the symptoms of major depression. Minor depression This form of depression is similar to the others except the symptoms are not as severe and dont last as long.

That Is Affected By Major Depression

How Long Do Depressive Episodes Last Bipolar

Mania.To be diagnosed with bipolar illness, an individual needs to have experienced a minimum how long does depression in bipolar last of one episode of mania or hypomania. Hypomania is a milder type of mania that doesnt consist of psychotic episodes.

Depressive episodes connected to the summer can occur, however are a lot less typical than winter season episodes of SAD. While these kinds share some common signs, they likewise have some essential differences. If you have actually had depression before, you may be more likely how long does depression in bipolar last to experience it again. You can assist prevent depression by obtaining adequate sleep, consuming a healthy diet plan and practicing regular self-care tasks such as exercise, meditation as well as yoga.

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Symptoms That Lead To A Diagnosis

If youre suffering from any kind of mental health disorder, its important that you identify and understand your symptoms in order for our doctors to correctly diagnose you. Bipolar disorder consists of both manic and depressive episodes that create an unstable mood.

Mania can be extreme changes in mood, or you can have hypomania which is typically less severe. Symptoms of mania include:

Difficulty sleeping Extreme energy Increased self-esteem Difficulty concentrating Racing thoughts

On the opposite end of the spectrum, depression can change your emotional highs to hopeless lows. If you have bipolar disorder with depression, symptoms you may experience include:

Fatigue Sadness Decreased energy Overeating or loss of appetite Suicidal thoughts

Our team at Boston MindCare take a detailed history to decipher your symptoms and give you a definitive diagnosis. With that, we can also form a customized treatment plan for you.

It Took Over A Month For Me To Return To My Stable Self

This is a month AFTER the two week depressive episode. As my dear friend Jay Carter, the author of always says, it takes a very long time for our brains to get back on track chemically when we have an episode. This is especially true for longer episodes. The longer the episode- the longer the recovery time. This makes sense when we read it, but when were going through it, we often expect life to magically get back to normal once the mood swing ends.

If it took me 30 days to recover from two weeks of depression, what does it take to recover from a massive manic and psychotic episode? It can take a year for some people. No one wants to hear this, but I believe we need to be honest with ourselves in order to survive bipolar disorder.

If we know that recovery takes time, we can go easier on ourselves.

I want to be nice to myself when I get sick. I want to and need to give myself time to recover.

Patience doesnt come naturally for me. I tend to put myself down for not being able to work much, but wow, this is a pretty darn serious illness. I need to respect what my body experiences when I get sick and give it time to heal.

We have to be ready for recovery time after an episode. We dont just bounce back.

We can come back. We can flourish- we can get better and back to our stable selves, but its a process and it always takes longer than we


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What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary. An individual with bipolar disorder may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or mixed episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two or sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are intense and happen along with changes in behavior, energy levels, or activity levels that are noticeable to others.

Symptoms of a Manic Episode Symptoms of a Depressive Episode
Feeling very up, high, elated, or extremely irritable or touchy Feeling very down or sad, or anxious
Feeling jumpy or wired, more active than usual Feeling slowed down or restless
Racing thoughts Trouble concentrating or making decisions
Trouble falling asleep, waking up too early, or sleeping too much
Talking fast about a lot of different things Talking very slowly, feeling like you have nothing to say, or forgetting a lot
Excessive appetite for food, drinking, sex, or other pleasurable activities Lack of interest in almost all activities
Thinking you can do a lot of things at once without getting tired Unable to do even simple things
Feeling like you are unusually important, talented, or powerful Feeling hopeless or worthless, or thinking about death or suicide

Mental Health Treatment Locator

Bipolar: Episode Length

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this online resource for locating mental health treatment facilities and programs. The Mental Health Treatment Locator section of the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator lists facilities providing mental health services to persons with mental illness. Find a facility in your state at . For additional resources, visit www.nimh.nih.gov/findhelp.

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Symptoms Of A Mixed Episode

A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.

How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder

The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.

Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.

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How Does It Affect People

Bipolar disorder affects both men and women. For many people, the first symptoms show up in their early twenties. However, research has shown that the first episode of bipolar disorder is occurring earlier: It often shows up in adolescence, and even children can have the disorder.

Recent research suggests that kids and teens with bipolar disorder dont always have the same behavioral patterns that adults with bipolar disorder do. For example, kids who have bipolar disorder may experience particularly rapid mood changes and may have some of the other mood-related symptoms listed below, such as irritability and high levels of anxiety. But they may not show other symptoms that are more commonly seen in adults.

Because brain function is involved, the ways people with bipolar disorder think, act, and feel are all affected. This can make it especially difficult for other people to understand their condition. It can be incredibly frustrating if other people act as though someone with bipolar disorder should just snap out of it, as if a person who is sick can become well simply by wanting to.

Bipolar disorder isnt a sign of weakness or a character flaw its a serious medical condition that requires treatment, just like any other condition.


What Does A Mood Episode Looks Like With Bipolar Disorder

How Long Do Depressive Episodes Last Bipolar

Those with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotions, per the NIMH. These periods are known as “mood episodes”typically categorized as manic episodes or depressive episodes. The mood episodes can last as long as several days to a few weeks, with symptoms presenting every day for most of the day.

Manic episodes specifically can make a person feel “up” or “high,” per the NIMH. When in a manic episode, a person may also feel a decreased need for sleep they may start talking too fast or they may feel distracted, agitated, or engage in risky behavior, Ashraf Elmashat, MD, a psychiatrist with Keck Medicine of USC, tells Health. Technically speaking, “to be considered mania, symptoms need to last for at least seven days,” says Dr. Elmashat.

When a person is experiencing a depressive episode, they may feel “down,” or hopeless, the NIMH says. Depressive episodes can also impact a person’s behavior, causing changes in sleep, appetite, and loss of enjoyment in normal activities.

It’s also possible for a person with bipolar disorder to experience both manic and depressive feelings in the same episodethat’s known as an episode with mixed features. People going through this type of episode “may feel very sad, empty, or hopeless, while, at the same, time feeling extremely energized,” the NIMH says.

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Most Common Triggers For Bipolar Mood Episodes

Spats with your sweetheart, chilly weather, grief a number of scenarios may provoke bipolar mania or depression.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by symptoms including unusual shifts in mood and energy. These mood shifts or episodes last at least a week in the case of mania, and at least two weeks in the case of depression, according to psychiatrist Jeffrey Bennett, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

There are several types of bipolar and related disorders. In order to be diagnosed with bipolar I, you must have had at least one manic episode that may have been preceded or followed by hypomanic or depressive episodes. In the case of bipolar II, you must have had at least one major depressive episode and at least one hypomanic episode, but never experienced a manic episode.

Both mania and hypomania share the same symptoms, which include feeling unusually upbeat, euphoric, or irritable, with increased energy, mood elevation, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, trouble concentrating, and poor judgment. In cases of mania, these symptoms are severe enough to be causing significant problems in your day-to-day life.

For example, you might be unable to go to work or school, or you may be compulsively spending money. Hypomania is considered a less severe form of mania. In cases of hypomania, your daily functioning isn’t significantly impacted. For example, you are able to work and socialize.

Moving From Bipolar Disorder To Bipolar In Order

Posted September 3, 2012

Everyone has up and down times. It is a natural part of life. If we observe our lives over time we might say there are two poles that we have some days we feel on top of the world and other days perhaps on the bottom. That is the basis for the word bipolar and the reason I say that everyone is bipolar. Some may argue that there are people who are unipolar and only experience the up or down side, but even they have a range of experience with a “pole” on each end.

Unfortunately, the word bipolar is generally used to describe a subset of people who have adverse reactions when they go to far toward the high and low poles. Although related to how far from center one is, there is no distance from center that guarantees one would necessarily react to it in an adverse way. It really depends on how far we are from our comfort zone. One person might be perfectly comfortable and highly functional at a certain point from center while another could be so uncomfortable that he/she is literally in danger of suicide. I see the comfortable person as keeping life in-order, while the person in danger of suicide has lost control and is in dis-order. Using bipolar as a term to describe the dis-ordered person is an over-simplification that goes too far. We should at least distinguish the difference between having Bipolar Dis-Order or Bipolar In-Order.

Bipolar Disorder

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How Long Can Bipolar Mood Episodes Last

There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how long bipolar mood episodes last. Often, Dr. Potash says, people experience major depressive symptoms for several weeks or months, then move into a period of mania or hypomania for several weeks or months. “It’s typically a slow change process,” he says.

Some people with bipolar disorder experience rapid cycling, in which they shift from high to low mood quickly over the course of days or even hours. According to Dr. Elmashat, rapid cycling involves one episode of either depression or mania or hypomania four times in 12 months, and it can occur in both bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. Most often, Dr. Potash says, rapid cycling with bipolar affects younger people, like teenagers, and it requires more intensive treatment than typical mood cycling.

Bipolar Disorder And Other Conditions

Can You Stop Your Bipolar Medication? Maybe Heres How

Some bipolar disorder symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses, which can make it challenging for a health care provider to make a diagnosis. In addition, many people may have bipolar disorder along with another mental disorder or condition, such as an anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, or an eating disorder. People with bipolar disorder have an increased chance of having thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other physical illnesses.

Psychosis: Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression may experience psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the persons extreme mood. For example:

  • People having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may have the unrealistic belief that they are famous, have a lot of money, or have special powers.
  • People having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may falsely believe they are financially ruined and penniless, have committed a crime, or have an unrecognized serious illness.

As a result, people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed with schizophrenia. When people have symptoms of bipolar disorder and also experience periods of psychosis that are separate from mood episodes, the appropriate diagnosis may be schizoaffective disorder.

Anxiety: It is common for people with bipolar disorder to also have an anxiety disorder.

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Mixed Episodes And Mixed Features In The Dsm

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual s used by mental health professionals as a standard tool for diagnosis of mental health conditions. In prior versions of the DSM these mixed episodes were designated as mixed episodes, but they are not referred to as bipolar disorder with mixed features A mixed feature episode is detailed as being:

  • Three or more depressive symptoms during a manic or hypomanic episode
  • Or, three or more hypomanic or manic symptoms during a major depressive episode

How Prevalent Is Bipolar Disorder with Mixed Features?

Since the DSM-5 has broadened the definition of bipolar disorder episode with mixed features, old statistics have become outdated. However, some studies have explored how many people do have mixed features along with the bipolar disorder. For example, one study found that 40% of major depressive episodes also included at least one symptom of hypomania. Whats more, those in the study who had that experience were more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder later on. While more research needs to be done to get a full picture of the disorder, doctors and scientists already know that bipolar disorder episodes with mixed features are not at all uncommon.

Mixed Affective Episode Symptoms

  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death
  • Symptoms must be present during the same two-week period

Mixed Features

Common Duration

Manic Symptoms

Duration with Treatment

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