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What Are The Signs Of Bipolar Depression

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What Causes Bipolar Disorder

10 Signs of Bipolar Disorder

The cause of bipolar disorder isnt clear. Research suggests that a combination of different things can make it more likely that you will develop bipolar disorder.

Genetic factors

There is a 13% chance you will develop bipolar disorder if someone in your immediate family, like a parent, brother or sister has bipolar disorder.

This risk is higher if both of your parents have the condition or if your twin has the condition.

Researchers havent found the exact genes that cause bipolar disorder. But different genes have been linked to the development of bipolar disorder.

Brain chemical imbalance

Different chemicals in your brain affect your mood and behaviour. Too much or too little of these chemicals could lead to you developing mania or depression.

Environmental factors

Stressful life events can trigger symptoms of bipolar disorder. Such as childhood abuse or the loss of a loved one. They can increase your chances of developing depressive episodes.

You can find more information about Does mental illness run in families? by clicking here.

Can You Have A Good Life With Bipolar Disorder

Absolutely. People with well-managed bipolar disorders have jobs, families, and are productive members of our society. Bipolar disorder, while a chronic condition, doesnt define you. Just like people who manage their diabetes or heart condition, you can learn to manage and control bipolar disorders with medications, therapies, and good lifestyle habits that sets you up for a successful life.

How Can I Help My Teen Live With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder has no cure. But over time, your teens symptoms will get better. Being supportive and patient can help. Here are things you can do to help:

  • Keep all appointments with your teens healthcare provider.

  • Take part in family therapy as needed.

  • Talk with your teens healthcare provider about other providers who will be involved in your teens care. Your teen may get care from a team that may include school staff, counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Your teens care team will depend on his or her needs and how serious the depression is.

  • Tell others about your teens bipolar disorder. Work with your teens healthcare provider and schools to create a treatment plan.

  • Reach out for support. Being in touch with other parents who have a teen with bipolar disorder may be helpful. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed out, talk with your teens healthcare provider about a support group for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder.

  • Take all symptoms of depression, mania, and suicide very seriously. Get treatment right away. Suicide is a health emergency. Talk with your teens healthcare provider for more information. Find out who to contact, and what to do if your teen has suicidal thoughts. Have an emergency plan in place.

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What Can I Expect After Treatment

For most people, a good treatment program can stabilize severe moods and provide effective symptom relief. Treatment that is continual has proven more effective in preventing relapses. Those who also have a substance abuse problem may need more specialized treatment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/27/2018.


Medicines And Your Lifestyle

What should we know about Bipolar Disorder?

When you and your doctor are discussing your medicines, think about whether your lifestyle allows you to take medicines on time every day. A medicine you only take once a day may work best for you if you have a hard time remembering to take your medicines.

During your doctor’s appointment, ask about:

  • The side effects of each medicine.
  • How often you will need to take the medicines.
  • How the medicines may interact with other medicines you are taking.
  • Whether it’s important to take the medicines at the same time every day.

Monitoring medicines

You’ll need to check in with your doctor regularly when taking medicines for bipolar disorder.

If you are prescribed carbamazepine, lithium, or valproate, you will need regular blood tests to monitor the amount of medicine in your blood. Too much lithium in your bloodstream may lead to serious side effects. Blood tests can also help show how medicines are affecting your liver, kidneys, and thyroid gland or to measure the number of blood cells in your body.

The use of antidepressants alone has been linked to an increase in manic episodes. Antidepressant treatment needs to be monitored closely to avoid causing a manic episode.


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When Should I Call My Teens Healthcare Provider

  • Feels extreme depression, fear, anxiety, or anger toward him or herself or others

  • Feels out of control

  • Hears voices that others dont hear

  • Sees things that others dont see

  • Cant sleep or eat for 3 days in a row

  • Shows behavior that concerns friends, family, or teachers, and others express concern about this behavior and ask you to seek help

Bipolar Disorder In Children And Teens

Bipolar disorders are most common in older adolescents and teens, but children can also be diagnosed with the disorder at a younger age. While not nearly as common in children as it is in adults, research studies have revealed that bipolar disorder affects as many as 3% of all children and up to 7% of children receiving outpatient psychiatric care. Bipolar disorder has been diagnosed in children as young as 5. When young children experience symptoms, this is called early-onset bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder. When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is l5 to 30%. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50 to 75%.

Bipolar in kids also causes distinct mood episodes from mania or hypomania to depression. However, because kids and adolescents can act out, have difficulty in school or at home, and display some of the symptoms of bipolar disorders, like restlessness, impulsivity, risky behaviors, and an inflated view of capabilities, even when they dont have the disorder, it can be difficult to diagnose.

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Signs Of Irritable & Angry Bipolar Depression

  • Youre pissed off at everyone and everything. Kittens and puppies make you mad.
  • Your thinking is out of control. You think about thinking about thinking. Then think about thinking about the fact that youre thinking about thinking about thinking. ARRRGGGGGG!
  • You second-guess everything you do. Turn right, and your brain says, You should have turned left, moron! Unfortunately, you do this with the people in your life as well. Nothing anyone does ever feels right.
  • You feel you will never reach your goals and will be stuck in this current hell forever.
  • The body hurts. Headaches, backaches, eye strain, painful hair . You cant get comfortable, and you change locations a lot, looking for a better resting place that never arrives because the pain is internal.
  • YOU JUDGE EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING. Especially yourself, but outwardly, you will tell people what you think and can be very, very unkind to people you love.
  • Your face looks displeased. Your judgmental feelings come out in pursed lips, sighs, rolled eyes, and other physical expressions that you are not pleased with something.
  • You have a negative worldview. You will find the garbage in the gutter when there is a rainbow in the sky.
  • You cant see the positive. Its not that you dont want to see the positiveyou simply CANT see it, because this kind of depression makes you focus on everything that is going wrong.
  • You stop your hobbies. They seem pointless and a waste of time. They dont bring pleasure.
  • Signs Of A Bipolar Disorder Depressive Episode

    Signs & Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

    Its important to note the difference between depression as a mental illness and a depressive episode as part of bipolar disorder.

    Depressive episodes in bipolar oftentimes coincide with manic episodes. However, there are a variety of forms of bipolar disorder in which the levels and balance between manic and depressive episodes are different.

    A depressive episode, according to the DSM-5, includes being in a depressed mood and loss of interest, alongside symptoms that occur nearly every day for about 2 weeks, such as:

  • Increased or decreased appetite most days or a significant change in weight over the course of a month
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Unusual agitation or restlessness or being sluggish and hesitant or feeling confused
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day, making it hard to perform day to day activities
  • Feeling sad, low, or hopeless
  • Feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt that are excessive or not related to anything a person who isnt depressed would feel guilty about.
  • Trouble concentrating and/or making decisions
  • Recurring thoughts of death or of being dead, thinking about suicide without making a plan , or making plans of suicide/attempting suicide
  • These signs of bipolar disorder should be documented so that you can present them to your doctor when trying to diagnose whats going on with you.

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    The Positive Impact Of Exercise

    You dont have to go to the gym to gain the benefits of being active. In fact, aerobic activity, such as taking a long walk, hiking, going for a bike ride, or gardening may be enough to have a positive impact.

    And, the time commitment is minimal. Just 3 days a week, for 30 minutes a dayeven in three 10-minute blocksmay help you to feel better.

    What Are The Causes And Risk Factors

    Like most mental health disorders, the exact cause of cyclothymia is unknown. However, the genetic component of cyclothymia is strong. For cyclothymia, major depression, and bipolar mood disorders, a family history indicates a greater risk of development. Twin studies suggest that the risk of developing cyclothymia is 2-3 times more likely if an identical twin is diagnosed with the disorder, pointing to the strong genetic component of the mood disorder.

    Environmental factors are also a likely contributing factor to being diagnosed with cyclothymia. As with bipolar disorder and major depression, certain life events may increase your chances of developing cyclothymia. These include things like physical or sexual abuse or other traumatic experiences and prolonged periods of stress.

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    Bipolar Depressions Surprising Symptoms

    Bipolar depression is a mood swing that needs treatment. It is not always about crying and feeling sad about the past. I compiled a list of surprising symptoms to help you better understand how bipolar depression can manifest very differently from how it is portrayed in books and the media.

    Do you have any of these unexpected symptoms?

    Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder symptoms, risk factors, and interesting ...

    If you spot the symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or someone else, dont wait to get help. Ignoring the problem wont make it go away in fact, it will almost certainly get worse. Living with untreated bipolar disorder can lead to problems in everything from your career to your relationships to your health. But bipolar disorder is highly treatable, so diagnosing the problem and starting treatment as early as possible can help prevent these complications.

    If youre reluctant to seek treatment because you like the way you feel when youre manic, remember that the energy and euphoria come with a price. Mania and hypomania often turn destructive, hurting you and the people around you.

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    Feeling Depressed Here Are The Best Ways To Treat Depression

    The good news is that you dont need an official diagnosis to start strengthening your mental health.

    You can actually start making changes to help support your mental health and decrease symptoms of depression while you work toward getting an accurate diagnosis with a trained professional.

    Depression is a serious mental health concern because it prevents self-actualization or reaching your full potential and it can become deadly. If you have any of the signs or symptoms of depression, you need to tell someone you trust and seek treatment. The best treatments for depression will ultimately depend on your:

    • Current medications

    What Are The Types Of Bipolar Disorder

    There are three main types of bipolar disorder:

    • Bipolar I disorder involves manic episodes that last at least 7 days or manic symptoms so severe that you need immediate hospital care. Depressive episodes are also common. Those often last at least two weeks. This type of bipolar disorder can also involve mixed episodes.
    • Bipolar II disorder involves depressive episodes. But instead of full-blown manic episodes, there are episodes of hypomania. Hypomania is a less severe version of mania.
    • Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, also involves hypomanic and depressive symptoms. But they are not as intense or as long-lasting as hypomanic or depressive episodes. The symptoms usually last for at least two years in adults and for one year in children and teenagers.

    With any of these types, having four or more episodes of mania or depression in a year is called “rapid cycling.”

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    Manic And Hypomanic Episodes

    Manic and hypomanic episodes share largely the same symptoms, even though they differ in severity. The symptoms include:

    • Exaggerated self-esteem or grandiosity
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
    • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

    The severity, duration, and disabling nature of depressive episodes vary from episode to episode and from person to person. Researchers say some people have only one or two episodes during their lifetimes, many have frequent recurrences, and still others will experience less severe but chronic depressive symptoms.

    Whats Going On In The Brain

    Bipolar Disorder vs Depression – 5 Signs You’re Likely Bipolar

    Up until recently, researchers hadnt been able to distinguish a person with bipolars brain from a person without the disorder on a scan. But science is making some tracks. A 2019 study that looked at the brains of people with bipolar and those with depression on functional MRI scans correctly differentiated their brains about 80% of the time.

    The findings suggest differences in the amygdala, the emotion center of the brain, of people with bipolar when they process emotions like sadness, anger, fear, and joy, and could become a marker to help identify bipolar disorder on brain scans. Likewise, bipolar affects brain biochemistry and neurotransmitters in the brain that produce chemical variations such as oxytocin, GABA, dopamine, and serotonin. These chemicals may be unbalanced in the brains of people with bipolar disorders. But as of yet researchers arent clear on how too little GABA or too much oxytocin-active neurons play a role in the disorder or whether measuring them can help.

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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 don’t 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 isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw it’s a serious medical condition that requires treatment, just like any other condition.


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    The First Step Is To Determine If You Have Bipolar Depression Is Evaluation

    Your doctor may do a physical exam and lab tests to identify any medical problems that could be causing your symptoms. The next step is usually an evaluation by a psychiatrist. They will talk to you about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You may also fill out a psychological self-assessment or questionnaire. With your permission, family members or close friends may be asked to provide information about your symptoms.

    Mood charting is also an effective therapeutic tool. You may be asked to keep a daily record of your moods, sleep patterns or other factors that could help with diagnosis and finding the right treatment. Bipolar depression is a lifelong condition. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of bipolar depression are important to manage them.

    How Do Doctors Treat It

    What to know about bipolar disorder

    Although there’s no cure for bipolar disorder, treatment can help stabilize moods and help the person manage and control symptoms. Like other teens with long-lasting medical conditions , teens with bipolar disorder need to work closely with their doctors and other medical professionals to treat it.

    This team of medical professionals, together with the teen and family, develop what is called a treatment plan. Teens with bipolar disorder will probably receive medication, such as a mood stabilizer, from a psychiatrist or other medical doctor. A psychologist or other type of counselor will provide counseling or psychotherapy for the teen and his or her family. Doctors will watch the symptoms closely and offer additional treatment advice if necessary.

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