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What Is Bipolar Depression Disorder

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What Is A Manic Episode

What is bipolar disorder? – Helen M. Farrell

In this cyclic disorder, manic episodes, or mania, refer to the up periods of abnormally elevated, euphoric mood or sustained intense irritability. Mania is further characterized by additional symptoms such as greater feelings of importance or confidence in personal abilities, a reduced need for sleep, excessive talkativeness, racing thoughts, increased distractibility, greater participation in or completion of activities, and/or increased risktaking behaviors . When the mood shift is irritable rather than euphoric, it is often significant enough to result in physical fights or potentially serious legal consequences. Individuals may also experience psychotic symptoms during a manic episode. Any or all of these symptoms can negatively impact an individuals social, academic, or job functioning and may even result in hospitalization. Often these symptoms are noticed first by other people, such as family members, friends, or a doctor, before the individual becomes aware of them. Depending on the severity and duration of the mood symptoms, it may qualify as either a full manic episode or a lowerseverity hypomanic episode.

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 dont 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.

Depression In Overall Morbidity

Of note, overall time in depressive phases of BD, and duration of depressive episodes are much greater than in mania or hypomania . Moreover, morbidity has been surprisingly high in BD despite supposedly effective treatment. Indeed, BD patients averaged 45% of time ill during long-term follow-up, and depression accounted for 72% of time-ill, and somewhat more with BD-II than BD-I .

Table 1 Depressive morbidity in clinically treated bipolar disorder subjects.

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Who Does Bipolar Disorder Affect

Bipolar disorder can affect anyone. The average age of onset is 25 years, but, more rarely, it can start as early as early childhood or as late as in your 40s or 50s.

Although bipolar disorder affects people assigned female at birth and people assigned male at birth in equal numbers, the condition tends to affect them differently.

People AFAB with bipolar disorder may switch moods more quickly. When people with bipolar disorder experience four or more manic or depressive episodes in a year, this is called rapid cycling. Varying levels of sex hormones and thyroid hormones, together with the tendency for people AFAB to be prescribed antidepressants, may contribute to the more rapid cycling in this population.

People AFAB with bipolar disorder may also experience more periods of depression than people AMAB.

How Do Doctors Treat It

What are the Symptoms of 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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Bipolar Disorder And Stigma

Many of us have heard of bipolar disorder, but this doesn’t mean we all fully understand the diagnosis.

You might find that some people have:

  • Misconceptions about you
  • A negative or inaccurate image of bipolar disorder

This can feel very upsetting. Especially if the person who thinks this way is a friend, colleague, family member or healthcare professional.

Remember: you are not alone and you don’t have to put up with people treating you badly.

You might want to think about the following options:

  • Show people this information. It might help them better understand what your bipolar disorder diagnosis means.
  • Get more involved in your treatment. You can have a say in your treatment, make your voice heard, and take steps if youre not happy with your care.For guidance, see our pages onseeking help for a mental health problem.
  • Know your rights. The law can help you in certain situations. For more information, see our pages onlegal rights.
  • Take action with Mind. For details of ways you can get involved in helping challenge stigma, see our page oncampaigning.

For more information, see our page on stigma and misconceptions about mental health.

What helps me the most is the ongoing realisation and acceptance that the way in which my bipolar disorder manifests itself, and the symptoms I display, are not personality traits or ‘bad behaviour’.

What does bipolar mean?

The word bipolar has two parts:

  • Bi meaning ‘two’
  • Polar meaning ‘completely opposite’

Can Bipolar Turn Into Depression

While one disorder cannot evolve into or become another, its possible that someone diagnosed with depression experiences the symptoms of bipolar disorder later in life1, or that someone with bipolar is misdiagnosed initially with major depressive disorder, because of the similarity of the disorders symptoms.

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Bipolar Disorder And Depression

Bipolar disorder and depression are both considered mood disorders. Bipolar disorder causes emotional highs and lows, while depression causes a constantly low mood.

The bi in the word bipolar means two. In bipolar disorder, you shift between two poles, or mood extremes. You have very high moods and very low moods .

Depression is considered unipolar. Uni means one. Depression features just one mood: a down or sad feeling that lasts for at least 2 weeks.

The depressive episodes in bipolar disorder can look just like those seen in major depression. The occurrence of at least one manic episode distinguishes unipolar depression from bipolar depression.

However, with bipolar disorder, you can have depressive episodes for many years before your first manic episode appears. And the wrong diagnosis can delay you from getting the treatment you need.

This article will help you understand more about bipolar depression and major depression. You can use it as a guide when you talk with your doctor about your symptoms.

The depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are similar to major depression. Both conditions cause:

  • extreme sadness or hopelessness
  • irritability

Bipolar disorder has three distinct types:

People with mania experience symptoms of depression about one-third of the time, according to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Those with hypomania have depression about half the time. Either way, depressive symptoms can be a cause for concern.

Bipolar Disorder And Depression Treatment In Malibu

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Treatment for mood disorders and anxiety disorders can differ on a case-by-case basis. Co-occurring conditions can complicate treatment and may require specialized inpatient or outpatient plans. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or another mood disorder, its important to understand your treatment options and how they work. Find someone who can talk you through the recovery process step by step and help prepare your loved ones for their supporting roles.

For more information about treatment options for bipolar disorder and depression, reach out to us. Start your journey to improving and prioritizing your mental health today with Amend Treatment in Malibu.

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Suicide And Treatment With Antidepressants

Suicide cannot be treated but only prevented . Research on treatments aimed at suicide prevention, not surprisingly, is very limited because of clinical and ethical problems arising if an inactive or ineffective treatment, such as placebo, were compared to an experimental intervention, with death as a potential outcome. In addition, it is virtually impossible to know when a suicide has been prevented, whereas suicidal acts or surrogate measures can be counted. Rarity of suicide, even among psychiatric patients, encourages research reliance on more prevalent measures related to suicide, including suicidal ideation, threats, self-injurious acts, or emergency interventions. However, the typically distant relationship of such measures to suicide limits their value in testing for therapeutic effects on suicide itself. Relating treatments to suicidal risks is further complicated by uncertain long-term adherence to recommended treatments . Treatments for BD considered for possible suicide-prevention include antidepressants, anticonvulsants and lithium, antipsychotics, ECT, and psychosocial interventions .

Table 3 Treatments aimed at reducing suicidal risk in bipolar disorder patients

Symptoms Of Manic Episodes

Episodes of mania and hypomania are prevalent features of bipolar disorder. While the signs of mania may at first be a pleasant diversion from the dark depressive episodes, the manic phase can also be destabilizing and self-destructive.

Symptoms include:

  • Racing thoughts and difficulty staying focused, easily distracted
  • Rapid speech
  • Impulsive behaviors, using poor judgment
  • Risky behaviors, such as substance use or sexual promiscuity
  • Psychosis

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What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment

If you arent happy with your treatment you can:

  • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
  • ask for a second opinion,
  • get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
  • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
  • make a complaint.

There is more information about these options below.

How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?

You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.

Whats a second opinion?

A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.

You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.

What is advocacy?

An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.

Important Safety Information And Indications For Latuda

Bipolar disorder symptoms, risk factors, and interesting facts.


Increased risk of death in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis. Medicines like LATUDA can raise the risk of death in elderly people who have lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss . LATUDA is not approved for the treatment of people with dementia-related psychosis.

Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment and when the dose is changed. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed. Report any change in these symptoms immediately to the doctor.

LATUDA may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Increased fat levels in your blood
  • Weight gain. You and your health care provider should check your weight regularly during treatment with LATUDA
  • Increased prolactin levels in your blood . Your health care provider may do blood tests to check your prolactin levels during treatment with LATUDA. Tell your health care provider if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of hyperprolactinemia:
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    Is Bipolar Depression Worse Than Unipolar Depression

    Some research has found that people with bipolar disorder, when not in a depressed phase, are worse at regulating happy and sad emotions than are those with depression.2 Also, bipolar disorder features more phases than does major depressive disorder, including mania, hypomania and depression.

    But in terms of severity, neither disorder is worse, or better, than the other.

    American Psychological Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2013.

    FAQ Sources:

  • ODonovan C and Alda M. Depression Preceding Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Front Psychiatry. Published online 2020 Jun 11. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00500. Accessed March 8, 2022
  • Rive M et al. State-Dependent Differences in Emotion Regulation Between Unmedicated Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Jul 72:687-96. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0161. Accessed March 8, 2022
  • Whats The Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder And Bipolar Disorder

    While borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder have similar symptoms and are often confused for each other, theyre distinct conditions.

    BPD involves a longstanding pattern of abrupt, moment-to-moment swings in moods, behavior and self-image that are often triggered by conflicts in interactions with other people. Nonsuicidal self-injury is also common in BPD but not in bipolar disorder.

    Bipolar disorder is different from BPD because it involves distinct, longer-lasting episodes of mania/hypomania and/or depression. Several things can trigger manic or depressive episodes, such as sleep changes, stress, medications and substance use.

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    What Are The Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar disorder can be treated. It’s a long-term condition that needs ongoing care. People who have four or more mood episodes in a year, or who also have drug or alcohol problems, can have forms of the illness that are much harder to treat.

    Treatment can make a huge difference. With a combination of things — good medical care, medication, talk therapy, lifestyle changes, and the support of friends and family — you can feel better. Bipolar disorder — or manic depression, as it is also still sometimes called — has no known cure. It is a chronic health condition that requires lifetime management. Plenty of people with this condition do well they have families and jobs and live normal lives.


    • Antidepressant-antipsychotic drugs, a combination of an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer

    • Anti-anxiety medications or sleep medicines, such as sedatives like benzodiazepines

    It can take a while to find the right combination for you. You may need to try a few things before you and your doctor figure out what works best. Once you do, itâs important to stay on your medication and talk with your doctor before stopping or changing anything.

    Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their doctors about medications that are safe to take.

    Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is often recommended, too. There are several different types. Options can include:

    Other treatment options for bipolar disorder can include:

    Lifestyle changes may also help:

    The Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder And Sex Drive

    Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

    During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder may engage in certain impulsive behaviors. For some people, this kind of behavior can involve a preoccupation with sex and a heightened sex drive, leading to unprotected sex or risky sexual situations with potentially damaging consequences, both physical and emotional. Hypersexuality, or an increased interest in sex, is known to be a symptom of bipolar disorder, though the research on the subject is limited.

    Learn More About Bipolar Disorder and Sex Drive

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    Bipolar Disorder In Children And Teens

    Diagnosing bipolar disorder in children is controversial, largely because children dont always display the same bipolar disorder symptoms as adults. Their moods and behaviors may also not follow the standards doctors use to diagnose the disorder in adults.

    Many bipolar disorder symptoms that occur in children also overlap with symptoms of other conditions that commonly occur in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .

    However, in the last few decades, doctors and mental health professionals have come to recognize the condition in children. A diagnosis can help children get treatment, but reaching a diagnosis may take many weeks or months. It may be worth seeking care from a professional who specializes in treating children with mental health conditions.

    Like adults, children with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood shifts. They can appear very happy and show signs of excitable behavior, or seem very tearful, low, and irritable.

    All children experience mood changes, but bipolar disorder causes distinct and noticeable mood symptoms. Mood changes are also usually more extreme than a childs typical change in mood.

    Living With Bipolar Disorder

    Treatment can help you manage mood episodes and cope with the symptoms they cause.

    Creating a care team can help you get the most out of treatment. Your team might involve:

    • your primary doctor
    • a psychiatrist who manages your medications
    • a therapist or counselor who provides talk therapy
    • other professionals or specialists, such as a sleep specialist, acupuncturist, or massage therapist
    • a bipolar disorder support group, or community of other people also living with bipolar disorder

    You may need to try a few treatments before you find one that leads to improvement. Some medications work well for some people but not others. In a similar vein, some people find CBT very helpful, while others may see little improvement.

    Its always best to be open with your care team about what works and what doesnt. If something doesnt help or makes you feel even worse, dont hold back from letting them know. Your mental health matters, and your care team should always support you in finding the most helpful approach.

    A little self-compassion can go a long way, too. Keep in mind that bipolar disorder, like any other mental health condition, didnt happen by choice. Its not caused by anything you did or didnt do.

    Its OK to feel frustrated when treatment doesnt seem to work. Try to have patience and treat yourself kindly as you explore new approaches.

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