Ins and outs of bipolar depression

Ins and outs of bipolar depression

Overall, depression isn’t limited to just sadness or despair. The repercussions of depression are more intense and severe than any other forms of mental disorders. Compared to other mind-wrecking morbidities, bipolar depression is one such disorder that inflicts the elevated levels of distress capable of causing acute suffering.

Bipolar depression refers to the depressive phase of bipolar disorder, which is more disruptive and debilitating than the manic phase. Moreover, the phase of depression lasts longer than mania. The symptoms of bipolar depression can disturb a person’s occupational or academic life, affect his or her relationships, and interrupt his or her daily activities.

The feeling of moving from a placid state to a dark abyss can be quite disturbing, confounding and debilitating in nature. It is natural to feel sad and low sometimes, however, when these symptoms linger and become agonizing, it is a warning sign of a full-blown depression.

Despite the fact that this is a treatable disease, many individuals fail to perceive the warning signs and get the required assistance. Because bipolar depression has a tendency to compound without treatment, it is essential to know the warning signs to ensure faster recovery.

Inefficacy in differentiating bipolar depression from unipolar depression

Bipolar depression is primarily characterized by the fluctuating states of depression and mania that induce abnormal levels of both high and low mood.

Based on the severity and duration of the symptoms, numerous subtypes of bipolar depression have been delineated. By impairing the ability of performing the basic functions, people suffering from bipolar depression are robbed of their desires, motivation, self-esteem, etc.

Some of the eye-opening facts about bipolar depression is that it tends to occur more frequently than mania. While the ratio is somewhere around 3:1 in case of bipolar I, it skyrockets to 40:1 in the case of bipolar II.

Moreover,  it is often challenging to differentiate bipolar depression from unipolar depression due to the overlapping of the symptoms. As a result, several research and studies have highlighted inefficacies in diagnosing both the disorders. In fact, more than 50 percent of people with bipolar are often misdiagnosed with unipolar depression. Oftentimes, people with bipolar depression exhibit symptoms that are atypical to unipolar depression, such as increased eating, sleeping and immense reduction in energy levels.

Furthermore, people with bipolar depression report worsening of the antidepressant therapy. This is due to misdiagnosis and inadequacy in treating bipolar depression due to the similarity with unipolar depression. Due to misdiagnosis, medical practitioners have the tendency to treat bipolar depression as unipolar depression using antidepressants alone, this further debilitates the condition and provokes a manic episode.

Possible triggers of bipolar depression

Stress, being an inescapable part of life, can act as a prime trigger for bipolar depression. A study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, stressed that negative or stressful life events are some of the possible triggers of mood swings, depressive symptoms and functional impairment.

According to psychiatrist Jeffrey Bennett, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, people with bipolar disorder are seven to eight times more vulnerable to encounter an unwanted and extended period of extreme mood shift. Moreover, they fail in handling a stressful life event despite using coping mechanisms. Other possible triggers include:

  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Conflict and stressful interactions in relationships or with other people at work
  • Abusing drugs, such as alcohol, that induce depressive episodes
  • Death of a loved one

Ways to manage bipolar depression

When someone you love is diagnosed with the symptoms of bipolar depression, it is essential to offer emotional or practical support to help make his or her journey less daunting. Moreover, it is recommended to learn more about the illness and its symptoms to offer a patient ear to the ones enduring this misery.

You can also support such patients by contacting the Arizona Depression Helpline to locate the best depression rehab centers in Arizona. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-233-3895 or chat online to get the details about the depression treatment programs in Arizona.