Depression and bipolar disorders are common psychological problems. Both of these classes of disorders can affect an individual’s mood. Individuals with these disorders experience intense dread, sadness, and worry. The level of sadness and depressed mood can trigger feelings of worthlessness, pessimism, and even suicidal thoughts. Depressive and bipolar disorders can be severe enough to be classified as life threatening. Treatment for these disorders often includes a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Depression Signs, Symptoms and Treatments
Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders and will affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. People suffering from depression might experience extreme sadness, loss of interest in daily activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- The depressed individual loses interest in formerly important people/activities
- Depressed individuals are more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs, due to their temporary antidepressant effects
- The individual can experience a sleep disorder such as insomnia
- Thoughts of death or suicide on a regular basis
- There may be concentration or memory issues which affect his/her ability to function at work or school
- There may be excessive recurrent thoughts about the loss that triggered the depression or other negative perceptions
How Depression Can Affect You
Depression is a psychological disorder that can affect how you think and feel, as well as your social functioning and sense of physical well-being. We have all felt sad, tired, or discouraged at one time or another, but this is not depression. These feelings usually pass once we adjust to the new stresses in our lives. If these feelings continue to intensify and begin to interfere with your daily life (including work or schooling), it may be depression.
Once identified, most people with depression are successfully treated. Unfortunately, many people with depression are not diagnosed since the symptoms can strongly mimic physical illness. In fact, nearly two-thirds of depressed people do not get proper treatment.
Treatments for Depression
Dr. Drutman and Ms. Schechtman are qualified to diagnose depression and to create and execute a specialized treatment plan. Depression is usually treated with psychotherapy, medicine, or a combination of the two. Behavior therapy focuses on techniques that retrain you to think and react to events differently. This approach attacks the depression as a set of symptoms and treats the problems at a symptom level. For many people, it is an effective and long lasting treatment. Medications can help relieve the most severe symptoms, but it does not normally treat everything. It is recommended that medicine be used in conjunction with psychological therapy.
BiPolar Signs, Symptoms, Types and Treatments
An individual experiencing drastic swings in mood and behaviors characterizes Bipolar Disorder, formerly known as manic depression. The highs and lows range from a high-energy manic state to major depression. A person suffering from Bipolar Disorder typically exhibits symptoms associated with depression during the depressed stage, but might feel relieved of those symptoms during the manic phase of the illness. More frequently individuals with bipolar disorder are depressed more often than they are manic. The manic phase can feel good with an extreme sense of excitement and high energy, but can lead to irresponsible behavior and the inability to sleep.
Individuals may experience normal moods in between episodes, may present more mild forms or have mixed episodes where they experience both mania and depression at the same time. Cycles may last months, or individuals may experience rapid cycling. Unfortunately left untreated or undiagnosed, the disorder can be destructive to living a normal daily life.
Signs and Symptoms of BiPolar Disorder
- when not depressed energy and mood is higher than average person
- experience mood swings between extreme highs, the manic stage, and extreme lows, the depression stage
- while manic may be irresponsible and hyperactive
- lose contact with reality when depressed
- often oversleep and overeat during depression
- during depressed phase often show symptoms of depression
Types of BiPolar Disorder
Different types of the disorder exist defined by the pattern among episodes of depression, mania and hypomania. This range is sometimes referred to as the bipolar spectrum. Bipolar I Disorder is the most severe, with most individuals experiencing mania and depression. Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by repeated major depression and hypomania, which is a mild form of mania. Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder, where the mood cycles exist but are between mild depression and hypomania. This type should be monitored, even if mild, because there is a risk of it developing into a more serious type.
Accurate Diagnosis of BiPolar
The misdiagnosis of individuals with bipolar disorder can happen as it can be hard to distinguish between it and major depression, ADHD, thyroid problems, and other medical conditions, which can have symptoms of mood swings. The misdiagnosis of major depression may occur because more often patients seek help during the depressive stage of the disorder. This can be dangerous because often the treatment such as antidepressants for clinical depression can make manic depression worse.
Getting the Help from Atlanta Behavioral Consultants
The disorder is lifelong and unpredictable, but if it’s not treated, the mood swings and changes in behavior can be destructive. The varying episodes can make it hard to lead a normal life, but treatment, medication, and support can help toward recovery. Effective treatment helps stop some symptoms and lessens the intensity and frequency of manic and depressive episodes. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to avoiding problems, and treatment is most affective with education, support, good choices, and commitment to a plan.
To learn more or get help from professionals who have experience with treating bipolar disorder, please call Caroline Leavitt, Ph.D. at 770.592.0150