Bipolar Depression is a serious illness that is treatable not curable. Its characteristics are dramatic mood swings. One can go from a depressed state to a high state of excitation or agitation backed to a depressed state. This can recur many times sometimes in one day, but typically it can happen over days or weeks. There is a variety of mood events that can occur in Bipolar Disorder. Again this is a serious life long illness that must be treated. Only your doctor or a psychiatrist can make the diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made a treatment plan is set-up to help balance out your moods.
Types of Mood Events
Depression marked by a deep sadness that tend not to go away. If you are depressed you may withdraw from family, friends, and activities. There may be sleep and appetite changes.
Mania may begin with a good feeling similar to a "high". You may become extremely agitated, angry, and possibly violent. You may become proactive to taking unnecessary risks.
Hypomania is a lower degree of mania. This makes you feel like you've managed to get something done. It can escalate into full blown mania. Work, family, or daily functioning is not affected. For this reason, diagnosis is often missed and treatment is at best delayed.
Mixed moods are a going back and forth from depression to mania. This too can occur multiple times on one day. This may affect daily functioning. This can be treated and there is a variety of treatments available for doctors to choose from.
Bipolar Depression Treatments
Medication called anti-depressants are often used. These drugs work on the chemicals in the brain – Serotonin and Norepinephrine. These drugs each work in a unique way. Some increases just the Serotonin, some work on both
Psychotherapy is called a variety of things such as talk therapy or counseling. While there are various techniques within psychotherapy, it basically allows you to talk about your life and anything that may be affecting your depression. Trauma, abuse, death of someone close, and / or chronic illnesses can all contribute to your depression and moods.
ECT – Electroconvulsive Therapy or shock treatments are rarely used except in the most serious cases. The side effects of this treatment can be memory loss, confusion, and possibly movement disorders.
TMS – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is done by a doctor. A magnetic coil that gets regular pulses of electricity is passed over the scalp and the pulses penetrate the brain to stimulate the nerve cells. This is currently an experimental procedure. It is believed this procedure has the potential of becoming very precise.
Herbal treatments are becoming more and more popular as people want to avoid the side effects of medication and want to turn to more natural approaches. Herbs have far fewer side effects. Specific herbs that affect mood are blended with other nutritive agents to create a supplement. The highest quality herbal supplements are put through rigorous tests and must meet stringent standards. The ingredients' absorption route is tested at the molecular level and the interactions of the substances are examined. This ensures the potency, effectiveness, and safety of the supplements. You can also be assured that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting. There are or should be no fillers, additives, or preservatives.
Bipolar depression is a life long illness that is very serious and needs treatment. Treatments include medications, various forms of psychotherapy, and medical procedures like Electroconvulsive therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and herbal treatments.
You can, together with your doctor find the right type of treatment for your particular needs.