Commonly referred to as manic depression, bipolar depression is a mood disorder characterized by elevated depressive episodes (mania). Having bipolar disorder means experiencing normal moods with sudden bouts of manic behavior that can lead to both delusions and hallucinations. This type of depression is categorized in three main classes including bipolar I, II and Cyclothymia, depending on severity.
Bipolar depression presents different symptoms in different people. You are likely to be in an abnormal depressed state for some time before “recovering” and getting back to your normal usual mood. The change from normal to abnormal state can be very rapid, which leaves you disoriented and unable to focus or concentrate in anything that you do. This type of depression can set in during childhood or early adulthood stage. Of all types of depression, bipolar depression is the most misdiagnosed because a mental health professional has to see any maniac behavior. It is usually misdiagnosed as major depression.
Causes of bipolar depression vary and are usually not the same in all patients. Genetic factor is a major cause of the condition. Studies undertaken have established that different gene chromosomes are responsible for the occurrence of the condition in children born of parents with such genes. Abnormal brain circuits have also been found to play a major role in the development of bipolar depression in most patients. Environmental factors such as tragic or unpleasant interpersonal relationships and life events are also major causes of the condition.
Diagnosing bipolar depression is very involving. A mental health professional will normally want to talk to your family members for the purpose of receiving reports on any abnormal behaviors they have noticed. This is in addition to complaints you present. Although this is usually on an out-patient arrangement, you may be confined in a health care facility in case of serious maniac episodes that can endanger the lives of others and your own. Although there are no biological tests that can be undertaken to establish bipolar depression, a professional can recommend various biological tests to eliminate existence of other mental disorders.
Varied medications are available for treating bipolar depression. Medically referred to as mood stabilizers, such medications are effective in reversing manic behavior and associated episodes, in effect preventing relapses. Lithium carbonate is one of the most popular medications used. It is particularly very effective in treating acute manic behavior. It is also effective in eliminating suicidal thoughts that you may develop. Sodium valproate, Carbamazepine and topiramate are the other medications usually prescribed. Although not effective in treating bipolar depression, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are usually prescribed for the management of symptoms.