Bipolar depression treatment is critical for anyone who is suffering from this debilitating condition. It’s also called manic depression and it can have a major impact on how a person lives and relates to other people. People who are diagnosed as bipolar cannot be cured. However, the bipolar depression treatment options that currently exist can help patients manage the illness and lead productive lives. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, there are two major factors that determine whether a person is at risk for becoming bipolar: genetics and brain structure. Some people suffer from this type of depression because it runs in the families. Others have brains that are wired in a way that makes them susceptible to manic depression.
What is Bipolar Depression?
Bipolar depression treatment is critical because of the nature of the disease. It is intense and the symptoms are severe. When people suffer from bipolar depression, they have periods of extreme depression and then subsequent periods of extreme happiness and joy. The mood swings rock from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, and those mood swings are often inclusive of a range of energy levels. During the depressed periods, a person can barely get out of bed and is unable to function or complete simple daily living tasks. During the manic periods, they are often over-energized and unable to modify their behavior and activities. The suddenness and extreme nature of the mood swings are confusing and pathological.
If you have this condition, you need bipolar depression treatment immediately. People who have this illness are also at serious risk for substance abuse, suicide and other catastrophes. Poor judgment is a common theme among individuals who suffer from this type of depression, and without proper bipolar depression treatment, things can go from bad to worse very quickly.
Symptoms of Bipolar Depression
Bipolar disorder or manic depression comes with a number of symptoms. The most common symptom is the frequent mood episodes, where an extreme emotional state is taking over a person’s life. Look for mood changes, such as intense irritability, or serious highs and lows that are out of the ordinary. You’ll know someone needs bipolar depression treatment if you notice that moods are never reliable or balanced. People with this illness zip back and forth between the outer extremes of their emotions.
The behavioral symptoms to look for will depend if the person is having a “high” mood episode or a “low” mood episode. Talking at a rapid rate and moving quickly and almost nonsensically from one subject to another is a symptom of manic behavior. Restlessness and an inability to sleep are also indicative of this disorder. Changes in the way a person eats, acts or talks is another major symptom. Bipolar depression treatment is needed when someone you love begins talking about suicide or fantasizing about death.
As with all mental illnesses, the symptoms of bipolar depression manifest themselves in different ways. The most important thing to look for are the mood swings that go beyond regular shifts in emotional energy.
Bipolar Depression Treatment Options
When it comes to seeking bipolar depression treatment, it is important to get help quickly and from the most qualified professionals you can find. Medication is often prescribed to keep the patient’s mood stabilized. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are also usually prescribed for bipolar depression treatment.
Another bipolar depression treatment is electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. This is most often used when a patient isn’t responding to medication and the symptoms of bipolar depression persist. An inpatient program is usually required for this type of therapy, especially when a person is in the middle of a manic depressive episode that could be harmful if left untreated.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is always a necessary bipolar depression treatment to include, even if the individual is getting help through ECT and/or medication. Through therapy sessions, feelings of depression can be explored and the root causes discussed. Symptoms of this illness will be present in a person’s life, even while the medication is being taken. It’s important to understand how to manage those symptoms and feelings of mania. Cognitive therapy in this form has proven to be an effective supplement to bipolar depression treatment. Play therapy can be effective as well, especially if a young child is experiencing early signs of bipolar depression. Play is an easy and safe way to sort out emotions and keep moods balanced and minds focused.
Taking bipolar depression treatment seriously is very important. A person suffering from this type of disease has to get help. It’s not something that will simply go away or take care of itself. Self-medication is dangerous and ignoring the symptoms will only make the illness worse, and put the individual suffering from it in danger.