It is perfectly normal to feel unhappy, depressed or sad sometimes. However, when these feelings do not want to go away and last for long period of times, you may be suffering from clinical depression or another mood disorder and should seek clinical help. Today there is no reason to have to suffer from the debilitating effects of depression. Bipolar is another mood disorder; it is generally characterized by moods of elevation and depression. However these moods do not occur in predictable pattern. A bipolar patient can have several bouts of depression lasting several weeks or months each before there is a mood change. The severity of mood swings also varies from person to person. Bipolar is a very complicated mood disorder that can take several different forms, each characterized by episodes of bipolar mania and bipolar depression. Bipolar mania may include feelings of: euphoria; irritability; increased energy; fast talk and racing thoughts; inflated self-esteem; little need for sleep; and impulsiveness. Bipolar depression can include: depressed mood; low self-esteem; low energy; suicidal thoughts; sadness; slow speech; suicidal feelings; and poor concentration. Moods can even rapid-cycle with each mood lasting only a few hours. This is a very dangerous time for the patient who is depressed and has energy to act on this unhappiness.
Both clinical depression and bipolar disorder can be diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation with a skilled psychiatrist. Both of these disorders can have a genetic component although that is not necessary for diagnosis. Often times these disorders do appear seemingly out of the blue. Some people with bipolar disorder have been shown to have physical changes in their brains which may or may not be relevant. An imbalance in neurotransmitters can play a role in bipolar and clinical depression disorders. However, there is no definitive known reason why these disorders occur. The good news is they almost always can be effectively treated. And treatment is critical; more than one of every 10 people with depression commits suicide. If you know a loved one who is presenting suicidal symptoms either contact a mental health professional right away or go the emergency room for immediate evaluation.
Both clinical depression and bipolar disorder can be effectively treated so that the patient can lead a productive and high quality of life. A psychiatrist will need to evaluate each case on an individualized basis and then present the best course of treatment. Depression can be treated with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Bipolar disorder is generally treated with medicines to control the manic and depressive episodes, as well as psychotherapy. Medicines need to be properly balanced so that the patient is content and productive, without experiencing flattened moods.