In the past, bipolar depression was lumped in with regular depression, but an increasing body of research indicates that there are significant differences between the two, particularly in regards to recommended treatments.
Most people with bipolar disorder depression are not helped by antidepressants. In reality, there’s a risk that antidepressants may make bipolar disorder worse triggering mania or hypo mania, causing rapid cycling between mood conditions, or interfering with other mood stabilizing drugs.
- Feeling hopeless, unhappy, or empty
- Inability to experience the joy
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Physical and mental sluggishness
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep issues
- Concentration and memory problems
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Despite many similarities, certain symptoms are more common in bipolar depression than in routine depression. For instance, bipolar depression is more likely to involve irritability, guilt, unpredictable mood swings, and feelings of restlessness. With bipolar depression, you might move and speak slowly, sleep a lot, and gain weight. In addition, you’re more likely to develop psychotic depression–a condition where you lose touch with reality–and also to experience major problems in social and work function.
Some people with bipolar illness develop”rapid cycling” where they undergo four or more episodes of mania or depression within a 12-month period. Mood swings may occur very fast, such as a roller coaster moving from high to low and back again within a period of days or even hours. Quick cycling can leave you feeling dangerously out of control and many commonly occur in case your bipolar disease symptoms are not being adequately treated.
Bipolar I Disorder (mania or a mixed episode) — This is the timeless manic-depressive form of the illness, characterized by at least one manic episode or mixed event. Usually–but not always–Bipolar I Disorder also entails at least one incident of depression.
Bipolar II Disorder (hypo mania and depression) — In Bipolar II disorder, you don’t experience full-blown manic episodes. Instead, the illness involves episodes of hypo mania and acute depression.
On the other hand, the symptoms are less severe than full-blown mania or depression.