This series of articles will give a brief overview of the different types of depression, this article will focus on Bi Polar Depression. If you are looking for a definition of a specific type of depression that is not Bi Polar Depression click one of the links below.
Major Depression Disorder
Post Natal Depression
Bi Polar Depression or more specifically Bi Polar Disorder was previously known and is still often referred to as Manic Depressive Disorder, or may otherwise be called Bipolarism, or Manic Depression. Bi Polar Depression is more common than you may think, inflicting approximately 2% of the population.
Bi Polar Depression is so called due to the extreme moods swings (or cycling high and low) that a sufferer can experience. From extreme highs of euphoria to and feelings of invincibility to the despairing lows of complete helplessness and despair. The low moods swings are often accompanied with thoughts of suicide.
Sufferers of Bi Polar Depression may experience the degree of symptoms from mild to severe. In the extreme cases the moods swings from high to low can occur quickly, this is known as "rapid cycling" and can lead to episodes of psychotic symptoms including hallucinations and delusion. Rapid Cycling is defined as more than 4 cycles (mood swings) in a 12 month period. More frequent cycling has been documented at between 24 to 48 hours and is known as "ultra-ultra cycling" or "ultradian cycling".
People with Bi Polar Depression often have very active minds and as a result can suffer from sleeping disorders. Conversly sufferers of Bi Polar Depression can also feel as though they have a great deal of energy at times however they often lack concentration and are unable to complete many goals. It is very difficult for a person suffering Bi Polar Depression to study or to produce quality work for any length of time.
Most cases of Bi Polar Depression are diagnosed in late adolescence or early adult-hood and sufferers can expect the symptoms to last for many years. Genetics and environmental factors are usually seen as the more common triggers with Bi Polar Depression.
Treatment of Bi Polar Depression can include mood stabilising medication, and Psychotherapy. In the more extreme case an in particular the cases where self harm is a possibility the sufferer of Bi Polar Depression my be committed to a psychiatric facility, often involuntarily.