When a person has experienced their first manic episode they are notably considered to have Bipolar Depression. This is known as a chronic illness as the majority of people who have had one episode generally have more episodes to follow. According to statistics at least four episodes must occur in a single year, where there has been no given preventative treatment.
Each individual is unique in the patterns of depression, manic episodes and mood cycles that are displayed in combinations. Once these patterns have been identified, it becomes easier to recognise an oncoming episode. Bipolar Depression according to some studies show that the chances of developing Bipolar Depression is to do with genetics. The disorder is normally detected in adolescence or in a young adult. As the condition is continuous in episodes, those affected will find it may last their whole life.
There are not many who are informed enough about Bipolar Disorder, as society is usually quite blase about it. The two major types are Bipolar I and II. What distinguishes the two different types is the presence of a manic episode in one. In order to understand the differences you need to learn about depressive and manic episodes which can occur.
There are different symptoms which are characteristic of a depressive episode. Happiness is either diminished or not present, persistent depressive mood, loss of interest in everyday activities and social ones, fatigue, feeling unworthy, deep guilt feelings, lack of concentration, sleep disturbance, restless, move about slowly, constant thoughts about death and suicide.
When up to five of these depressive symptoms present themselves in a person for a minimum two weeks such as lack of pleasure in everyday activities or feeling depressed, this will manifest itself into a depressive episode. The symptoms come about without the use of drug or alcohol abuse or any contributory medical condition, and more to do with considerable distress or when the mind is in turmoil.
Manic episodes also display different symptoms such as talking incessantly, more energy so less sleep is required, grandiose ideas, racing thoughts, are easily distracted, and their self confidence becomes magnified. A person may engage in ridiculous spending sprees, untoward sexual behaviour and increase in reaching goals or targets.
The DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) which belongs to the APA (American Psychiatric Association), states that when a person experiences mood disturbances which can be persistent, inexplicable euphoria along with three or more symptoms for at least a week, so that a person loses the ability to function normally but is productive, this is a manic episode. The criteria for a manic episode is that it is not due to alcohol or drug abuse or an underlying medical condition.
Notice the slight differences to Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders. In Bipolar I an individual will have had one manic episode and depressive episodes. A person with Bipolar II disorder will experience at least one episode of hypomania episode and no presence of manic episodes. Don't confuse the two - the difference between the two is that in Bipolar I disorder they will have had the experience a manic episode.
Bipolar Disorder is classified as two types because of the symptoms already mentioned which are graded in severity. This is because we can distinguish between how a manic episodes occurs in a person, rather than how the disorder impairs them. Depending on the degree of occurrence of the mania and not on the levels of impairment that cause the disorder, is how the classification is determined on these disorders.
Every person who has Bipolar Disorder is unique in the symptoms they experience. Those that are diagnosed with Bipolar I all have differing degrees of adaptation, distress and impairment. Each level is variable on a wide spectrum which can all be distinguished. Those that are diagnosed with Bipolar II are also affected on a similar scale.
This type of mental disorder should be made more aware so that people can recognise the symptoms before someone is diagnosed. It is also useful to know in case a person you know or yourself should develop the disorder. Useful information and appropriate treatment can be gained by asking a doctor or other health professional. By educating yourself, it is useful having knowledge of Bipolar disorder to help family, friends or other important that you come across in your life. This is a huge learning curve and a valuable step towards recovery and a better, healthier life.
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