So You?ve Been Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder?
If you've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) you are not alone. It has been estimated that over 2 million people in the United States suffer from this form of mental illness which involves episodes of both mania and depression.
Although bipolar disorder usually begins in childhood or early adulthood, it is often not recognized as an illness. And, because it is sometimes misdiagnosed, individuals who have it often suffer needlessly although treatment is available. Left untreated, those with bipolar disorder sometimes experience serious complications, including an inability to keep a stable job, abuse of drugs and alcohol, marriage problems, and even suicide.
Symptoms of mania can include: decreased need for sleep; excessive feelings of euphoria; extreme distractibility; racing thoughts and rapid talking; decreased need for sleep; drug abuse; and a denial that anything is wrong. Depressive symptoms, (the flip-side of mania) may include: difficulty sleeping; loss of appetite; feelings of hopelessness; decreased energy; persistent sad mood; loss of interest in pleasurable activities; and thoughts of death or suicide.
It is important to recognize the various mood states experienced by individuals with bipolar disorder so that they can obtain effective treatment. Unfortunately, this illness often goes unrecognized by everyone involved, including family, friends, physicians, and even the patient.
An early stage of this illness often manifested is hypomania, in which the person suffering from it shows a high level of energy, excessive moodiness or irritability, and impulsive behavior. Ironically, hypomania may feel good to the person who experiences it. Unfortunately though, if left untreated, bipolar disorder tends to get worse, and the person typically will experience episodes of full-fledged mania and clinical depression.
Fortunately, most people with manic depressive illness can be helped with treatment, specifically medications and therapy.
Medications play an important role in helping to stabilize the mood swings often found with this type of mental illness. Lithium has been shown to be very effective in helping to control mania and in stopping the recurrence of both manic and depressive episodes. Several types of antidepressant have also been found useful in combating the depression aspect of bipolar disorder. In severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy is often helpful in treating severe depression that fails to respond to medication.
Therapy from a qualified provider can also be helpful in educating the patient and providing support and guidance to all family members involved. It is important to remember that bipolar disorder is recurrent, and, as such, long-term preventive treatment is indicated in most cases.
Finally, it is important to know that bipolar disorder is a legitimate illness, and that it will not "just go away" if given enough time. Treatment is necessary to help keep the disease under control and a maintenance regimen (including both medications and therapy) may be required over the length of a person's life.
Brian Cook is a freelance writer whose articles on bipolar disorder, and depression in general, have appeared in print and on many websites.
You can find more of these at: http://www.bipolardisordercenter.info
Adult Men and Women Who Suffer From Chronic Depression
Market surveys on women, men and depression suggest an estimated 4.4 million Americans are believed to suffer from chronic treatment-resistant depression. Depression is a chronic, disabling disorder and a major worldwide public health problem. Depressive episodes usually recur over time, with risk for further episodes proportional to the number of prior episodes. After three major depressive episodes, the probability of recurrence is 90%. In the U.S. alone, approximately 18 million people suffer from depression over six million of which are receiving some form of medical treatment.
Do Natural Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Supplements Really Work?
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FDA Deems Vagus Nerve Therapy Approvable as a Treatment for Depression
On February 3, 2005 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified the manufacturer of the vagus nerve stimulator (Cyberonics, Inc.) that it had deemed its VNS Therapy System approvable as a long-term adjunctive treatment for patients over the age of 18 with chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression in a major depressive episode that has not responded to at least four adequate antidepressant treatments. In the approvable letter received today by Cyberonics, FDA indicated that final approval was conditional on final labeling, final protocols for a post-approval dosing optimization study and patient registry.
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Neuromodulation Is Now The Mainstream Therapy For Chronic Depression
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a very misunderstood illness and this is perhaps why there are so many myths about it. Perhaps the most common myth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is that it is effectively a mental condition, and another name for depression. But these two conditions are very different! And when you label a condition incorrectly it can cause no end of problems when trying to diagnose and treat it. So it's extremely important to make the distinction between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and depression - because they are completely different illnesses. For one, depression can be a symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but there are many Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers out there who do not suffer from depression at all. Second, research has shown that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers have an abnormality in their 'deep sleep' brainwave patterns. In contrast, depression sufferers do not have this abnormality. In addition, depression sufferers tend to feel tired all the time, whereas Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers' exhaustion increases notably after mental or physical exertion. There are also symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that are not shared by depression sufferers. Nasty flu-like symptoms, headaches, reversal of sleeping patterns, painful muscles and joints, Restless Legs Syndrome, and an increase in colds and viruses all are just a few symptoms that can play a part in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.These are just a few of the differences between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and depression!Another myth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is that all Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers need to do is to 'pull themselves together' - and they'd be cured...... if only it were that simple!Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is actually a bio-physical condition and was (finally) accepted as such by the UK government in 2001. But no cure has yet been found.Unfortunately there are still many people out there (including some medical professionals) who still think that the condition is 'all in the sufferer's head'.It is because of this misunderstanding that the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome community has fought so hard against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome being wrongly labelled as a mental illness. And it is perhaps because of this battle that depression amongst Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers has often sadly been overlooked...Yet for many, depression can be a very real symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. If you suffer from depression as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferer, then it's vital that you take it very seriously and that you try to address it as soon as possible.If you don't deal with your depression, you are unlikely to be able to recover from any chronic illness......and recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is no exception. It is possible to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So if you do experience depression as a symptom of your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, make it a priority to deal with it. Only that way can you get yourself on the road to recovery.
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Many illnesses, emotional and otherwise, are often said to be genetic in origin. When one is told that their particular problem is of a genetic nature it often leaves them feeling helpless since, to date, the idea of reversing something that is stored deep within one's structural DNA, which exists in every single cell of one's body, is considered an impossibility.
Use Alternative Medicine to Ease Depression
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How To Help A Stressed Or Depressed Loved One
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Depression: One Womans Story
Sharon was talking to a friend on the phone one night. When her friend asked, "How are you?" Sharon suddenly exploded with emotion. Without warning, she began sobbing and literally collapsed in a heap on the floor. Her friend came over and took Sharon's kids for the night. Sharon cried for hours till she fell asleep. It was only the first of many sleepless nights.
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