Bi-Polar and Depression

Are you or a loved one struggling with bi-polar or depression syndromes?

Bi-Polar Disorder

‚ÄčThis is a disorder of effect, characterized by the occurrence of alternating manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes, alternating with major depressive episodes. The DSM-5 specifies the commonly observed patterns found in Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and cyclothymia and lists them as distinctly unique diagnostic patterns.

Depression

This is a mental state characterized by a constellation of symptoms including:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Despair
  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-reproach
  • Psychomotor retardation (or less frequently, agitation)
  • Withdrawal from social contacts
  • Vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of pleasure
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep changes
  • Tearfulness
  • Thoughts of death or suicidal ideation
  • Lack of concentration

Major Depression

This is a long term phase of depression that is characterized by a depressed mood lasting at least 2 weeks with specified criteria in the DSM including:

  • Depression of mood
  • Anhedonia (is an inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, social interaction or sexual activities)
  • Sleep and appetite disturbances
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feeling guilty
  • Hopelessness

Diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Marked reduction of interest or pleasure in virtually all activities, or both, lasting for at least 2 weeks.

In addition, 3 or more of the following must be present:

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • increased or decreased level of psychomotor activity
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feeling worthless
  • Diminished ability to concentrate
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (this includes a plan to commit suicide)

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