Bipolar Disorder

Life is a potpourri of emotions

Joy, sadness, anger, jealousy, excitement, and every other possible feeling. It is acceptable to be happy at all times, but an idyllic life is not easily attainable. Everyone has moments in their lives when they can be merely upset, or uncontrollably miserable. As long as these feelings of unhappiness are subdued, and expressed only in a few instances, it is not considered abnormal. But, what happens when this sadness becomes persistent? What happens when a person is constantly overcome with dejection and starts feeling insignificant?

Depression is defined as a mood disorder that causes prolonged feelings of despondency. People suffering from depression are always gloomy, with an air of desolation about them. They often lose the will to live life to the fullest, instead choosing to be holed up in one place and mull over their ill fate. Depressed people are easily irritable, and tend to get frustrated over small matters. They may suffer from insomnia and other such sleep disorders and even experience weakness and fatigue. Their movements are labored, their mental functioning may not be normal, and they may also have unexplained physical problems, such as headaches and back pain. They lose interest in life and are often overcome with feelings of worthlessness.

Six types of depression which have varying symptoms:

  • Major depressive disorder, where patients function abnormally and are unable to sleep, eat, or do any other routine activities.
  • Dysthymic disorder, where people experience depression for prolonged periods of time, such as years together.
  • Psychotic depression involves hallucinations, delusions, and withdrawal from reality.
  • Postpartum depression is experienced by mothers for a short period after they have given birth.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is when patients are depressed only in the months of winter, and perfectly normal at other times.
  • Bipolar disorder or manic depression is when a person has both moments of extreme highs and lows in a short interval of time.
  • Researchers attribute depression to a combination of biological, environmental, genetic, and psychological factors. Biological differences, where people have physical changes in their brains, are found to be a major cause of depression. When either neurotransmitters in the brain or hormones in the body are in a state of imbalance, it might trigger depression. At times, depression may run in families, with people becoming victims because of their predecessors. Research has shown that our genes may determine our susceptibility to depression, and that our vulnerability is largely influenced by genetic factors. Another common cause of depression is experiencing a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one, stress, or childhood events.
  • There are some factors that may increase the risk of developing depression, such as abuse of alcohol, low self-esteem, chronic illnesses, medications, and all the aforementioned causes.
  • Early detection and treatment of depression are practical, and it is necessary for patients to approach a doctor in case they experience any symptoms. Physical problems, such as a headache, fatigue, and sleep disorder, or mental problems, such as suicidal tendency or overwhelming feeling of sadness are all signs that can be detected before any complications arise.
  • Depression can be treated by various methods, such as medication and psychotherapy. Antidepressants are commonly used, and patients can be admitted to hospitals and other residential treatment programs. Psychotherapy includes 
  • To avoid depression, there are a few simple lifestyle changes that can be made. People can be happier and healthier, and do more exciting activities. They can spend time with their families, and share their problems with others, so they won’t have to suffer in solitude. All in all, everyone should lead a happy, stress-free life.

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