Bipolar affective depression is just one form of depression that a specialist should be easily able to diagnose in a patient.
Upon examination of the symptoms that a patient is currently exhibiting, along with those exhibited in the past, a specialist will be able to recognize whether the form of depression the patient is experiencing is severe or simple.
It is vital that the psychiatrist is able to ascertain whether the patient is suffering from bipolar depression or bipolar disorder, as a different course of treatment is required for each.
A patient suffering from bipolar depression will usually exhibit symptoms that include feelings of sadness, becomes easily irritated, loses all interest in things and places that they previously enjoyed immensely, their overall outlook on life deteriorates, starts to develop an irrational dislike of themselves and has difficulty sleeping.
In addition, a bipolar depressive patient’s mind will become filled with negative thoughts, deteriorating into thoughts of committing suicide. This form of depression often afflicts women.
Bipolar disorder is categorized as an affective disorder (mood disorder). Manic depression, manic-depressive illness and bipolar affective disorder are all names that bipolar disorder is given.
Worldwide, approximately 1 percent of adults have been diagnosed with this disorder. Unlike other forms of depression where women are known to suffer more commonly, bipolar disorder affects men and women equally.
The two types of bipolar depression are: Bipolar disorder I & Bipolar disorder II
Bipolar Disorder I
This is known as the classic version of bipolar disorder and patients suffering from this form go through long periods of depression followed closely by long periods of mania.
Hallucinations and paranoia are common with this form of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder II
Patients suffering from this form of bipolar disorder suffer from at least one hypo-manic period and one extremely depressive period. There is a common misconception surrounding bipolar disorder II, as people often refer to it as a manic episode (cyclothymia).
Bipolar depression sufferers have a tendency to experience extremely low energy levels, physical and mental processes deteriorate and the body becomes dominated by feelings of extreme fatigue.
The patient will feel lethargic (drowsy, feelings of apathy) and may have difficulty sleeping and even become an insomniac. Conversely, the patient may feel an overwhelming need to sleep for longer periods of time than is normal (more than 20 hours at a time).
This is called hypersomnia. Patients with bipolar depression lose interest in things they once found entertaining and will withdraw from social activities.
Bipolar disorder symptoms are extreme and cannot be predicted. Sufferers of bipolar disorder will swing from mania to depression suddenly and abruptly.
During the manic phase, it is common for patients with bipolar disorder to talk incessantly, sleep very little, be hyperactive, indulge in excessive amounts of sex, have an inflated sense of their own self-importance.
In cases where the patient has been diagnosed as being psychotic hallucinations and delusions are also present. During the depressive phase, the sufferer will exhibit the same symptoms as those common to bipolar depression.