Bipolar disorder or manic depression, also known as bipolar depression, is a genetic transfered disease. This is not the same as unipolar depression, that in general has no fundamental biological cause.

What is a bipolar disorder or manic depression?

Bipolar disorder differs from a normal depression due to its bipolar nature. Bipolar means that in one stage, you're down and depressed, and in another stage, you're coming out of the depression and become very euphoric all of the sudden. During the euphoric phase, alo known as bipolar, you risc to take irrealistic or dangerous decisions. Most of the time, the family members are the first to notice this. Most of the decisions have to do with your finances. Due to the euphoric feeling in the manic phase, you think you can handle everything and risk to spend more money than you can. If you're not careful, you make so much debts that you can't pay them off anymore, wich leads to more depression.

An example of bipolar disorder or depression

One day an entrepreneur, owner of a sole trader,came home and told his wife that he had good news: he thought his sole trade could grow very fast and had just signed a contract to purchase 18 trucks.The wife paniced, because she realized that she would be in debt for the rest of her life. Juridicaly, you can't do anything about it when someone has signed an agreement. This example illustrates the disastrous consequenceses that euphoric feelings during a manic phase can cause.

How do you recognize a bipolar disorder or manic depression

  • Extreme moodswings going from feeling down from one moment to another. This is the main sign of bipolar disorder or depression
  • The present of the disease with genetic family members is a strong indicator
  • Financial debts are often a hidden sign of bipolar disorder or depression
  • During a manic phase, you promise things that you can't live up to
  • During manic phases, you can't sleep and stay up late, you even have the feeling that you need few or no sleep at all
  • After a manic phase, the patient collaps and drifts into a depresssion

Antidepressant? Treatment or therapy of bipolar disorder

A bipolar disorder or manic depression needs to be treated with medication in the first place. The best is that you consult a psychiatrist, that has experience in updating antidepressant medication, because that is the work of a specialist. The psychiatrist will prescribe a combination of antidepressant and Lithium. The problem is that the dosation needs to be followed accurate, because a low dosation doesn't work and a high dosation is poisonous for our nervous system. The line between a therapeutic dose and a poisonous dose is thin and needs to be followed-up by a specialist. Luckily most people with depression don't have a manic depression or bipolar depression and there are lot of other ways to treat the depression, for example using the online self-helpprogram 15Minutes4Me.

Treating bipolar disorder using the online self-helpprogram?

Can you treat a bipolar disorder using the online self-helpprogram? The answer is nuanced. Yes, if you take your prescribed medication correct and a psychiatrist follows you up. In this case the program can be a good supplement to handle your moodswings. It's important to point out that a real bipolar disorder needs mecidical treatment.

Treating normal depression using the online self-helpprogram?

For a lot of people that have little moodswings but don't get the diagnose of bipolar depression, the online self-helpprogram is a good treatment. For them, medication often isn't needed and in most cases they can follow the program without antidepressant. Most of these people don't need a specialist to follow them up, but can be followed up by their family doctor.

How to test if you're depressed?

Take the free online depressiontest here to see if you're depressed.

Dr. Paul Koeck