Most people know what a depression is, and can recognize it to some extent. But what is bipolar disorder? A bipolar disorder is a type of depression which alternates between depressed periods and manic periods. The characteristics or symptoms of a depressed episode are the same in a depression as they are in bipolar disorder. When you have a bipolar disorder, the difference is that you also have manic episodes. To give a complete overview of the symptoms included in bipolar disorder this article will summarize what a depressive period entails, and also describe the symptoms of a manic phase.

Bipolar disorder? A depressed episode

A depressed period is mainly characterized by a dominating unhappy mood. This mood can be recognized by irritability, unhappiness, crying fits, negative self-perception,.... Furthermore, a lessened interest/capability of having fun is a clear sign of a depressed episode. People with a depression are thus more likely to have a neutral or even negative attitude toward the proposal of doing something fun. It does hardly interest them anymore, if at all. People in a depressive episode can also have a decreased, or increased, appetite. This in its turn will lead to a gain or loss of weight. People with depression often also have problems with sleeping/a disturbance of their sleeping pattern. They have a hard time falling asleep, when they do sleep this sleep is shallow,.... People with depression also often feel very tired and their motor skills will change. It can be so that they are very agitated, or the opposite, react much more slowly. Because of the depressed episode, people with depression will often blame themselves and have feelings of guilt. A symptom which is connected to a negative self-image is indecision. People with depression will have a hard time making choices and will need more time to make said choices. Because of constant worrying thoughts they will also find their ability to focus to be influenced. They, for example cannot focus for an extended period of time or have a hard time paying attention. Some people will notice that this causes them to make more mistakes.

Bipolar disorder? A manic period

A manic episode can be seen as the opposite of a depressed period. It namely is so that one is often extremely euphoric in a manic period. One needs not show this happiness. It can also be so that people are more irritable during a manic episode. The manic period is also combined with a strong reduction in need of sleep. While one in has often given up on talking about things in a depressed episode, a manic episode will often cause an increased need for talking. People want to talk about everything to everyone during this period. Furthermore, people with a manic period also have an exaggerated feeling of self-worth and ideas of greatness. While a depressed episode makes one experience a negative self-image, a manic episode causes one which is too positive. Finally, people in a manic period will experience dis-inhibition. This means that people will not slow down and often cross lines. For example, people in a manic episode can make large purchases, while they already are indebted. They feel little or no inhibition to stop themselves from buying that new washing machine.

Bipolar disorder? '' as treatment

'' is an online self-help program which was developed for depression, burnout, stress, and anxiety. If you have bipolar disorder, you can also sign up for the program. '' namely is based on the solution based system therapy and the cognitive behavioral therapy, which research has shown to be effective against depression. You can log into the program on a daily basis, and will get videos and questions which help you find that which works best for you in order to reduce your symptoms.

Bipolar disorder? Do the self-test

'' offers, except for the program, a free depression test, which will show you to what extent the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress apply to you.