Thursday, January 10, 2013
Summarizes symptoms, causes, and treatments for unipolar and bipolar disorders.
Depression may be described as feelings of sadness, and as a miserable or an unhappy state of being. One’s feelings of depression are not thought of as a psychological disorder until they interfere with one’s normal or daily life. Clinical depression is a mood disorder where the same feelings as stated before and feelings of frustration, anger or loss interfere or hinder or interfere one’s daily functioning for weeks and maybe months. The symptoms of depression are thought of as manifestations of pathological physiological processes (Diamond, 2008). However the symptoms can be diagnosed and treated accordingly by specific treatments according to the extent of depression; to reduce one’s suffering and to prolong one’s life. Some symptoms of depression are the lack or loss of pleasure as far as in one’s interest or activities, weight loss, lack or loss of energy, and even thoughts of hurting oneself and death or suicide. Depression is seen as having two types and the distinction of the two types is crucial in terms of diagnosis, treatment, and maybe even the survival of one who is trying to endure it (White, 2012).
There are several theories as to what causes or is the cause depression, but none of these theories have any unequivocally proven evidence. Williams (2012), “if a depression is to be considered bipolar in nature a degree of mania is either a part of the equation or will be in fairly short order” (p. 1). Therefore it is consider a bipolar disorder. However if no mania is present in depression then it is considered a unipolar disorder. Diamond (2008), “research indicates the likelihood of at least some genetic predisposition to unipolar and bipolar depression, as well as psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder” (p. 1). However biological predisposition is not seen as causation (Diamond, 2008). Stress, loss, trauma, isolation, frustration, substance abuse, meaninglessness, and chronically repressed rage might be, and frequently are, significant if not key contributing factors in bipolar and unipolar disorders (Diamond, 2008).
Bipolar disorder (manic depression) is a mood disorder where one who suffers from it alternates between extreme poles of emotion, and frequently has periods of mania and depression. Dr. Lawlis asserts “the newly discovered evidence that brain scans show a significant signature for bipolar disorder” (as cited in Diamond, 2008). However, the cause of bipolar disorder is not entirely known. One who has a genetic disposition for bipolar disorder may experience a traumatic life event that triggers the disorder; as well as triggers such as drug or alcohol abuse, hormonal problems, or altered health habits. If one experiences at least one major and one manic depressive episode then one might be diagnosed as having Bipolar I Disorder, and if one who experiences major depressive episodes and hypomania (less severe form of mania) instead of manic episodes is diagnosed as having Bipolar II Disorder (Williams, 2012). Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. The age of 18 is the average age of onset for both men and women (Williams, 2012).
Men and women alike experience daytime fatigue, excessive sleep, difficulty awakening, occasional weight gain, diminished appetite, ramped-up appetite, carb-cravings, and binging (White, 2012). As well as one experiences feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, sadness, and guilt. Severe anxiety in bipolar disorder includes nervousness, obsessions, panic, and compulsions. There is also psychomotor inactivity and retardation, and psychotic features such as assorted sensual hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia (White, 2012). Bipolar disorder treatment is separated into three general categories known as acute, continuation, and maintenance treatment. Acute treatment is the focus on suppressing the current symptoms and will continue until remission (Bressert, 2012). Continuation treatment will prevent the return of symptoms from the same depressive or manic episode (Bressert, 2012). Maintenance treatment is the prevention of the recurrence of symptoms (Bressert, 2012). Specific treatments for bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants, psychotherapy, and self-help strategies.
Unipolar disorders (major depressive disorder), is a personality disorder where one only suffers from depression. Mania is not a factor. Unipolar disorder affects women more so then men. Onset for this disorder usually presents later in one’s life. One who suffers from unipolar disorder experiences difficulty initiating and sustaining sleep with early morning awakening, weight loss, poor appetite, and a loss of one’s interest in eating (White, 2012). As well as one experiences feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and hopelessness, and experiences changes in one’s sleep cycle, either sleeping too much or not sleeping enough. One also goes through periods of agitation, pacing, and restlessness. One’s daily life and functioning becomes affected, or seriously inhibited. The cause for unipolar disorder is still unknown, although experiences of traumatic life events can trigger the disorder; as well as triggers such as drug or alcohol abuse, hormonal problems, or altered health habits.
Treatments for unipolar disorder are antidepressants such as tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. There are other treatments such as therapy, as well as natural supplements (Sam-E, omega fish oils, and St. John's Wort) and alternative treatments such as meditation methods and electroconvulsive therapy.
Depression can be described as either bipolar or unipolar. Both bipolar and unipolar disorders have their differences and symptoms and can affect or hinder the daily functioning and the daily lives of those who suffer from them. However, with treatments suffering can be ceased and managed or one may restore normal daily functioning.
Diamond, S. (2008). Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/200809/is-depression-disease
Williams, M. (2012). BrainPhysics.com. Retrieved from http://www.brainphysics.com/mood-disorder.php
White, B. (2012). Chipur. Retrieved from http://chipur.com/2010/03/09/heads-tails-unipolar-bipolar-depression/
Bressert, S. (2012). Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/treatment-of-bipolar-disorder-manic-depression/