What is Bipolar Depression?

Mental illness is more common than some people realize. For those who have never experienced a mental disease in action, either directly or otherwise, the concept may be complicated to understand. There are many different illnesses of this kind, affecting different emotional, cognitive, and physical aspects of life. Some make people feel overwhelming despair, others lead to delusions and hallucinations, and some mental illnesses cause extreme worry.  Bipolar depression may encompass symptoms from each of these categories, some more prominent than others. Bipolar depression is a complex condition that will be described in further detail from this point forward.

What is Bipolar Depression?

Bipolar depression is one of the two faces of Bipolar Disorder; the other half of the disease is characterized by episodes of mania. People with bipolar disorder cycle through these two contrasting categories, with the depression phases usually lasting longer than manic ones (but not always). Bipolar depression symptoms are identical to those experienced by people with unipolar depression, and manifest in the ways listed below:

  • A persistent sad mood
  • Feelings of failure
  • Low self-worth
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Tiredness or irritability
  • Appetite changes
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Decreased libido

Bipolar Depression Statistics

Each year, there are approximately 2.6 million Americans are directly affected by Bipolar Disorder, say the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). The average age of onset is during the mid twenties, though this is not to suggest that the disease cannot arise at other times during the lifespan. The DBSA also mentions that men and women have been observed to develop this mental illness at the same rate. However, women tend to experience more depressive bipolar episodes than men. The risk of developing bipolar depression symptoms (as well as manic symptoms) is believed to be influenced by genetics. Those with a bipolar parent are 15-30% more likely to get it themselves (when compared to the general population), notes the DBSA.Deep TMS for bipolar depression

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is a new technique created to help alleviate the symptoms of certain illnesses. It involves stimulation of brain centers through the use of electromagnetic coils. These coils are placed inside of an helmet, which is placed on the patient’s head. Magnetic waves are targeted at parts of the brain that are believed to be involved in producing the negative symptoms. Treatment typically persists for 15- 20 minutes, and is repeated each day for four to six weeks. The treatment is safe, does not require anaesthesia (non-invasive), and is tolerated well by most people. A full course of dTMS for depression (which, as stated above, has identical symptoms to bipolar depression) resulted in a 32.6% remission rate, notes the journal, World Psychiatry.
For those with bipolar disorder, life can be a figurative rollercoaster at times. The manic episodes are usually followed by periods of extreme despair and apathy, a phenomenon referred to as bipolar depression. Bipolar depression symptoms make it difficult to lead a healthy life, and can often persist for a  significantly longer time than manic episodes. This is particularly true for women. There are millions of people in the U.S. who have to deal with the lows of bipolar depression. While the amount of people affected is large, this also means those struggling to cope are not alone, and can seek out support and treatment if they so chose.

For those seeking Los Angeles bipolar depression treatments, Westside Neurotherapeutics can provide dTMS. For more information, contact the company by phone at 310.946.0008 or online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.

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