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Bipolar depression can be distinguished in a person if a single manic episode is present. Moreover, it is assumed as a chronic disease since a greater population of persons who have manifestations of one episode can portray more episodes in the days to come. However, the statistics stated that the average episodes within a year must be only four, provided that no preventive treatment was been applied.
Every person having a bipolar depression displayed unique patterns of combining depression, manic episodes, and mood cycles. But if these patterns are identified, the episodes become predictable. Some studies reveal that genetics has a strong influence in developing a bipolar depression. Normally, the disorder can be detected in adolescent stage or early adulthood. Once affected, it can last a lifetime since the condition is episodic.
Many people are not well informed about bipolar disorder. They do not know that it has two major types, the Bipolar I and Bipolar II. The distinguishing factor among the two types lies whether or not a manic episode is present in a person. One should understand depressive episodes and manic episodes to determine the differences.
Depressive episodes are characterized by different symptoms. It includes weight gain or weight loss, total absence or diminished happiness and pleasure, relentless depressed mood, fatigue, excessive guilt, feelings of unworthiness, need to sleep well, reduced concentration, inability to think better, frequent thoughts of suicide or death, restlessness, and slow movement of the body.
If a person is experiencing at least five of the depressive symptoms such as lack of interest in the activities once enjoyed, depressed mood, and others for a minimum of two weeks, then he or she is manifesting a depressive episode. Keep in mind that these symptoms are caused either by impairment or significant distress not by alcohol and drug abuse or medical conditions to be considered as a depressive episode.
Likewise, manic episodes have also different symptoms. These are racing thoughts, chattiness, need to reduce sleep, flying ideas, distractibility, and magnified self-confidence. Others include increased enthusiasm for activities that are goal-directed, and superfluous extreme involvement in enjoyable activities including sexual indiscretions or wild shopping,
According to DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) of the APA (American Psychiatric Association), once mood disturbances are experienced by a person such as persistent, unexplained euphoria together with three symptoms or more for a minimum of one week, thus affecting the ability of the person to function properly and become productive, then he or she is displaying a manic episode. These symptoms must not be caused by medical conditions or drug abuse to belong in the criteria of a manic episode.
Look closely on Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorders. A person is having a Bipolar I disorder if he or she experiences a single manic episode along with a depression episode. A person is having a Bipolar II disorder if he or she experiences at least a single hypomania episode without the presence of manic episodes. Never be confused. The only difference is that one of the symptoms of a manic episode is experienced by a person having a Bipolar I disorder.
It should not be mistaken that bipolar disorder is classified into two types to grade the severity of the above mentioned symptoms. Bipolar I and Bipolar II are used only to differentiate how a person experienced a manic episode. The classification of the disorders is based on the occurrence degree of the mania than the impairment levels causing the disorder.