Bipolar depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In the past, it was referred to as “manic depression”– but that term is now outdated and stigmatized.
This condition is characterized by alternating periods of depression and mania, which can be challenging to manage and frustrating for people who deal with the condition and their loved ones.
What causes bipolar depression?
Bipolar depression is often caused by genetic factors; it can run in families, which suggests that genetics play a role in its development.
It can also be caused by neurochemical imbalances. Imbalances in neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin can contribute to the development of bipolar depression. Generally, bipolar depression can be a result of brain structure; differences in the structure and function of certain brain regions may also contribute to the development of the condition.
Additionally, traumatic and stressful life events, or substance abuse, may trigger or worsen the onset of bipolar depression in some individuals.
Is bipolar depression curable?
Bipolar depression is a lifelong condition, which means that it doesn’t go away.
However, this diagnosis is not a bad thing. In fact, receiving a diagnosis of bipolar depression means that you can now identify the problem and take the necessary steps to properly cope with it.
There are plenty of treatment options for bipolar depression.
Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications might be prescribed to help people dealing with bipolar depression manage their symptoms. Sometimes it takes some experimentation to find the right medication and the right dosage to help, so this process could take a while– but the outcome is worth it.
Anyone dealing with a mental health condition has probably heard “you should try yoga!” or “you should drink more water!” from well-meaning but unhelpful individuals.
While lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise will not cure bipolar depression, they can help you manage the symptoms and feel better in your day-to-day life.
It might also really help to develop a daily routine and stick to it. Including structure in your life can help you feel more stable and in control. This might include setting a regular sleep schedule, eating meals at the same time each day, and engaging in the same daily activities.
Receiving a diagnosis of bipolar depression can feel isolating, especially if you don’t know anyone else with the condition. Joining a support group can provide individuals with bipolar depression a sense of community and support. It always helps to talk to people who know exactly what you’re going through.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy can help individuals with bipolar depression learn coping skills and manage their symptoms appropriately.
It can also help to discuss symptoms of the condition with a licensed practitioner to identify what’s going on and learn how to handle it.
At Chenal Family Therapy, we’re here to offer our support and provide you with the coping mechanisms you need to manage your symptoms and live your best life. Find a location near you or give us a call to find a therapist and get started.
SPP is a subset of Chenal Family Therapy, PLC, ACEP Provider Number: 7233