Monday, 28 July 2014

What Happens During Depression?

Changes occur when people become depressed. Here are some of the common issues:

Indifference: the things that once used to matter no longer seem important anymore.

Irritability: most people associate depression with sadness. That’s true, but a far more common sign is irritability and impatience. Not only with other people but situations and events around you.

Lack of feelings: a sense of flatness and emptiness can sometimes be more common than sadness and tearfulness.

Lack of motivation: everything becomes an effort. Getting up to make a drink, to passing comments, to meeting old friends and close relatives.

Lack of enjoyment: senses become dulled. The world seems a grey and sometimes hostile place. Even food and drink don’t smell or taste the way they should. Things that were once pleasurable, including sex, diminish in their enjoyment.

Tiredness: even once you wake up you feel as though you should be going to bed. Fatigue and tiredness are common in depression. Sometimes even your actions and speech slows down and you look the way you feel.

Mornings are the Worst: many people with depression find that their symptoms are more pronounced in the morning and feel slightly better as the day progresses. This isn’t always the case; some people feel worse towards the end of the day.

Guilt: a sense of guilt is also common in depression. People frequently feel ashamed of making even the most trivial mistakes or look back in shame over past perceived indiscretions.

Self-Esteem: along with the issue of guilt comes a fall in self-esteem. If you lose faith in yourself and regard yourself as useless then confidence goes out the window - along with your memory about all the strengths and abilities you actually have!

Sensitivity: given what’s just been listed it isn’t surprising that you find yourself more exposed to perceived criticism and rejection.

Hopelessness: this is the sense that no matter what you say or do, you are unable to change things. When asked about the future, it seems a pretty bleak prospect.

Anxiety: is a friend of depression, albeit an unwelcome one. Worry may be focused on specifics or about everyone and everything.

Illness: many people with depression feel physically ill. In fact it is often physical symptoms that make people visit their doctor. Headaches, stomach upsets, tremors, sweating, pain in the chest, racing pulse are some of the more common symptoms associate with anxiety and depression.

Withdrawal: many people with depression just want to curl up in a ball and hide under the bed clothes. Even the most outgoing of people find it preferable to turn down social invitations and find excuses to miss regular dates with friends or relatives.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Symptoms of Teen Bipolar

Guidance for doctors in the recognition of bipolar disorder in teens comes mainly from the treatment of adults. Yet, when bipolar symptoms begin before or soon after puberty they are frequently in the form of rapid-cycling moods and disruptive behavior. It is only in later adolescence that onset tends to begin with a manic episode and is interspersed by more stable periods between episodes, a pattern more similar to adults.

The National Institute of Mental Health points to some differences between bipolar symptoms seen in teens to those of adults. For example, during a manic episode, young people are more likely to be destructive rather than creative or speculative in their behavior. When depressed, they are more likely to complain about headaches, stomach pains, fatigue and other physical symptoms. Young people may also have problems in making and retaining friends and seem to have an extreme sensitivity to perceived rejection or failure.

Even if diagnosed, many teens fear the stigma that may result with both their treatment and the signs they are taking medication. Many resist treatment altogether because they dislike the side effects of medication and often the weight gain that comes with taking them. Drugs and alcohol may be turned to as more acceptable ways of trying to keep the symptoms under control.

Various experts have suggested that modern living contributes to the onset of bipolar disorder in teens who might previously have avoided it. A teen with a genetic predisposition to bipolar does not need much in the way of stress or the use of alcohol or recreational drugs to tip them towards bipolar, or so the argument goes. Structure and routine do appear to help with the symptoms of bipolar and for this reason parents of teens with suspected or diagnosed bipolar disorder are encouraged to set firm boundaries when it comes to routines such as bedtime and getting up for breakfast. Unfortunately these routines are fairly vulnerable when, for example, teens leave home for college or are strongly influenced by peers to participate in late night parties involving alcohol and possible drug use.

It can take a long time before a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is reached. If it is suspected then support in the form of counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy or other methods may be helpful to provide meaning and structure. From what is known, a predictable and stable lifestyle appears to be a critical feature in reducing the frequency and severity of bipolar episodes or possibly even preventing their onset.