Signs of depression in Bipolar Disorder
20% of Australian women and 10% of Australian men will have depression at least once in their lives. In 50% of these people, the condition will come back a second time, or even more often . In 1 in 10 cases, they will also have episodes of being high, and will then be realised to be suffering from bipolar illness, rather than simply from repeated attacks of depression. (Getting the diagnosis right is important for best treatment). Many people with bipolar illness have the diagnosis missed until they have had a number of episodes of depression or associated conditions. If you or someone close to you has had depression, but has also had periods of not needing much sleep and having lots of energy, do raise this issue with your doctor or psychologist
Typical symptoms of depression are:-
1. Tiredness .
2. Multiple physical aches, pains and other symptoms of being physically unwell.
3. Trouble concentrating , as evidenced by new difficulty rembering when watching TV,
reading a magazine or reading a book, so that the person has to go back and re-read the material they have already read.
4. Poor memory .
5. Avoiding social contact, such as not returning telephone calls, not answering the telephone or not going to meet friends as usual.
6. Being very irritable.
7. Feeling tearful easily.
8. Being very negative and pessimistic.
9. Being apathetic or unable to be bothered about usual things.
10. Feeling emotionally numb and cold, so that nothing is enjoyed anymore, or is barely enjoyed.
11. Loss of self-confidence.
12. Trouble getting to sleep , waking repeatedly during the night, or waking very early in the morning.
13. Not enjoying food as usual, or in some cases actually eating more in an attempt to feel better ("comfort eating").
14. Less interest in sex than usual.
15. Thoughts of life not being worth living . (10-15% of people with bipolar disorder die from suicide and 25% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide when the illness controls their thinking. If you have thoughts of suicide, please go to our free service: www.suicideprevention.com.au .).