Bipolar Depression Test
Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, is an extremely common mental health condition. If you have bipolar depression, you are not alone. Roughly 2.8 percent of all U.S. adults have had bipolar disorder in the past year, leading to millions of people affected by the disorder.
The main characteristic of bipolar disorder is extreme mood swings, ranging from intense emotional highs to deep depression. The frequency of these energy changes depends on the type of bipolar disorder you might have.
Bipolar Signs and Symptoms
With Bipolar I, a person has severe manic episodes that last at least a week and intense depressive episodes that last at least two weeks. Bipolar II has less pronounced manic episodes but still includes severe depressive episodes. There is also a third type, cyclothymic disorder, where a person does not have major manic and depressive episodes, but they still have a constant cycle of manic and depressive symptoms for at least two years.
Bipolar mania causes a person to seem unusually upbeat, energetic, or hyper. They may feel an intense sense of self-confidence and make extremely risky decisions. Extreme mania can cause a person to behave extremely abnormally, and some may even experience psychosis that requires hospitalization.
Not all people with bipolar have extreme manic episodes. However, bipolar depression is much more common and tends to last longer than manic periods. Some symptoms of bipolar depression may include:
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Being irritable or easily crying
- Changing sleep patterns
- Changes to level of appetite
- Loss of interest in activities
- Confusion or distractibility
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Bipolar depression and mania can make it hard to interact with others or care for yourself. People with this condition may find it tricky to maintain relationships and achieve their career goals. Those with bipolar disorder are at risk for self-harm, drug abuse, and other dangerous activities.
If all this sounds familiar, you might be wondering, “Do I have bipolar depression?” There are a few key things that make bipolar depression a little different from other types of clinical depression. Unlike other types of depression, bipolar depression symptoms may last less time, and you are more likely to experience intense mood swings.
Since bipolar depression and major depression can appear similar, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between them. Fortunately, mental health clinicians are experts in assessing and diagnosing these conditions.
According to research, bipolar depression does present a little differently than major depression. For example, people with bipolar disorder tend to have more depressive episodes, and their symptoms start earlier in life. In addition, sadness and physical complaints like muscle pain, insomnia, and depressed behavior often occur in major depressive disorder. Patients with bipolar disorder are also more likely to experience inner tension and pessimistic thoughts, whereas those with depression are more likely to show obvious signs of sadness.
Bipolar depression and major depression are equally associated with lack of energy, reported sadness, concentration problems, and reduced appetite. If you’re trying to determine if you are experiencing bipolar depression or major depressive disorder, keep in mind that people with bipolar depression will also experience cycles of mania or hypomania. In contrast, if you have never experienced one of these two mood states but have had depressive episodes, you meet the criteria for major depressive disorder.
Being able to get a proper bipolar depression diagnosis is the first step towards healing. By recognizing that you may have an issue, you can get the encouragement you need to speak to a trained psychiatrist. If you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the good news is that there are plenty of treatments. Medication, therapy, and other procedures can help you achieve a more stable balance.
There are several treatment options for bipolar depression. In fact, studies show that multiple medications are effective for alleviating symptoms of depression that occur with bipolar disorder. For example, a medication called Seroquel has been found to reduce changes in mood states, such as from mania to depression. Other medications, such as Lamictal and Zyprexa, are also effective, but no one medication works for everyone, so it is important to work with a doctor to determine whether medication is right for you, as well as which is the best option for you.
Intensive therapy has also been found to be effective for treating bipolar depression. During therapy sessions, people can learn to cope with symptoms of bipolar disorder and develop healthy ways of thinking and dealing with stress. There are several types of therapy methods available, but cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are effective for treating bipolar depression specifically.
Our bipolar depression test can provide a lot of insight into what sorts of mental health issues you may be facing. This questionnaire can help you consider whether you may benefit from bipolar disorder treatment. To fill out the bipolar depression test, all you need to do is read the questions, consider your past behavior and feelings, and answer honestly.
DISCLAIMER: This test is not intended as a diagnostic tool, but rather an indication that you may need help. If the following quiz prompts any vulnerabilities or concerns, please contact a trained professional.
If your score is higher than five, it may be a good idea to seek counseling with a mental health professional. The higher your score is, the more likely that the answer to “do I have bipolar depression?” is a yes.
If you suspect you have bipolar depression, you do not have to keep suffering in silence. The right treatment can make a huge difference in what sorts of symptoms you face. For those who do not respond to medication and/or therapy, one increasingly popular option is transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS. This procedure uses shifting magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to reduce symptoms of bipolar depression. Experts believe it may help to encourage blood flow in certain underactive parts of the brain, resulting in relief from symptoms.
One study found that for patients with bipolar depression, TMS was not only effective but also safe and well-tolerated. This may make it a suitable treatment option for those who find the side effects of medications too uncomfortable to tolerate or those who do not find relief with medications and therapy. TMS is also a less invasive alternative to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is effective but can cause serious side effects, such as delirium and mental impairment when combined with Lithium, a medication commonly used to treat bipolar disorder. This is an important consideration when treating bipolar depression because delirium occurs more frequently with depression than with mania, according to research.
Pulse TMS is happy to be able to offer this treatment to those dealing with bipolar disorder. TMS is entirely noninvasive and nonpainful. Alongside other clinically-proven treatments, TMS sessions may help ease bipolar depression. If you choose Pulse TMS as your treatment provider, you will begin with a consultation with our psychiatrist. From there, we will schedule daily 18-minute appointments at times that work for your schedule. Our psychiatrist may recommend that you complete therapy alongside TMS to maximize the benefits, and you will be encouraged to practice activities like meditation after your treatment.
To learn more about how it works, go ahead and give us a call today.