Signs of Anxiety, Depression and Bipolar Disorder
We live in a society which has, over recent years, become much more open about mental health and most of us have some understanding of the terms anxiety, depression and Bipolar Disorder.
Those who suffer from anxiety are extremely worried about some future event or events. They may have recurring anxious thoughts, inexplicable physical sensations or they may take unusually extreme steps to avoid finding themselves in a situation which makes them anxious, i.e. self-protective behaviour.
The overall sign of anxiety is a sense of fear or anxious foreboding.
Well known anxiety disorders are Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). However, there are many others and all these disorders can be very limiting and isolating for sufferers. As a result, being continually anxious can lead to depression.
Those who show signs of depression do not exhibit the same anxiety about future events. Instead, they often believe that a bad or sad future is inevitable because the bad ‘stuff’ that is happening to them now will continue regardless of their actions.
Signs of depressed behaviour include:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Concentration problems
- An inability to make decisions
- A lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Weight changes
- Suicidal thoughts
Many of us have experienced some of these feelings for a day or so, often calling it feeling ‘low’ or ‘a bit down’. Having a ‘bit of a mope’ for a day or two does not mean that you are depressed. However, if these feelings continue then you should seek medical advice.
Bipolar Disorder used to be referred to as ‘Manic Depression’ and is quite different from both anxiety and depression. Those who suffer from this disorder can find themselves in a hyper-active state, full of energy and in need of little sleep. At this time they can behave erratically and with excess speed as if they are living at a faster pace than those around them. The next stage is the ‘polar opposite’ to this and sufferers can endure periods of deep depression.
Bipolar Disorder is often confused with depression, when, in fact, it is much more complex. It is highly recommended that someone who suffers, or believes he/she suffers from Bipolar Disorder should seek medical advice.