“You look at the functional outcomes, such as the ability to work, family life, being an active participant in society—this is largely driven by depressive, rather than manic, symptoms,” notes Roger S.Mc Intyre, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, and head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network in Toronto.But those who have the illness, or love someone who does, know it is depression that most disrupts and devastates lives—and dominates the course of the illness. of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is sad, she sometimes avoids bike riding with her seven-year-old daughter.“Few people understand [that] depression sucks the life out of you,” says C. “Desires, self-esteem, motivation, self-worth—any of those qualities that keep you going in life—disappear.” Since her 2002 bipolar diagnosis, she has gone only 18 consecutive months without depression. The guilt she feels at withdrawing from her child only intensifies her depression.“However, individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for either a depressive episode or a manic episode often have a few subsyndromal symptoms of the opposite pole of the disorder that co-occur with their predominant mood episode,” Swartz says.“For example, someone will meet full criteria for a depressive episode but will also have racing thoughts.” Rapid-cycling—as defined by the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria—is having at least four distinct episodes of major depression, mania or hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a 12-month period.
He says consumers often confuse mood lability [instability] with rapid-cycling.
'I had no appetite, my hands kept shaking, I kept getting waves of panic,' she said.
By Donna Jackel It is the manic phase of bipolar disorder that attracts—no, demands—attention.
Rather, a bipolar diagnosis is made based upon whether the person has experienced mania or hypomania.
“Bipolar depression looks very similar to major depression, with no distinct features,” says Mc Intyre.