Bipolar Disorder and Severe Depression

Bipolar Disorder involves severe mood swings. Some people experience two extremes, from manic episodes, to depression, while some people experience only the depressed side, with prolonged episodes of severe depression.

Depression includes the following symptoms:

Depressed mood and feelings of worthlessness.

A sense of futility.

Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide.

Diminished interest in all activities that were formerly pleasurable.

Withdrawal from social contact.

This isolation and apathy of course perpetuate the loneliness, and despair. On a physical level, depression also manifests in sleep disturbance, weight loss or gain, fatigue, impaired concentration and memory. Some people develop an agitated depression, which includes anxiety and a profound sense of restlessness, inability to settle, or it can also include psychomotor retardation, where the person feels slowed down and even the simplest of tasks feels overwhelming.

They usually respond to anti-depressant medication, but in severe cases, electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. Psychotherapy may also be used in conjunction with medical treatment to improve the patient’s copying mechanisms and uncover the contributing emotional factors.

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, and there is strong evidence that it is inherited.

Dr Gillian Smale
Clinical Psychologist





Locked in

Nowhere to go

September 2006

Sandy Coffey ~ Photographic Commissions

+27 (0)83 265 7804 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.