Social stigma has made people with mental illness feel as though they could not be open and honest about their condition. However, that stigma is slowly subsiding, encouraging those that need help with their ailment to come forward and get treatment. Two of the most common forms of mental illness are depression and Bipolar Disorder. Depression and Bipolar Disorder can disrupt one’s life as well as those around them. However, it is important to know what these conditions are and the tell-tale signs of each.
Depression is more than a bout of sadness. In fact, someone with depression can experience periods of depression lasting days, weeks, even months at a time. The feelings of hopelessness cause social withdrawal, fatigue, irritability, and even loss of appetite. When one is depressed, they may have negative thoughts such as suicide—which requires specialized attention immediately.
Bipolar Disorder is a condition that is not easy to deal with. As the name suggests, Bipolar Disorder causes extreme shifts in mood and behavior in the sufferer. In one moment, the sufferer may be depressed, moody, and withdrawn; in the next they may become manic, hyper, quick to anger, or irrational. These mood and behavioral swings can cause relationships to fail, problems at work, and even physical symptoms.
Depression and Bipolar disorder can both be treated with counseling and medication. Not all treatment regimens work for everyone, so it may be a trial and error process to find the method that works or each individual person. Overcoming the stigma of mental illness may be the hardest part of treatment. There is very little judgment from society on those that seek treatment. In fact it should be an empowering moment when the sufferer decides that enough is enough and decided to get better.