How to Spot Potential Depression or Bipolar DisorderWritten by Julie A. Fast
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Be aware, too, that antidepressants can ignite dormant mania in people. For this reason, your physician should be aware that what seems a clear case of depression may actually mask presence of bipolar disorder. Mood swings vs. moodiness: Some people are just moody. They often react negatively to life events, or they may frequently experience bad moods, short tempers, and irritation. While these people may not be much fun to be around, they do not necessarily have a mood disorder. However, if a person’s moodiness affects his or her ability to work, make friends, or function relatively normally in society, a diagnosis of a potential mood disorder is called for. Mood disorders involve exaggerated, extreme, or highly disproportionate responses to life events. A moody person may be quick to anger when someone makes a derogatory comment about him or her; a person suffering from a mood disorder may react to same situation with suicidal thoughts. Moody people can usually be reasoned with; people with mood disorders lose insight into their own situations and often can't see that they need help. For this reason, it’s important that friends and family members understand warning signs of depression and bipolar disorder, and that they know where to turn to seek help for their loved one. Use following questions to help you determine whether you or someone you care about may be suffering from a bipolar-disorder mood swing: •Have you noticed a significant change in everyday sleep patterns because you are feeling low or more happy than usual? • Do friends, family members, or others comment on your inability to enjoy life, spend within reason, get along with others, keep a job, maintain a relationship, or stay in one place? •Do you often wonder what point of living is, or why nothing seems good? Are these feelings ever experienced along with difficulty in concentrating or performing simple tasks? •Have you ever suddenly felt a wonderful surge of confidence that allowed you to talk with strangers or meet anyone you wanted? Have you ever lost your normal shyness and suddenly felt beautiful and unstoppable? Have you ever made reckless sexual or financial decisions, only to wonder a few months later, Was that me? What was I thinking? Has this been accompanied with a significantly reduced need for sleep? •Do you go through periods of extreme or unexplained irritability? Do others tell you that you are often unreasonable? Do you kick or hit things (or people) to vent your annoyance or frustration? •Have you ever found yourself thinking (or hearing a voice inside your head telling you) such things as, You should die. You have no right to be here and you should leave. People don't like you. You're a failure and a fake. Or, I'm a genius. I'm smarter than any other person in world. I am invincible.?
If you answered yes to any of questions above, you may want to talk to a health care professional about a possible mood disorder. Mood disorders are not personality flaws or a sign of weakness. Like diabetes, they are documented physical illnesses, and they can be effectively treated—once a correct diagnosis is made. If you or a loved one may need help, getting that diagnosis is first step to recovering from these disorders and living a joyful, healthy, productive life. ************************************************************************ Learn more about Julie at and bipolar disorder at www.bipolarhappens.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie A. Fast is America’s leading voice for people with bipolar disorder. She is the co-author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding & Helping Your Partner (New Harbinger Publications, February 2004; $13.95, author of the upcoming book Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, which will be out in late 2006 and columnist for BP Magazine. Learn more about Julie and about bipolar disorder at www.bipolarhappens.com.
Finding Rehab for Family MembersWritten by David Westbrook
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•Some people require medication to treat their addiction The American Medical Association has for years recognized addiction as a disease. It should therefore not come as a surprise that many addicts need medication during and after rehab. Sometimes frowned upon by some individuals in recovery truth is that these medications allow millions of individuals to live normal, productive lives.
•Fifty percent of people with an alcohol/drug problem also have a mental health issue People may be using drugs to deal with mental health problems or they may have mental health issue because of their drug use. In fact, studies have shown that fifty percent of people who have one also have other. The most effective way to deal with these two “co-occurring” disorders and deal with addiction is to treat them at same time.
•An addict does not have to want treatment for it to work A common myth is that someone has to want treatment before it will work for them. Based on research, this is not case. In fact, treatment is just as effective for individuals who are court ordered to do treatment as it is for people who figure out need for it on their own. Families can be just as effective at getting unwilling addicts into treatment. Frequently, a family’s first step to getting someone into rehab may be performing an intervention with help of a professional interventionist. Call your local alcohol and drug help line to locate these professionals in your area. •Treatment duration counts The appropriate duration for an individual depends on his or her problems and needs. Research indicates that for most patients, significant improvement is reached at about 3 months. The research suggests that this may be residential, outpatient or a combination of both depending on individual’s needs. After this initial period, additional treatment can produce further progress toward recovery.
•Don’t lose hope Your loved one may successfully complete treatment, but then relapse. Don’t lose hope. Alcoholics and addicts may need lengthy treatment and more than one time in rehab before they can enjoy long-term abstinence and full restoration to a drug free life.
David Westbrook is a freelance writer who frequently writes for such quality websites as www.rehaber.com and www.fxrehab.com