I was looking for an important literiture online. Instead, I found two very different but interesting websites. One is a free horoscope generating site. Though, it only gives you somewhat partial insights, it is equally interesting.
Here it is.
The other is on depression, rather on a type of depression called bipolar disorder.
What is bipolar depression?
Bipolar depression is the depressed phase of the disorder, which is also known as “manic-depressive” disease. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes people to switch from feeling overly happy and joyful (or irritable) to feeling very sad. Because of the highs and the lows — or two poles of mood — the condition is referred to as “bipolar.” In between episodes of mood swings, a person may experience normal moods.
The word “manic” describes the periods when the person feels overly excited and confident. These feelings can quickly turn to confusion, irritability, anger, and even rage. The word “depressive” describes the periods when the person feels very sad or depressed. Because the symptoms are similar, sometimes people with bipolar depression are incorrectly diagnosed as having major depression.
Most individuals with bipolar disorder spend more time in depressed phases than in manic phases.
The dramatic and rapidly changing mood swings from highs to lows do not follow a set pattern, and depression does not always follow manic phases. A person may also experience the same mood state several times before suddenly experiencing the opposite mood. Mood swings can happen over a period of weeks, months, and sometimes even years.
The severity of the depressive and manic phases can differ from person to person, and in the same person at different times.
Symptoms of mania (“The highs”):
Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
Rapid speech and poor concentration
Increased energy and less need for sleep
High sex drive
Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans
Tendency to show poor judgment, such as deciding to quit a job
Drug and alcohol abuse
Some patients can become psychotic, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there and holding false beliefs from which they cannot be swayed. In some instances they see themselves as having superhuman skills and powers, or think they are god-like.
The symptoms of bipolar depression are the same as those of major depression and include:
Loss of energy
Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
Difficulty making decisions
Increased need for sleep
Insomnia or excessive sleep
A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
Thoughts of death or suicide
Who experiences bipolar disorder?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over two million American adults have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder usually begins in early adulthood, appearing before age 35. Children and adolescents, however, can develop this disease in more severe forms and often in combination with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some studies have indicated that bipolar depression is genetically inherited, occurring more commonly within families.
While bipolar disorder occurs equally in women and men, women with bipolar disorder may switch moods more quickly — this is called “rapid cycling.” Varying levels of sex hormones and activity of the thyroid gland in the neck, together with the tendency to be prescribed antidepressants, may contribute to the more rapid cycling seen in women. Women may also experience more periods of depression than men.
An estimated 60 percent of all people with bipolar disorder have drug or alcohol dependence. It has also been shown to occur frequently in people with seasonal depression and certain anxiety disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).What causes bipolar disorder?A definite cause for any type of depression is difficult to determine but include genetics, changes in the brain, and environmental factors like stress and major life changes. More research is being done to determine the relationship that these factors have in bipolar disorder, how they may help prevent its onset, and what role they may play in its treatment.
How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made only by taking careful note of symptoms, and their severity, length, and frequency. The most telling symptoms include severe mood swings (going from extreme highs to extreme lows) that don’t follow a set pattern. Reviewing collateral history from close friends and family is often very helpful in distinguishing bipolar disorder from major depression.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, seek the advice of your family healthcare provider or a psychiatrist. A referral may then be made to an appropriate mental health expert.
A thorough medical evaluation should be performed. Your doctor will ask questions about your personal and family history of mental illness. You may also be asked to complete a depression-screening questionnaire — a series of structured questions that you will be asked to answer verbally or in writing.
What are the treatments?
Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that requires management throughout a person’s life. People who have numerous (four or more) episodes of mood changes (rapid cycling) in a year can be much more difficult to treat. Medication is the primary form of treatment, but the additional use of psychotherapy or “talk” therapy is sometimes recommended to help prevent future episodes.
There are many medications available to treat depression. In 2004, Symbyax, a combination of the antipsychotic olanzapine and the antidepressant fluoxetine, became the first drug specifically approved to treat bipolar depression.
Lithium (brand names Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate), a mood-stabilizing drug, is the most commonly prescribed medicine for people with bipolar disorder. It has proven helpful in controlling mood swings in both directions from mania to depression and from depression to mania. Lithium will reduce symptoms of mania within two weeks of starting therapy, but it may take weeks to months before the condition is completely controlled. Thus, other drugs like antipsychotic drugs or antidepressant drugs may also be used to help control symptoms.
Can bipolar disorder be prevented?
There is no known method to prevent bipolar disorder. Because its exact cause has not yet been determined, it is especially important to know its symptoms and seek early intervention. Some people who experience bipolar disorder may become suicidal. By knowing how to recognize these symptoms, there is a better chance for effective treatment and finding coping methods that may prevent long periods of illness, extended hospital stays, and suicide.