Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Contrary to common belief Bipolar disorder and depression are two different things; however, they can be related and intertwined. Depression is a state of chronic sadness while bipolar disorder consists of two stages in which the sufferer goes back and forth throughout the length of the illness.

The main difference: Mania

The two stages of bipolar disorder are manic and depression. In the manic stage the person experiences increased self-esteem and a strong feeling of grander. Symptoms of the manic stage can resemble the behaviors and attitudes of someone who is hyperactive. Such behavior includes insomnia or decreased need of sleep, rapid and frequent talking, racing thoughts and ideas, as well as impulsive behavior such as careless spending and risky sexual acts. The person stays in the manic stage of any allotment of time and juggles through a depressed and normal life. People with bipolar disorder may also experience times with no mental disturbances.

Treating This Condition Naturally

A person with dejection will not exhibit these behaviors and attitudes, but rather act the opposite. On the other hand, the diagnosis of depression is still often difficult to differentiate from bipolar disorder.

A common mistake made my most patients is that they think that they are not suicidal so they must have bipolar disorder rather than depression. People who suffer from bipolar disorder can also have suicidal thoughts. People with bipolar disorder can have mixed episodes of depression and mania. The hyperactivity of the mind that leads to anxiety and restlessness mixed with the low energy, irritability, and concentration difficulty of depression can result in frequent suicidal thoughts.

The best way to tell is to go to a psychiatrist with experience in bipolar disorder. Often times a person will first be diagnosed with depression during the depression stage of bipolar disorder. The best way to receive an accurate diagnosis and therefore treatment is communication and honesty. During an initial interview a psychiatrist may see the signs and symptoms of depression, but will need evidence of a manic stage to realize bipolar disorder. Both disorders are mainly subjective and full cooperation is needed to differentiate between the two.

Beck’s Cognitive Theory of Depression – Going Deeper into the Human Mind

In 1967, American psychiatrist Aaron Beck developed his own cognitive theory of depression after he became disillusioned with the psychodynamic philosophies, on observing that the psychoanalytic methods often did not help relieve depression for his patients. Beck proposed that depression is a result of irrational and pessimistic thought process. He believed that distorted thinking patterns and illogical beliefs can cause a variety of mental or psychological problems, including depression and chronic anxiety. In his view, the way an individual perceives his life events affects his emotional state, that is to say, negative life events do not by themselves cause depression, but it is the unreasonable perception of an individual that results in depressive disorders.

Beck’s Cognitive Model of Depression

According to Beck’s cognitive model of depression, certain kinds of early experiences lead to the formation of dysfunctional beliefs, which are rigid, extreme and counterproductive, and make a person vulnerable to depression later in life. These beliefs are triggered when a critical incident occurs or depressive mood sets in. They tend to intensely influence the current thought process, creating a pattern of negative automatic thoughts that in turn produce symptoms of depression (behavioral, motivational, affective, cognitive and somatic), thus enveloping the mind in a web of pessimistic notions.

Beck’s theory of depression has three aspects: first, the cognitive triad, which explores the negative views regarding the self, the world and the future. Second, schemas, which are the conceptual patterns in the mind of maladaptive or adaptive attitudes and beliefs. Third, cognitive distortions, which are incoherent thoughts; pessimistic and unrealistic perceptions of life.

The Cognitive Triad

People suffering from depression have extremely negative thoughts about themselves, about their experiences and their surroundings, and about the future. The feeling of despair and helplessness is often accompanied by the belief that nothing they do will make a difference in their worthless lives. The world seems meaningless to them and everything else insignificant. They draw negative conclusions while completely ignoring the good things happening around them. The illogical thoughts running though their mind make the future seem bleak.

Schemas or underlying beliefs

Beck’s Cognitive Theory of Depression – Going Deeper into the Human MindThe depressogenic schemas or dysfunctional beliefs are thought to develop during childhood and adolescence as a result of negative and emotionally or psychologically damaging experiences with one’s parents or other significant people. These set of assumptions are deeply embedded in one’s mind. Though, one might not be consciously aware of these thoughts, but they are present in the subconscious mind and tend to covertly influence an individual’s current attitude and behavior.

Information Processing

Beck also hypothesized that negative cognitive triad is maintained by a variety of negative cognitive errors. People who are depressed are inclined to misinterpret the information from the world. The way they process information is distortional and misleading. Their perception is biased as they tend to make unrealistically negative interpretations about their life. Some common examples of misinterpretations are:

Dichotomous or all-or-none thinking: a tendency to think in extremes and seeing everything in terms of “all or nothing”, “black or white”, etc.; it also includes establishing false and unrealistic assumptions and trying to live according to fixed rules.

Arbitrary inferences: a habit of jumping to a negative conclusion without any evidence to support it.

Personalizing:  holding one responsible for all the unpleasant incidents that take place. Blaming oneself unnecessarily for each and every negative occurrence increases insecurity and decreases self-esteem.

Selective abstraction: an inclination to focus on only the negative aspects of a situation while ignoring all the other positive elements.

Overgeneralization: involves illogically drawing conclusions based on a single event with minimal or no evidence.

Catastrophizing: a tendency to exaggerate the importance of an insignificant matter or situation. Irrationally believing that something is far worse than it actually is.

Descriptive perspective of Beck’s theory

Over the years, extensive research has been conducted to examine the various aspects of Beck’s cognitive theory of depression. It has become more detailed and thorough while still maintaining its fundamental standards and beliefs. It has led to the generation of a very effective form of treatment for depression known as cognitive therapy. It has also been supported as a descriptive theory that shines light upon many important characteristics of depression.

It is a known fact that people suffering from depression possess a pessimistic attitude not only towards the world but themselves, as well. Depressed people are inclined to think more negatively about themselves and their lives as compared to non-depressed people. They tend to be more reclusive and often experience feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, guilt and self-blame. On the other hand, non-depressed people have the ability to positively perceive every situation and be optimistic about the future, which serves as a protective factor against depression.

Initially, Beck had postulated that a source of stress, pressure or strain was required to trigger the dysfunctional attitudes or depression-producing schemas, but recent research has shown that depressogenic schemas can be activated in a previously depressed individual by simply inducing a depressed mood.

A substantial amount of evidence has been gathered which supports the cognitive errors responsible for maintaining the negative cognitive triads.  Many experiments have been conducted that confirm that depressed people are able to recall negative information, unpleasant events and gloomy memories more easily than positive emotional information whereas it is the opposite for non-depressed people. Furthermore, depressed people are more prone to jump to negative conclusions without any sufficient evidence and often undervalue the positive aspects of any situation. Their depressiveness compels them to think unhappy or negative thoughts as they are what effectively maintain the vicious cycle of depression.

Beck’s Cognitive Therapy

Beck’s cognitive therapy focuses on specific problems and emphasizes on modifying beliefs and thoughts in order to treat depression. Since, he believed that distorted patterns of thinking and illogical beliefs are responsible for depression; he tried to help patients in adopting rational and constructive ways of thinking. He challenged their extreme statements and helped them to identify distorted thoughts. Most of the depressed people interpreted events in disastrous terms; they would only think about the worst consequences and tragic possibilities. Beck thought this to be because of faulty thinking, so he suggested those ways to alter their thinking and adopt a positive outlook.

Beck’s Cognitive Theory of Depression – Going Deeper into the Human Mind

In the initial phase of therapy, patients are familiarized with their negative automatic thoughts. They were made aware of the relationship between their patterns of thinking and emotional responses. They are asked to keep records of each negative thought that passes through their mind and of their emotional reactions to various incidents or situations. With the help of therapy, they are able to detect the cognitive errors they had been making for so long. They are taught to challenge the rationality of every negative automatic thought.

In Beck’s cognitive therapy, patients are not made to change their beliefs and thoughts through debate or persuasion, rather, they are asked to gather information about themselves. They are even encouraged to find out the dysfunctional beliefs or schemas that may be the cause of their pessimistic point of view and low self-esteem. This is an essential phase for the patient as these techniques keep him from being pulled back into the realm of depression. The causal factors that make the patient vulnerable to depression need to be dealt with effectively so that the improvement is long-lasting.

The effectiveness of Beck’s cognitive therapy has been well documented. Research suggests that Beck’s approach of treatment is highly beneficial in relieving the patients from depression and other disorders. The improvements in patients are abiding and the chances of relapse are minimal. It has been proved to one of the most reliable forms of psychotherapy.

Roasted Carrots in Cumin & Lime

Carrots, being a vegetable are healthy. However, with most healthy things, they simply don’t excite many people. Using simple recipes though with a combination of select herbs, they can be very tasty, and healthy; perfect for anyone on a diet.

The recipe below is a simple yet effected recipe using carrots and primarily cumin.

Try it. Being healthy is not that difficult.

Also, do not only stick to this recipe, mix it up and experiment with different vegetables, different herbs and even oils. It is amazing how you can turn 1 ingredient into an entire range of recipes.

Roasted Carrots in Cumin & Lime

Ingredients

  1. 1 pound baby carrots with fresh green tops
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. Juice and fresh grated zest of 1 lime
  4. 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  5. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  8. 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  9. 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  10. Small handful fresh mint leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim the tops off the carrots (you can use them in salads if you enjoy their flavor). Toss them on a baking sheet with the olive oil, lime juice and zest, agave, salt and spices.
  3. Roast about 20 minutes, depending on size, until the carrots are just tender and beginning ot color. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the green onions and mint before tossing together and serving.

Roasted Carrots in Cumin & Lime

Via – http://familystylefood.com/2011/03/roasted-cumin-lime-carrots/

Make Your Own Bathing Products

Making your own bathing products has many advantages. First of all, you can tailor make these remedies to your own preferences. For example, you could be allergic to a common ingredient in many bath products and so can leave that out. You can implement any ingredient to take care of a certain desire such as muscle relaxation.

Another benefit is that they can be fun to make and cheaper than you’re typical branded product. Your experimentation is limitless and can get quite addictive. Choosing between the different oils, herbs, salts etc, you can make batch products different every time.

Using these organic homemade products will be excellent for your skin and can clear blemishes and other common conceptions that people get.

Make Your Own Bathing Products

MS Symptoms or Drug Side Effects: Telling the Difference

When MS patients suffer infections, colds or allergies, they don’t always know whether the symptoms are due to MS or another problem. This is because multiple sclerosis affects the nervous system in so many different ways that it can cause everything from slight numbness in the extremities to total blindness and paralysis. As a result, patients are always on the alert for symptoms of fatigue, pain and other issues that could be MS symptoms or drug side effects. Recognizing MS symptoms is key to keeping treatment on track and getting the best results. Below is a look at common MS symptoms and medication side effects.

MS Symptoms or Drug Side Effects: Telling the DifferenceFatigue

Four out of five patients living with MS report suffering from chronic fatigue. However, interferon drugs that are often used in MS treatment can also make patients sleepy.

Depression

Depression is another common symptom among MS patients, but it’s also a known side effect of several interferon drugs. Researchers are still unclear on whether the drugs cause or only worsen patients’ depression.

Chest Pain

Some MS patients suffer from aching or burning feelings around their chest. Other patients describe sharp pains in the chest area. At the same time, chest pain can be caused by fingolimod, a newer MS drug. Fingolimod can negatively affect heart function for six hours after a dose. Due to the dangers involved, the drug is usually administered in a hospital setting, where the patient’s heart can be monitored.

Flu Symptoms

Flu symptoms are common side effects of several interferon drugs, including Betaseron, Rebif, INF-B and Avonex. Many patients suffer fever and aches about an hour after being injected with these medications. For some patients, these flu symptoms can worsen their existing multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Headaches

Headaches aren’t classified as symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but certain severe types of headaches are more common among MS patients. For example, cluster headaches and migraines can cause terrible long-lasting pain for patients.

Side Effects or MS Symptoms?

The line between MS symptoms and drug side effects isn’t always clear, but one way to tell the difference is to track the beginning of side effects compared to dosing times. In most cases, MS drug side effects begin around an hour after injection and go away after a few more hours. In the case of Avonex, however, side effects can remain for days afterwards. Side effects of other interferons tend to last for around eight hours. When symptoms don’t leave, they are more likely to be caused by multiple sclerosis rather than a medication.

The tips above are sure to help patients tell the difference between drug side effects and multiple sclerosis symptoms, but patients should remain cautious. When there is doubt about the cause of symptoms, it’s best to call a medical professional experienced with MS. By speaking with a physician or nurse as soon as symptoms appear, there will be no delay in the process of sorting drug side effects, MS symptoms and problems from other health conditions that may be present.

Image Credit: pntphoto