• Persistently anxious, sad, 'empty mood'

• Loss of pleasure and interest in activities or hobbies once enjoyed by the individual

• Feelings of pessimism, hopelessness, guilt, helplessness, and worthlessness

• Oversleeping or insomnia

• Overeating that leads to weight gain

• Decreased appetite that leads to losing weight

• Thinks about death and suicide

• Decreased energy and fatigue

• Irritability and restlessness

• Can't make decisions, unable to concentrate or remember things

• Physical symptoms like chronic pain, headache, and digestive disorders

The following symptoms are not all felt by a bipolar patient. Some of them may experience only few of the symptoms while others may experience many. Each individual exhibits varying degrees of symptom severity.

In order to get the appropriate treatment, you must undergo a complete psychological and physical evaluation. This is necessary in order to determine the type of depressive illness that he or she is suffering. Bipolar depression symptoms may be caused by certain medical conditions or medications. Through a physician's interview, laboratory tests, and physical examination, the possibilities can be ruled out.

A diagnostic evaluation will look into the patient's history of symptoms and the physician will ask all sorts of questions like when the symptoms begun, how long it lasts, how severe, and if the symptoms already occurred. You will also be asked if you were previously treated and what medications were given to you. The doctor must also not forget to ask if the bipolar patient used drugs or alcohol, or if he or she ever thought about suicide and death. Questions pertaining to the medical history of family members should not be forgotten.

Bipolar depression symptoms can also affect the mental status of an individual. The evaluation can determine if an individual's thought pattern, speech, and memory is already affected. Mental disorders don’t require laboratory tests such as x-ray or blood tests. Powerful scans like MRI, CT, PET, and SPECT can't detect the brain changes of a bipolar patient and that of other mental illnesses.

Only the doctor can properly evaluate a bipolar patient's state. He can also aid the patient in getting the right treatment or medication necessary to control episodes. The symptoms need not frighten the patient's family or friends. Although the symptoms may seem quite normal for the individual, it still needs to be treated. It can be very alarming for other people because they might think that you’re insane, especially if you're already doing extreme things.

Don’t hesitate to consult your doctor. Check out the major symptoms of bipolar, and if you exhibit a few of the symptoms, perhaps you're suffering from bipolar.

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