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Depression and Bipolar Disorder

            Most everyone has experienced some form of depression in their lives at one time or another. This period can be induced by stress, loneliness, or any one of several factors. It is when these feelings last for more than two consecutive weeks that this can become a major problem ("Depression," 2006). Another similarly crippling mental issue, is known as bipolar disorder. In generalized occurrence, this term refers to bouts of "mania" coinciding with simultaneous incidences of extreme depression (Greil, 1999). As with anything, correlation does not represent causation, meaning that just because these two psychological issues are in fact related, to a certain extent, depression is not necessarily the cause of bipolar disorder. My intent, through research and critical analysis, is to come to a realization and share a newfound understanding of exactly how these two problems correlate. .
             Depression in and of itself, is not a contagious illness, however, it can run in families. Direct causes are unclear, although, if one experiences hormonal change, suffers a traumatic event, or abuses any substance, these alterations in body chemistry, can bring on a depressive state ("Depression," 2006). The good news is, it is treatable. It involves an imbalance of brain chemicals, which are called neurotransmitters. An important fact to remember is, being diagnosed with depression does not signify a character flaw, or an indication of personal weakness ("Depression," 2006). Only a health professional can positively determine whether the symptoms a person is having derive from depression. It is crucial that an individual consult their physician and be honest about all of their symptoms. The physical evaluation should include a complete exam since some other illnesses could be the reason for the feelings of worthlessness, loss of energy, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, prolonged sadness, unexplained aches and pains, and social withdrawal, which are all possible indications of depression.

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