Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder of extremes.  There are two sides to it – bipolar mania and bipolar depression.  For some people, however, the depressive side to bipolar disorder can be the more painful, as every minute of it can be experienced such as a child experiences their first broken bone.


When someone experiences bipolar depression, they feel more than just sadness.  Many people report feeling actual physical ailments along with the depression; such as: body aches, stomach pain, headaches, flu-like symptoms, and the like.


The feelings behind their depression are not necessarily understood by the person with bipolar disorder.  There may be some "trigger," or situation that led up to or caused their depression (such as something stressful), but sometimes it is not any more easily identifiable than the person's feelings.


Some people, when asked why they're feeling so depressed, are unable to give a direct explanation for their state of mind.  They simply answer, "It's nothing," or at best, "I'm just feeling overwhelmed."  Many people with bipolar disorder don't even understand the "why" of their depression.


Some people want to sleep more, because they feel more tired and have less energy than they usually do.  Some people even sleep less, but still feel restless, irritable, and anxious.  This, too, is part of a bipolar depression.


Other symptoms of bipolar depression include a disinterest in things that used to interest the person, a decreased sex drive, and low productivity.  Many stop taking care of themselves.  Depression interferes with their daily activities to such a degree that they even stop grooming themselves.  This can lead to another common symptom of bipolar disorder – isolation.


Isolation is normal for people in a bipolar depression.  They don't want to be around other people; not even their family and friends.  Some feel ashamed or embarrassed, because they don't want other people to see them in this depressed state, especially if they have stopped grooming.  Some people are so apathetic and just don't have the emotional (or physical) energy to play "host" to other people – or some are simply so depressed that they just want to be left alone. 


Concentration is poor.  The simplest of things are affected by the inability to focus – just reading a book can be a daunting task.  Finishing anything can become as frustrating as trying to feed a piece of yarn through the eye of a needle. 


The worst part of bipolar depression is the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness that can leave the person with thoughts of death and suicide.  They may even try to take their own life.   At the time, they may not even realize that these thoughts are not their own – thoughts like these are only part of the bipolar depression.  


There is hope for the person with bipolar disorder who goes through the mood swing of a bipolar depression, however.  Even suicidal thoughts, as well as the other symptoms, can be overcome with the right treatment (medication and therapy).