There are times when you are feeling low or feeling lonely you end up feeling both good and bad at the same time. In essence, it is generally signified as a mixed episode. This is not a disorder, but more of a symptom of a type of bipolar disorder. Generally, it is a time when you have a manic episode of bubbling happiness and a major depressive feeling killing you from inside all in the same day, lasting roughly for a week.
To be regarded as a mixed episode, the swinging feelings of happiness and sadness have to be acute enough, so that it inhibits your occupational or social functioning. It is not something which is caused due to the physiological after-effects of substance abuse or medical condition like hyperthyroidism.
The symptoms that a patient may see in a mixed episode could be occurring due to the effects of consuming medication for depression, LED light therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, or other medicines that the patient is consuming for conditions like corticosteroids.
However, these symptoms are not diagnosed as mixed episodes but a component of Bipolar I disorder. There are some cases of bipolar diathesis in certain people who have similar symptoms after a somatic treatment.
For these people, there is a distinctively higher chance of getting more manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes that are not connected to drug abuse or somatic treatments. This is very important when small children or adolescents exhibit the same reactions, as their future episodes will be based on this.
What are the criteria for you to be suffering from Mixed episodes?
- During a one week period, for almost every day of the week, the patient should have been suffering from both Manic episodes and a major depressive episode
- The mood swings have to be at an advanced stage where they are limiting your ability to work in your professional life and your personal life.
- The symptoms that an individual faces for a mixed episode should not be a result of the aftereffect of drug abuse, or any other medication.
The age and culture and gender characteristics
The cultural characteristics that are derived for a major depressive episode work to a large extent for mixed episodes as well. It tends to be more prevalent in individuals who are either young or people who are more than the age of 60 and are suffering from Bipolar disorder. Also, it is possibly more prevalent in men compared to that of females.
How does it progress?
A mixed episode generally tends to start evolving from a manic episode or else a major depressive episode could occur de novo. In essence, a diagnosis generally would be changed very fast. For e.g. in an individual mixed episode can last from anywhere between a number of months to a few weeks. It can and has the potential of mutating to a full-on major depressive episode. However, it is far less common for a mixed episode to mutate into a manic episode.