Conclusions

This crystal-ball gazing into the future of depression has occurred with the help of a cast of leading experts in all of the relevant areas. There is no aspect of depression where any sitting back and resting on laurels can yet be done, but both the science and the practice in this area should see considerable developments in the next decade. It is hoped that the juxtaposition of the unipolar and bipolar disorders will offer the possibility of cross-fertilisation in the areas of classification and diagnosis, theory, research, and clinical practice. Too often, these disorders are considered separately, or the focus on bipolar disorders takes an overly psychosis-based viewpoint. Both unipolar and bipolar disorders can, at the extremes, include psychotic aspects, such as loss of contact with reality, and delusions and hallucinations.

The view taken here is that these phenomena can occur at the extremes of dysregulated emotion systems (Power & Dalgleish, 1997); similar examples from other areas include the extremes of love seen in De Clerambault syndrome, the delusional beliefs about contamination or danger to self and others seen in extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder cases, the delusional beliefs about body shape and size seen in anorexia, and so on. In all areas of psychopathology, there are cases at the extremes in which delusion and reality become confused. Emotions have evolved to produce heuristic short cuts under circumstances of great significance to the individual and to the group, but evolutionary systems that provide advantage can also produce disadvantage. The emotional disorders, of which the unipolar and bipolar disorders are one set of examples, show how both the advantages and disadvantages can be apparent even in the same individual. Throughout history, these disorders have made remarkable contributions through remarkable individuals. To quote one such individual, Winston Churchill, "We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm." Churchill's life was a testament to both the tragedy and the greatness that depression can bring. For the great majority of sufferers and carers, however, the experience of these disorders seems to be an experience only of tragedy; the work presented in this volume will, it is hoped, provide some pointers as to how such tragedy can be turned into everyday misery, and even offer the occasional experience of genuine success.

Bipolar Disorder Uncovered

Bipolar Disorder Uncovered

If you're wanting to learn about bipolar disorder... Then this may be the most important letter you'll ever read! You are about to take an in-depth look at bipolar disorder. It's all you need to know about bipolar disorder to help you or a loved one lead a normal life. It doesn't matter if you or a loved one have been recently diagnosed or been struggling with bipolar disorder for years - This guide will tell you everything you need to know, without spending too much brainpower!

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