Monday, June 13, 2016


What is the difference between unipolar depression and bipolar depression? To start unipolar depression once was called regular depression. As many of you know bipolar is often called manic depression. The main difference is that depression most of the time happens everyday, whereas, bipolar depression is up and down everyday. There are "highs" for a long time then "lows" for a long time. Someone with unipolar depression doesn't go through the "highs" of bipolar depression. High moods are known as mania. If a person is manic they may have increased energy, feelings of euphoria, insomnia, or impulsive behaviors like shopping sprees or promiscuous sex. Depression can either be a stand-alone diagnosis, or a part of another diagnosis like bipolar. With unipolar depression a major depressive episode is a state of depression with all the classic symptoms. Symptoms my be lethargy, sleep disturbance, despondency, morbid thoughts, feelings of worthlessness and sometimes attempted suicide. Both bipolar and unipolar depression are considered to have genetic and environmental factors. They share many of the same symptoms,such as, sadness, hopelessness, pessimism, anxiety and sleep problems. A mental heath professional will examine whether there are other symptoms present(or have occurred in the past to see if the depression is just depression or whether it is part of a larger disorder. Unfortunately, bipolar can be difficult to diagnose, because it looks similar to depression when someone is in a low phase. A person can experience depressive episodes for several years without experiencing manic or hypomania(less severe form of mania). It's important the patient tells about all the symptoms that have been experienced, even feelings of extreme happiness. The lifetime suicide rate for unipolar depression is 9%. The suicide rate for bipolar depression is 20%. The bipolar depression suicide rate reflects the fact that having an array of symptoms, including mixed mania, agitation, OCD, anxiety and psychosis can make a person extremely uncomfortable and desperate, along with being depressed. A person in a mixed state(episodes where depression, mania and possibly psychosis occur at the same time) has more energy and drive to actually try suicide. People who kill themselves want to end pain. They don't want to end their lives, which is why so many more try than succeed.

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