How can I tell depression from manic depression or bipolar disorder?
Last Updated: 06/26/2017 at 8:31am
Tara Davis, Doctorate in Counselling Psychology
I have worked successfully with a wide range of difficulties. Nothing is more important than developing a warm, compassionate relationship with someone you can trust
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I'm afraid you will have to look at the nhs website for this topic, because I am not experienced enough to answer this question.
Depression, manic depression, and bipolar disorder are all related depressive disorders. Depression, clinically known as major depressive disorder (MDD) is a pattern of persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and lack of motivation. It may also be accompanied by feelings of guilt, anger, worthlessness, and thoughts of dying or suicide. Manic depression is a type of depression in which the person is on the opposite end of the spectrum. During an episode they feel elated, like everything is the best it can ever be, and they are sometimes impulsive, act without thinking, and can (in some cases) be dangerous to themselves. During a manic episode the person may spend a large amount of money (including maxing out credit cards, taking out large loans, and making extravagant purchases), take part in activities they might not normally do, such as cheating on their romantic partners, changing jobs, or being promiscuous. After a manic episode the person often feels depressed, ashamed, and embarrassed about what they did. Bipolar disorder (BD) is a combination or major depressive disorder and manic depression. People with bipolar regularly cycle through both states of depression over the course of a few weeks, months, or years. Bipolar disorder is characterized by this changing of depressive states: depressed, manic, depressed, manic. Bipolar disorder is often incorrectly though of as rapidly-changing emotional states, such as within hours or days. Typically bipolar disorder states change over a few weeks or months. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or a depressive disorder, talk to a licensed mental health care professional or a doctor to receive an assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan.
You should be able to see your GP about this, as they know the difference and you could check up on other things while you there, it would probably be easier and quicker to see your GP or even just a doctor.
It may all be linked together. I suppose the triggers of each may be somewhat different. Not sure of how you can decipher between the three, but I'm sure there are symptoms for each as well.
A bipolar disorder is when you have extrem mood swings. When you feel really good, almost euphoric and due one second you suddenly feel really down and depressed.
I am a individual coping with depression and anxiety, and was in a relationship with a manic depressive man for four years. Depression, for myself, was a constant feeling of lack of motivation, frustration with not being able to focus, and some days weeping for no reason (which just made me more frustrated). I didn't have all bad days like those, but the majority of my days I felt numb and like I was just going through the motions. My partner at the time went through cycles of absolute love for me to absolute hate towards me and abusive behavior. He would want to be close to me, and then feel like I wasn't anything like he wanted the next day. Manic depression goes in cycles of great happiness to great sorrow, and all emotions in the spectrum. For persons with depression, there is typically no "happy manic state", whereas those with manic depression will experience times of excitable behavior (sometimes risky) and then fall back to a depressive state.
Maybe see a doctor, who would give you their professional advice on what they think, and how to solve the issue.
All our moods go up and down depending on what is happening. Depression would represent an abnormal swing to the downside. Bipolar disorder = manic depression involve extreme extreme swings to the upside (to point of total loss of self control) alternating at times with extreme swings to the low side which can also be dangerous. Depression is UNIPOLAR on the downside. Manic depression is BIPOLAR with extreme highs AND lows possible.
The main difference between the two is that people with depression do not go through what is known as mania, unlike people with bipolar disorder who experience both manic and depressive episodes. So a manic episode often entails elevated or irritable mood and increased goal-directed activity for at least 1 week, and must be present more often than not. Symptoms such as having a flight of ideas (racing thoughts), distractibility, increased self-esteem, a decreased need for sleep and an increased frequency for risk-taking behavior might also be present. These are the signs of bipolar disorder not seen in major depression, and having some of these symptoms might be indicative of said disorder, and it is best to seek professional advice in this case.
The main difference between Depression and manic depression/bipolar disorder is that the sufferers go through manic episodes along with depressive episodes. Sufferers of manic depression/Bipolar go through manic or depressive episodes that last anywhere from a week to months at a time. However, sometimes it is hard to discern between the two episodes if the person has an episode of manic depression (where both traits of manic episodes and depressive episodes are present). You can learn more about Bipolar here: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml And Depression here: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
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