Medically reregarded by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Ann Pietrangelo — Updated on April 1, 2019

The basics of depression and also bipolar disorder

Depression

Depression is a mood disorder. It can:

reason feelings of too much sadness and despairinterfere through your sleep and appetitecause overwhelming fatiguemake it tough to meet your day-to-day responsibilities

Effective therapies for depression are easily accessible.

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Bipolar disorder

Sometimes, we feel energetic. At other times, we feel unurged and also sad. Experiencing a selection of emotional highs and lows is normal.

If you have bipolar disorder, these ups and downs can be too much and not necessarily concerned anything going on in your life. They’re severe sufficient to interfere via daily life and also deserve to result in hospitalization.

Bipolar disorder is periodically referred to as manic depression. Many people via bipolar disorder can function well if they get treatment.


Types of depression and also bipolar disorder

Types of depression

The adhering to are some kinds of depression:

When depression lasts more than 2 years, it’s dubbed persistent depressive disorder. Postpartum depression is a kind of depression that occurs after offering birth. If you have actually depression throughout a details season of the year and also then ends in another seachild, it’s dubbed “significant depressive disorder via seasonal pattern.” This offered to be referred to as seasonal affective disorder.

Types of bipolar disorder

If you have actually bipolar 1 disorder, you’ve had bouts of significant depression and also at leastern one manic episode. Bipolar 1 disorder deserve to cause you to alternative between depressive and also manic episodes.

If you have actually bipolar 2 disorder, it implies you’ve had at least one bout of significant depression and also one episode of hypomania, which is a milder form of mania.

Bipolar Disorder 1Bipolar Disorder 2
major bouts of depressionat least one bout of major depression
at leastern one manic episodeat least one episode of hypomania
have the right to alternate in between episodes of depression and also mania

Symptoms of depression and also bipolar disorder

Symptoms of depression

A depressive episode requires five or more symptoms. They last the majority of or every one of the day for two weeks or more. The symptoms include:

sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or an empty feelingpessimismguilta absence of interest in things you offered to enjoyinsomnia or resting too muchrestlessness or a lack of concentrationirritabilityeating too a lot or also littleheadaches, or miscellaneous other aches and painsthoughts of fatality or self-destruction, or self-destruction attempts

Symptoms of bipolar disorder

If you have bipolar disorder, you may different between depression and hypomania or mania. You may additionally have periods in in between when you have actually no symptoms. It’s also possible to have the symptoms of mania and also depression at the exact same time. This is called a blended bipolar state.

A few of the symptoms of hypomania and mania are:

restlessness, high energy, or increased activityracing thoughts or being easily distractedgrandiose concepts or unrealistic beliefseuphoriairritcapability, aggressiveness, or being quick to angerneeding little bit sleep a high sex drive

Severe mania have the right to reason delusions and also hallucinations. Poor judgment during a manic episode deserve to result in alcohol and drug abuse. You’re not most likely to recognize that you have actually a trouble. Mania lasts at least a week and also is intense sufficient to reason significant problems. People who have it frequently need hospitalization.

Hypomania lasts at least four days and also is much less significant.


Anyone deserve to have depression. You may be at an boosted for it if you have an additional major illness or if there’s a household background of depression. Environpsychological and emotional components may additionally boost your danger.

The precise cause of bipolar disorder is unrecognized. However, you’re even more most likely to have actually it if someone else in you household does. The symptoms generally come to be noticeable in the time of adolescence or beforehand adulthood, however it deserve to show up later on in life.

If you have bipolar disorder, you’re at increased hazard of:

substance abusemigrainesheart diseaseother illnesses

People through bipolar disorder might have actually other conditions also, such as:

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)attention deficit hyperactivity disorder social phobia stress disorder

If you have actually bipolar disorder, obtaining a diagnosis can be facility bereason it’s challenging to acknowledge hypomania or mania in yourself. If your physician is unmindful you have actually those symptoms, your illness will appear to be depression, and you won’t gain the best treatment.

Accuprice evaluation of your symptoms is the only means to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Your physician will require a finish medical background. You should additionally list all the drugs and supplements you take. It’s vital to tell your physician if you’ve had actually a difficulty through substance abuse.

No specific diagnostic test is obtainable to help your physician determine if you have actually bipolar disorder or depression. But your medical professional might desire to order tests to preeminence out various other problems that have the right to mimic depression. These tests can include physical and also neurological exams, lab tests, or brain imaging.


Treatment will be more effective if you begin at an early stage and stick to it.

Treatment for depression

Antidepressants are the primary treatment for depression. Going to talk treatment is likewise an excellent concept. You deserve to gain brain stimulation for significant depression that doesn’t respond to medication and therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy sends electric impulses to the brain, leading to seizure task. It’s a relatively safe procedure, and you can have it throughout pregnancy. The side results incorporate confusion and some memory loss.

Both conditions generally need a combination of medications plus some create of psychotherapy. Doctors frequently recommfinish cognitive behavioral treatment. In some cases, family members treatment may prove advantageous. You might additionally benefit from breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques. It may take awhile to discover what functions best for you, and you might need to make adjustments periodically.

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Some medications have the right to take weeks to occupational. All medications have the potential for serious side impacts. If you’re considering preventing your medication, talk to your physician initially so you deserve to carry out it safely.

Treatment for bipolar disorder

Doctors usage mood stabilizers to treat bipolar disorder. Antidepressants deserve to make mania worse. They aren’t a first-line therapy for bipolar disorder. Your medical professional may prescribe them to treat various other disorders such as tension or PTSD. If you likewise have tension, benzodiazepines might be advantageous, but you should use caution if you take them due to their danger for abuse. A range of new antipsychotic drugs are approved and also accessible for the treatment of bipolar disorder and also deserve to be effective. If among these drugs doesn’t work-related, another one might.


Seek therapy. This is the first step in helping yourself. Learn all you have the right to around bipolar disorder or depression, including the warning indicators of depression, hypomania, or mania.Have a plan for what to do if you’re enduring any of the warning indicators. Ask someone else to step in if you’re not able to aid yourself.Practice open up communication with your therapy team and also stick to therapy. Improvement is mainly steady, so it might take a little patience. If you aren’t comfortable via your therapist, ask your family doctor to recommend someone else. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.Get regular exercise. Avoid alcohol.Check via your doctor prior to taking any brand-new drugs. Work on reaching out to others rather than isolating yourself.

While neither condition is curable, gaining the appropriate therapy deserve to assist you live a complete, active life.