Know The Difference Between Bipolar and Manic Depressive Disorder

Know The Difference Between Bipolar and Manic Depressive Disorder

Know The Difference Between Bipolar and Manic Depressive Disorder

Many people are confused about the difference between the terms “bipolar”, “depression”, and “manic depression”. All of these terms refer to mental illnesses, but bipolar and manic depression refer to the same illness.

Manic Depressive Disorder

Bipolar and Manic Depression

The field of psychiatry changed the term for manic depression to bipolar many years ago to distinguish manic depression from clinical depression. Clinical depression is a mental illness characterized by the following symptoms:

– Feeling sad and unhappy for an uninterrupted period of at least two weeks
– Crying for no reason
– Feeling worthless
– Having very little energy
– Losing interest in pleasurable activities

Bipolar is characterized by alternating moods of mania and depression. What is a manic episode?

– Feeling overly happy, excited, or confident
– Feeling extremely irritable or aggressive
– Having racing thoughts or speech
– Thoughts of being overly important, gifted, or special
– Making poor judgments with respect to money or relationships
– Engaging in risky behavior

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Hypomania is a lesser form of mania where you might experience only a few of these symptoms or experience them with a low intensity. People with the more severe form of the illness are diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder. Those who have hypomanic instead of full blown manic episodes are said to have Type 2 Bipolar Disorder.

So, the difference between depression and manic depression is that manic depression has alternating periods of mania and depression while depression is just straight depression. They changed the name of manic depression to bipolar so that there would no longer be any confusion between the two illnesses.

Treatments for the Two Disorders

The treatments of the two disorders are also different. Both illnesses respond to medication and therapy, but the medication used for each is different. Bipolar responds to mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics. Nowadays, mood stabilizers have largely been supplanted by atypical antipsychotics.

Mood stabilizers include drugs such as lithium. The newer atypical antipsychotics, such as Abilify, tend to be very expensive now.