View Full Version : differences between bipolar and unipolar depression


Fuzzy12
10-25-12, 12:02 PM
I've been scanning a few papers to see what the differences during depressive episodes are in bipolar and unipolar (i.e. just major depression)) patients. Below is a list of how bipolar depression can be different from unipolar depression:

1. Hypersomnia
2. Eating too much
3. Psychosis
4. diurnal mood variation (mood changes during course of the day)
5. Shorter depressive episodes

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/192/5/388.short

Does anyone know of anything else?

bluewind
10-31-12, 07:55 AM
Bipolar individuals can experience a hypomanic mixed state that presents itself as a sort of restless depression. Usually individuals that are afflicted with unipolar depression do not experience this. Eating too much can occur with both unipolar and bipolar depression I would say but the impulsiveness fueling eating too much might be more apparent in bipolar depression.

I've heard that depressive episodes during Bipolar can be more severe because even though they slip into depression gradually (a prerequisite for both bipolar depression and unipolar depression) it seems much more severe as it is often preceded by a manic state. I've been in this situation before. My experience was that I spent more time feeling helpless and depressed because I was no longer as happy and care-free as I once was.

Not sure if this helps but your topic intrigued me:)

Electra2
10-31-12, 10:36 AM
My relative with bipolar rarely realize what she does before or after her manic state but the few times it ever hits her its extremly painfull for her...
I can see it on her whole body she sits shaking,hiding her face and sit all curled up crying...
I dont know how much depression it is,or how much of it is just the mere consequense of the former mania state.
But when it happens ,she is ususally suicidal and even tries to commit at least one time about once a year...
and has more then enough taking care of her own needs-she can't,really.
She is uncapable of taking care of anyone,even though that's what she would like.
She is at such times usually isolated for months.She hates that.But its nessessery because she worries and her mental "filter"/defence is overloaded then.
She does not tell her real thoughts and worries or beliefes at the time to the therapists because she is afraid to be labeled crazy and beeing put on heavy meds.
Because of this she explains things in half sentences and interupts her self.
That just makes it even worse,unfortunatly,because then they think she is not even capable of speaking properly or such.
The mania and the depression is usually connected.
It is often caused by a lack of lithium...
She does not believe in the diagnose,the therapy or the medication,so she is usually forsed to accept treatment.She does not want people to know she has Bipolar,
but still she wants to publish a book about it.So I guess she would like people to know it in her own words.
I can sometimes tell that she switches to another state of mind when she starts to talk a lot,seems in a rush,is very very happy,
is very "proud" of a lot of stuff compered to normal,and doesnt finish sentences,just starts new one,and talk for ages.
I can also tell more easy because she thinks a lot of stuff is related to her that other people could easily tell is not!
It seems like its difficult to know when things are real and when they are not...like ; "they must be spying on me" ,
or "It must have happend because of me."She also forget a lot of stuff that is unconvinent.
All in all,she is a very nice and kind person.But in the manic episodes,not as much as the depressive,
I think its allmost hard to believe like she is the same person I know in usual.
it seems to me that in the depressive state she is unable to take any critism and when it happends,
she project or forget what she hear,or break down more.
In the manic episodes critism does not effect her at all.
Sometimes I wonder if it is the medication that makes her like this,or if it is Bipolar.
Its hard to write theese things about her.

Abi
10-31-12, 10:51 AM
I've been scanning a few papers to see what the differences during depressive episodes are in bipolar and unipolar (i.e. just major depression)) patients. Below is a list of how bipolar depression can be different from unipolar depression:

1. Hypersomnia YES
2. Eating too much YES
3. Psychosis NO
4. diurnal mood variation (mood changes during course of the day) OCCASIONALLY
5. Shorter depressive episodes YES

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/192/5/388.short

Does anyone know of anything else?

xxxxx

LaBrit
11-03-12, 02:37 AM
I've been scanning a few papers to see what the differences during depressive episodes are in bipolar and unipolar (i.e. just major depression)) patients. Below is a list of how bipolar depression can be different from unipolar depression:

1. Hypersomnia
2. Eating too much
3. Psychosis
4. diurnal mood variation (mood changes during course of the day)
5. Shorter depressive episodes

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/192/5/388.short

Does anyone know of anything else?


I was diagnosed as depressed in high school. These days, one of my diagnosis entries no long says depressed, rather "unipolar." As it was described to me, unlike people who are bi-polar (highs and lows), those of us who are unipolar, start out low, and episodes where we go so low, we find it hard to function, and often can't. So the hope is that staying at a level of slightly depressed is the goal.

Fortune
11-03-12, 02:50 AM
I've been scanning a few papers to see what the differences during depressive episodes are in bipolar and unipolar (i.e. just major depression)) patients. Below is a list of how bipolar depression can be different from unipolar depression:

1. Hypersomnia
2. Eating too much
3. Psychosis
4. diurnal mood variation (mood changes during course of the day)
5. Shorter depressive episodes

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/192/5/388.short

Does anyone know of anything else?

Just as a note, it's possible for someone with unipolar/clinical/major depression to have atypical depression symptoms, which resemble the symptoms that accompany bipolar depression.

Also, severe major depression can also result in psychosis, although not to the same degree.

Fuzzy12
11-05-12, 09:59 AM
Just as a note, it's possible for someone with unipolar/clinical/major depression to have atypical depression symptoms, which resemble the symptoms that accompany bipolar depression.

Also, severe major depression can also result in psychosis, although not to the same degree.

So in terms of diagnosis how does a doctor distinguish then between unipolar depression and bipolar disorder? :scratch:

Electra2
11-05-12, 05:56 PM
Hm. Last time my relative with bipolar was in hospital she was diagnosed with psychotic depression, even though the psychiatric nurse who took her to the doctor said she clearly had a manic
episode at that point! I think it's confusing, as all I could tell was symptoms of mania, too.

Fortune
11-05-12, 09:57 PM
So in terms of diagnosis how does a doctor distinguish then between unipolar depression and bipolar disorder? :scratch:

Bipolar presents with mania. If you do not describe any mania or hypomania, then it's atypical depression.

crystal8080
12-24-12, 08:48 PM
I have spent a great deal of time reading online and I came across this. I found it valuable.
www. healthyplace. com/ bipolar-disorder/bipolar-depression/differences-between-unipolar-depression-bipolar-depression/

Rebelyell
12-24-12, 09:04 PM
Alot of times When Im in bed all day depressed to the 9s I dont eat until Im so light headed I might pass out.

namazu
12-24-12, 09:14 PM
I have read that "atypical depression" -- the kind associated with hypersomnia (sleeping too much) and hyperphagia (eating too much) is, despite the name, actually quite common in both unipolar and bipolar depression.

It does seem to be a bit more common in bipolar disorder than in major depressive disorder, but both disorders can have depression with atypical features.

Here's a paper (technical) on the subject:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21939615
"RESULTS: The presence of atypical features during [a major depressive episode - MDE] was associated with greater rates of lifetime psychiatric comorbidity, including alcohol abuse, drug dependence, dysthymia, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and any personality disorder (all P values < .05), except antisocial personality disorder, than MDE without atypical features. Compared with the latter group, MDE with atypical features was associated with female gender, younger age at onset, more MDEs, greater episode severity and disability, higher rates of family history of depression, bipolar I disorder, suicide attempts, and larger mental health treatment-seeking rates (all P values < .05)."

Among the conclusions: "Major depressive episode with atypical features may be more common, severe, and impairing than previously documented."