• Knowing the Difference Between Bipolar and Depression

    Bipolar disorder self management

    The acceptance and understanding of mental health is still a relatively new thing. For many years, mental health conditions were long misunderstood, left to be unregulated. Yet, with all of the advancements that have been made in the recent years and decades, there are still some misinformation being spread from person to person. One of the most common bits of misinformation is the confusion between being bipolar condition and depression.

    While often used as interchangeable terms, there are key differences between bipolar condition and depression. Depression, which is often confused with occasional sadness, is an onset of sadness featuring five or more depressive symptoms that lasts two weeks or longer and affects the daily life of the depressed individual. On the other hand, bipolar condition is a mental health condition marked by extreme alterations in mood, called bipolar behavior shifts, from mania to depression.

    A manic episode, in comparison to a depressive one, is diagnosed if person has an noticeable signs of an elevated mood, extreme irritability, or poor judgement (along with other symptoms) for nearly every day for at least one week. The bipolar behavior shifts that take place are in stark contrast to one another, wherein examples of manic depression symptoms are described lasting empty moods, feelings of worthlessness, and an overall decreased energy.

    Major depression, which affects approximately 24% of women and 15% of men, is a generally common condition. The mental health condition of bipolar, conversely, affects nearly 6 million American adults. While it is a mental health condition that is less prevalent than major depression, it is a serious condition, as the World Health Organization (WHO) states that it is the sixth most common cause of disability in the world. The similarity between the two comes through the average age of onset though, with the conditions appearing often around the age of 25, although it can appear in young children and older adults, ages 40 through 60.

    If you’re unsure of which you might have, there is always the opportunity of meeting with a physician or psychotherapist to receive bipolar screening and, if needed, professional bipolar advice. If you’ve felt any of these symptoms and wish to check on your own, you can take an online bipolar depression quiz or bipolar mood test. These tests will test for the possibility of depressive qualities, along with tendencies for bipolar behavior shifts.


    If the results come back stating that you show signs of bipolar behavior shifts, it might be best to look into information regarding bipolar treatment. Before taking any sort of medication, it is best to meet with a physician or psychotherapist to receive recommendations on types of medication, their dosages, and possible side effects to watch out for. Similarly, you can seek out forms of therapy to help lessen the effects of bipolar behavior shifts, whether that be Cognitive-Behavioral therapy or practicing relaxation techniques with a professional and on your own.

    While bipolar condition can be a difficult to manage, there are available methods to better control its effects. If you’re feeling worried about the presentation and perception of this mental health condition, don’t be. There is help out there so that you can essentially contain, maintain, and lessen the effects of your bipolar behavior shifts.