Depression and bipolar disorder are two different domains with a few overlapping symptoms. However, they differ in numerous ways, be it their symptoms, types, or treatment options.
No matter if you’re suffering from depression or bipolar disorder, the very first thing is to be diagnosed with the right disease. This further leads to proper treatment. Unfortunately, depression is often misunderstood as bipolar disorder and so complexities may arise later.
Let’s find out the basics of these mental health disorders and more essentials about them.
Depression (Unipolar Disorder) vs. Bipolar Disorder – What to expect?
Depression is also known as a unipolar disorder or clinical depression. It is mostly sourced by sleep disturbances, difficulties in focus, changes in appetite, and similar life activities. This is the reason it is often labeled as major depressive disorder (MDD) too.
Bipolar disorder is referred to as maniac depression under which the patient has extreme mood swings. They reflect the symptoms of MDD as well as high times when the patient is very happy. The opposite ends of the emotional spectrum make patients feel sad, hopeless, and restless for no reason. Similarly, they can be happy and enjoyable.
Depression affects 16 Million American adults while Bipolar disorder is rare, it affects 6 million American adults.
Here are a few symptoms of MDD. Not all patients may undergo each symptom. Some may show a couple of them while some may have one or two only.
- Always living with a low mood
- Emptiness, hopelessness & sadness keeps pouring in
- Hypersomnia or insomnia conditions
- Lack of concentration in any activities
- Either not feeling hungry at all or overeating
- Losing interest in hobbies
- Low to no sex drive
- Suicidal thoughts, attempting to die, or harming oneself
If such symptoms might be experienced daily for two weeks or more, a patient has MDD. Patients diagnosed with depression may have similar anxiety disorders too. During such situations, doctors may prescribe antidepressants like Etilaam for treating short-term anxiety and insomnia. It suppresses the abnormalities and excessive activities of the neurotransmitters and helps the patient feel relaxed.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
Here, the patient experiences the symptoms of MDD as well as periods of mania (highly energetic times). Such behavior gaps can appear at frequent intervals and may continue for years. As the symptoms could be mild, they might be left unnoticed. The following symptoms are usually experienced under bipolar disorder:
- Euphoria or excitement
- Getting angry, aggressive, or frustrated easily
- Less sleep yet full of energy
- Boosted sex drive
Why depression is often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder?
Patients having bipolar disorder may not talk about manic symptoms to the doctor unless they’re getting severe. Such lack of information may cause misunderstanding of bipolar disorder as depression because the medical practitioner is only aware of one side of the story.
As seen above, the low times in bipolar disorder and depression are much similar. No matter if the patient has the bipolar or unipolar disorder, the depressive symptoms will remain the same. However, patients with bipolar disorder sleep excessively or overeat. This could be the opposite of depression when insomnia and lack of hunger draw in.
The best way to distinguish between depression and bipolar disorder is to figure out the presence of manic symptoms. If high and low times are present, it is bipolar disorder. In the opposite case, i.e., if only low times are being experienced, it is depression. Besides this, substance abuse can also be considered an important factor in diagnosing these mental health disorders.
Complexities faced by Misdiagnosis
Even if MDD and bipolar disorder share certain symptoms in common, they are to be treated differently. Antidepressants like Etizest that could be highly effective for MDD may not be a good choice for bipolar disorder. What if we say that people suffering from bipolar disorder must not be dosed with antidepressants? The reason is they can worsen the symptoms.
What is the effective treatment for bipolar disorder then? The answer is mood-stabilizing drugs like lithium. You can reduce the risk of misdiagnosis by sharing what you feel exactly with your doctor during consultation sessions. Let them know if you’re only having MDD symptoms or MDD + manic symptoms both. It helps incorrect diagnosis of the mental health disorder and the best treatment can begin without any misunderstandings.
Preventive measures for Depression & Bipolar Disorder
You may try to minimize the symptoms by following some healthy life practices as follows:
- Stick to a nutritious diet
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid substance use (alcohol, smoking, etc)
- Opt for effective treatment if you think the above-mentioned symptoms match your behavior
- Talk to your loved ones
- Seek medical help
- Make sure to let your medical practitioner know if you prefer Etizolam buy already or if you have tried any OTC antidepressants
- Follow complete treatment without any breaks or missing out on dosages
The Bottom Line Depression or bipolar disorder can happen to anyone. How fast & precisely you recognize the warning signs from the base of the treatment. So, be wise & keep the above-discussed stuff in mind when you reach out to your doctor. It will definitely help you out in better discussions.