Home » Bipolar vs Major Depressive Disorder: What’s the Difference

Bipolar vs Major Depressive Disorder: What’s the Difference

by Justin

When it comes to mood disorders, Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder are two that stand out as unique but connected ailments. The National Institute of Mental Health says that 17.3 million U.S. people, or 7.1% of the population aged 18 and above, are suffering from major depressive disorder.

This blog discusses bipolar vs major depressive disorder. Also what are the symptoms and treatment approaches for these disorders. Certain medications, like wellbutrin xl 300 mg, help treat major depressive disorder.

What is Bipolar and Major Depressive Disorder?

Bipolar disorder vs major depressive disorder are mental health diseases with some of the same symptoms but are treated differently. It is hard and takes some time to figure out if someone has bipolar disorder or major depression disorder.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also called “manic depression,” is a mental health disease that causes extreme changes in mood, such as mania or hypomania and depression. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that more than 10 million people in the United States have bipolar illness. This is about 2.8% of the population.

When you’re depressed, you feel anxious, or like there’s no point in living. You might also lose interest or pleasure in most things. When your mood changes to mania or hypomania, which isn’t as bad as mania, you might feel euphoric, full of energy, or irritated for no reason.

These mood swings make it hard to sleep, feel energetic, do things, make good decisions, behave well, and think clearly.

Major Depressive Disorder

Depression is a common but serious mood disease called major depression or major depressive disorder. There are different kinds of sadness, and certain things cause some.

  • Major depression:Major depression is a feeling of sadness or loss of interest that lasts for at least two weeks and gets in the way of daily life.
  • Persistent depressive disorder: Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymia (dysthymic disorder), is a type of depression that lasts for a long time (usually at least 2 years). It comprises milder signs of depression that last for a long time.
  • Perinatal depression: Depression that starts during or after birth is called perinatal depression. If it begins before the baby is born it is called gestational depression. If it occurs after the birth of a child it is called postpartum depression.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: It is a type of sadness that comes and goes with the seasons of change behavioral health. Symptoms usually start in late autumn or early winter and go away in spring or summer.
  • Depression with symptoms of psychosis: Depression with psychosis symptoms is a serious type of depression in which the affected person has delusions or hallucinations.

Difference Between Bipolar vs. Major Depressive Disorder

Depression, hypomania, and mania are all possible states for someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It is possible to experience the symptoms of both manic depressive illness and sadness at the same time.

The following are some of the symptoms that are associated with hypomania and mania:

  • Agitation, a high level of energy, or a rise in activity
  • Erratic cognitive patterns or an increased susceptibility to distractions, grandiose notions, or unrealized beliefs
  • Exhilaration, irritability, aggression, being quick to anger, the desire for minimal sleep, and a high sex drive are all symptoms of being high.
  • Hallucinations and delusions are two symptoms that accompany severe manic episodes.

On the other hand, the major depressive disorder symptoms persist for extended periods. These could be some of them:

  • Having a depressed, hopeless, or “empty” feeling.
  • Irritability, as well as feelings of frustration
  • Lack of interest in, or complete disinterest in, activities you usually enjoy.
  • Either sleeping excessively or being unable to get enough rest
  • Either a lack of appetite or excessive eating
  • Experiencing feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Having trouble remembering information, thinking, concentrating, and making decisions
  • Undiagnosed aches and pains throughout the body
  • Imaginings of one’s demise

These symptoms are typically so severe that they interfere with a person’s everyday activities of daily living. If you suffer from this ailment, you will most likely experience more than one of these signs and symptoms.

Treatment for Bipolar vs Major Depressive Disorder

If you begin treatment sooner rather than later and continue it as prescribed, you will see better results for bipolar vs major depressive disorder.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

To treat bipolar disorder, physicians will often prescribe mood stabilizers. Antidepressants have been shown to make manic symptoms worse. They are not typically used as the primary treatment method for bipolar illness.

Your physician might also recommend them for treating other conditions, including anxiety. You should exercise extreme caution if you take one of these medications, even if you also suffer from anxiety.

There is a wide range of newly developed antipsychotic medication that has been licensed for use in the treatment of bipolar illness and is currently on the market.

Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder

Antidepressants are typically the first line of treatment for patients diagnosed with depression. Participating in talk therapy and seasonal affective disorder physical exercise is another sensible course of action to take. If you suffer from severe depression that does not respond to medication or counseling, you may benefit from brain stimulation.

The purpose of electroconvulsive therapy is to induce seizure activity by stimulating the brain with electrical impulses. You follow the procedure even if pregnant because it is only moderately risky. One of the side effects is confusion, and there may also be some memory loss.

[Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is usually prescribed to people with severe major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder who have not reacted to conventional treatments.]

Both disorders typically call for a treatment regimen that includes not only medicine but also psychotherapy of some kind. Certain medications are available at the best Canadian online pharmacy to treat these disorders.


In conclusion, a complicated relationship exists between these two mental disorders, bipolar vs major depressive disorder. These disorders share some common symptoms, but their distinct characteristics shape the affected people’s experiences.

The symptoms of major depressive disorder include chronic feelings of melancholy, whereas those of bipolar disorder include alternating states of mania and depression. Recognizing these distinctions is critical for making an accurate diagnosis and receiving an appropriate course of treatment. Through individual treatment approaches, such as medication and psychotherapies, individuals suffering from these disorders are able to live with better mental health.

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