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A 32-year-old member asked:

What's the difference between regular depression and being manic depressive?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Mania: Regular (or "unipolar") depression just has low moods, not abnormally high ones. In contrast, manic depression, now called bipolar disorder, has low moods as well as mania, or abnormally high moods. These are like being under the influence of a strong stimulant: rapid speech, excitement, poor social judgment, irritability, and often grandiosity.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Psychiatry 40 years experience
Mania itself: People who suffer from manic depression ("bipolar") have two poles of extreme mood--both depression (low) and mania (high) as colleagues have described. It's important to realize that with just episodes of depression, it is not certain whether the depression is "unipolar" or part of "bipolar". Once one has a manic episode, bipolar is confirmed, even if the depression has not yet appeared.

Similar questions

A 41-year-old member asked:

I want to know what is the difference between having depression and being manic-depressive?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ernest Bordini
Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology 33 years experience
Manic-depresssion: Reminds me of the old jimmy hendrix song line. Basically manic depression requires both an episode of depression and a full blown manic episode. This would be classic manic-depression or what we call type i, a briefer episode of elated mood, sleeplessness, pressured speech, irritability, restlessness, impulsiveness etc would be bipolar ii. Some people only have repeating depressive episodes.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What are the difference between manic depressive disorder and major depression?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Holmberg
A Verified Doctoranswered
23 years experience
Bipolar vs. major: The key difference between manic-depressive (a.K.A., bipolar) and major depression are the swings in mood. Depression can include anxiety and irritability but not mania (i.e., pressured thoughts & speech, impulsivity, low need for sleep, highly focused behaviors). There are forms of bipolar without mania. If you're worried about yourself, friend or loved one, talk with your doctor. Reach out!
A 41-year-old member asked:

Manic depressive disorder vs major depression, what is the difference?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara Lavi
Clinical Psychology 36 years experience
These are different: Diagnosis. People with depression may have bouts with depression followed by periods when they are less depressed. They do not have manic episodes. Bipolar disorder is a physical illness like diabetes that does not go away, it simply can be controlled using and adjusting the proper medication throughout your life. Having a good psychotherapist and psychiatrist is imperative. I hope this helps.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016
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