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A 42-year-old female asked:

Can you explain the difference between recurrent major depression with mood lability and bipolar disorder?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara Lavi
Clinical Psychology 36 years experience
Good question: Sometimes bipolar is missed at 1st and seen as depression with mood swings. It may take a major manic episode for the true diagnosis to be clear. However, once a manic episode rears it's head it becomes clear. The person will go hours without sleep then crash, talk a mile a minute and have thoughts of grandeur, no 1 can keep up with them. During the depressive stages they R extremely sad.
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Dr. Kathy Robinson
Family Medicine 33 years experience
Different problems: With major depression you have serious depressive symptoms like sadness and hopelessness. It can be constant or come and go. Mood lability is when you mood fluctuates frequently, feeling okay one minute then sad or angry the next. With bipolar disorder you can have depression but you also have mania or hypomania, conditions with increased arousal. See doctor if you have either.
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Similar questions

A 30-year-old member asked:

I want to know what is the difference between bipolar disorder and major depression?

1 doctor answer8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Blumenfield
Psychiatry 58 years experience
Manic episode: A person has to have had a manic episode to be considered to have a bipolar disorder. A person has to meet criteria for major depression to have that condition and they would not have had a manic episode. Both conditions are treatable although the treatment is somewhat different.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old member asked:

I want to know what is the difference between depression and bipolar disorder?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Bipolar: Bipolar depression is a type of bipolar disorder when pt. Is in phase of depression. Bipolar................Phases of depression alternating with manic/hypomanic phases. Depression..........No manic/hypomanic phases. Sad.................Seasonal changes in moods.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Jun 12, 2016

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