A member asked:

What differentiates manic depression from the "regular" kind?

31 doctors weighed in across 15 answers
Dr. Steven Griggs answered

Specializes in Clinical Psychology

Manic Depression: This is the older term for Bi-Polar Disorder, which involves both a low (depression) and a high (mania). The "regular" kind of depression has only the low. "Bi" means "two" and polar refers to the direction of the mood--up or down. Accordingly, having only depression without the mania is sometimes referred to as "uni" polar (one direction) depression.

Answered 4/30/2016

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Dr. Katharine Cox answered

Specializes in Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Manic/depression: Depressed people feel down all the time. Manic/depression is interspersed with episodes of depression and episodes where they feel too good and nothing is beyond their control. They will often behave in excessive ways difficult to control. Medication is different. All the best.

Answered 4/30/2016

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Dr. Tariq Halim answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Misnomer: Manic-Depression is the old term used for Bipolar Disorder. A "manic depression: is may be misconstrued for a mixed episode.

Answered 5/12/2016

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Dr. Beverly Dexter answered

Specializes in Clinical Psychology

Manic depression: The medical name now is Bipolar Disorder, and the very distinctive difference is that we can really only dx Bipolar if we actually see the person in mania or hypomania. In a manic episode a person might stay awake a week, spend 10s of thousands of dollars, maybe become promiscuous, be very driven, sometimes aggressive. They will crash at some point and could go back into mania,depression or normal

Answered 5/12/2016

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Dr. Michael Blumenfield answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Usually has up mood: Usually the term refers to someone who has mood swings which include some variation of an "up" mood and may also has a down component. The so called " regular " usually refers to people who have depression without an up component. The important point is that depression can be a very serious problem in any variant. Treatment works and people should see a psychiatrist for an evaluation.

Answered 5/12/2016

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Dr. Matthew Smith answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Bipolar, unipolar: Regular or unipolar depression lacks certain features over time, that bipolar depression has: a tendency to manic, hypomanic, and mixed expisodes, in addition to depressive episodes. But the quality of the depressive episodes themselves may also be different, although this is probably subtle.

Answered 5/12/2016

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Dr. Susan Duenke answered

Specializes in Clinical Psychology

Bipolar vs. unipolar: Manic depression is now called bipolar disorder. It is when the patient has significant mood swings between highs (manic) and lows (depressed). Regular depression is unipolar and means the patient only feels low.

Answered 5/12/2016

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Dr. Andrew Berry answered

Specializes in Clinical Psychology

Differentiation: Think of it this way: manic depression is now known as bipolar disorder, and it's two things, i.e., mania AND depression (i.e., mood swings). Depression is just that: depression by itself WITHOUT mania.

Answered 5/12/2016

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Dr. Panagiota Korenis answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Ups and downs: Manic depression means you have mood dysregulation. Atleast once in your life you will experience a manic episode which is atleast one week of symptoms which include but are not limited to:rapid speech, impulsive behavior, flight of ideas, no sleep without feeling tired, in addition, you may have symptoms of major depression which includes depressed mood, lack of energy, hopelessness.

Answered 10/23/2016

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Dr. Michelle King answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Bipolar mania is: characterized by periods where patients have racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, and exhibit poor judgment often in areas relating to relationships and financial decisions. It's more energetic, not a down mood. Depression can be insomnia or too much sleep, loss of interest in activities, but by itself is not associated with mania. Depression and bipolar are both mood disorders.

Answered 9/25/2017

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Dr. Krishna Kumar answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Depression severity: Depression -sadness, crying, guilt, brooding; can affect sleep, appetite, , energy and functioning. Do you mean "regular" kind is that most people can have these feelings? Manic depression is severe with marked sadness, severe guilt, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness with manic episodes-talking very fast, flight of ideas, restless and making poor judgements See Psychiatrist for Diagnosis

Answered 10/23/2016

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Dr. Andrew Kaplan answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Mood episodes: A major depressive episode lasting 2 weeks or more and including several symptoms including low or irritable mood, anhedonia, sense of worthlessness, sleep difficulties, etc. Mania is at least 3 consecutive days with elevated and irritable mood associated with decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts and speech, increased goal-directed behavior. It is striking and others will be concerned.

Answered 10/23/2016

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Dr. Cyma Khalily answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

MANIC/DEP = BIPOLAR: I am not sure if I clearly understand this question. There is Major Depression and there is Bipolar or Manic/Depression. In Major Depression you experience only the down or the depressive symptoms. In Bipolar you will experience depressive symptoms and at times elevated or agitated symptoms.

Answered 6/11/2017

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Dr. Marcello Maviglia answered

Specializes in

Different treatment.: it can manifest with same sxs or a more complex mix, including irritability. Treatment follows different guidelines. Antidepressants may not be as effective and may even cause problems. This is a topic that you should consult with your psychiatrist or MH provider

Answered 5/26/2017

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Dr. Prakash Ettigi answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Chronic Nature: Manic Depression or Bipolar depression is usually chronic and may be associated with periods of agitation and hyperactivity. Usually runs in families and more resistant to the usual antidepressant medications.

Answered 7/12/2017

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