How is bipolar disorder different from major depression?

Bipolarvs Depression. Actually, according to the criteria used, one may have only ever had manic moods, or mania, and qualify for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. That is why the term manic-depression is confusing. One may never have been depressed at any time, and still have bipolar disorder.
Mania. By definition, in bipolar disorder th person must have had one episode of mania or mixed presentation.
Lability. Bipolar disorder has discrete periods of depression in addition to discrete periods of feeling "too good".

Related Questions

I was diagnosed with major depression and bipolar disorder what does this mean?

Bipolar disorder. Presents with periods of major depression ; periods of elevated mood or irritability and high energy. If both the diagnoses were for this period of time, it is likely that you are in a phase when you are depressed. Read more...

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

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. Read more...

Is it possible for someone to suffer from both major depression and bipolar disorder?

Not exactly. It's certainly possible for someone with bipolar disorder to be depressed, and the symptoms of the current episode could be very like major depression. However, because bipolar disorder also includes episodes of mania or hypomania, the depression would be part of ongoing bipolar disorder rather than a separate disorder. Treatment is different also, as mood stabilizing medications are needed. Read more...

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

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. Read more...
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. Read more...

Can you have borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder & major depression at the same time?

Yes, often does. Mood disorder has to do with symptoms you experience while personality disorder has to do with a pattern of difficulty with relationships. A chronic mood disorder that begins early in life can lead to a personality disorder. Meds might help the mood but psychotherapy is needed to address the interpersonal problems. Read more...
Bipolar & Borderline. The same person can have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder (BD)and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). A person with BD can have major depressive episodes. However, the diagnosis will still be BD, not Major Depression. The diagnosis of BPD + BD has to be made very carefully, because symptoms of the 2 can overlap, and is best made by a seasoned psychiatrist taking her time to reach the diagnosis. Read more...

I do not have bipolar disorder. I do have recurrent Major depression, severe. Why would my psychiatrist prescribe lithium and Geodon (ziprasidone)?

Mood disorder. Many argue that many cases of depression are a form of bipolar disease. specially if your mood fluctuates. instead of going from extreme highs to lows, you go from lows without going into highs, so many treat depression as a form of bipolar disease. What drugs you go on depends on how high or low you go. I would have to know more about your case. Read more...

Is depression different from bipolar disorder?

Yes. Depression is a mood disorder that has dysmotivation, sadness, flat affect, disinterest in usually exciting activities (like sex, work, child rearing, volunteerism, housekeeping), irritability, sleep disruption, inability to perform tasks of daily activity, or interaction with friends or family. Bipolar disorder has these symptoms as well, but also has mood swings, extreme irritability, rages, . Read more...
Yes, technically but. Sometimes they are confused one with the other. When depression resists all antidepressant medication one has to think bipolar disorder, since in bipolar disorder individuals antidepressant meds often aggravate it. Major depression can evolve into bipolar disorder. Rarely bipolar can become major depression. Depression gets depression meds, bipolar - mood stabilizers & sometimes depression meds. Read more...

How are bipolar depression and bipolar disorder different?

Terminology. There are a number of conditions that fall under the spectrum of bipolar disorder. Essentially, bipolar disorder encompasses periods of low energy, low mood and other impairments (depression) as well as periods of high energy & increased mood (mania or hypomania). The term bipolar depression is referring to only the depressive cycle that is part of a bipolar disorder. Read more...

How are bipolar disorder, and bipolar depression different?

BPD = general term. There are several kinds of bipolar disorder. Bipolar depression is the depressed phase of the two extreme poles. All people have moods, however, normally the variation is not extreme. To be labelled bipolar, a person needs to have had at least one past manic episode.A website, www.Bipolar.Com is a good reference for more specific distinctions between the different variations of bpd. Read more...