12 doctors weighed in:

How do you tell unipolar depression and bipolar disorder apart?

12 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Holmes
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
8 doctors agree

In brief: Mood Swings

By definition bipolar disorder requires the presence of either cycles of alternating mood or severe and debilitating mood swings.
In unipolar depression the concern only has to do with depression.

In brief: Mood Swings

By definition bipolar disorder requires the presence of either cycles of alternating mood or severe and debilitating mood swings.
In unipolar depression the concern only has to do with depression.
Dr. William Holmes
Dr. William Holmes
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Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: By symptom

Bipolar depression (bpd) cycles with mania (aggressiveness, grandiosity, insomnia, hypersexulaity, impulsivity) & is very frequently comorbid with anxiety.
Unipolar depression is another name for medical depressive disorder (mdd). Bipolar-ii is like bpd, but it cycles from really depressed to less severely depressed, has no mania or hypomania, & is also called treatment resistant depression.

In brief: By symptom

Bipolar depression (bpd) cycles with mania (aggressiveness, grandiosity, insomnia, hypersexulaity, impulsivity) & is very frequently comorbid with anxiety.
Unipolar depression is another name for medical depressive disorder (mdd). Bipolar-ii is like bpd, but it cycles from really depressed to less severely depressed, has no mania or hypomania, & is also called treatment resistant depression.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Dr. Carla Enriquez
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: Can be subtle...

Doctors have correctly explained that bipolar has two poles--depression and mania (or hypomania), unipolar one.
The subtlety is that the poles don't necessarily alternate. One may have 1, 2, ...Episodes of depression that look unipolar. Then a manic episode appears and looking back, those "uniplolar" episodes were really bipolar depressions. These require different treatment than unipolar.

In brief: Can be subtle...

Doctors have correctly explained that bipolar has two poles--depression and mania (or hypomania), unipolar one.
The subtlety is that the poles don't necessarily alternate. One may have 1, 2, ...Episodes of depression that look unipolar. Then a manic episode appears and looking back, those "uniplolar" episodes were really bipolar depressions. These require different treatment than unipolar.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
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Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Bipolar

If in depressed phase, history of mania/hypomania points toward bipolar. Also prior response to meds.

In brief: Bipolar

If in depressed phase, history of mania/hypomania points toward bipolar. Also prior response to meds.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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Dr. Bassam Amawi
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Use MDQ

By using this method u will be unlikely to misdiagnose bipolar affective d/o.

In brief: Use MDQ

By using this method u will be unlikely to misdiagnose bipolar affective d/o.
Dr. Bassam Amawi
Dr. Bassam Amawi
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Dr. Bassam Amawi
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Some physician

Can have difficulty in making the diagnoses , therefore during my I have experienced numerous patients they were placed on multiple antidepressant , three benzodiazepine and Ritalin (methylphenidate) , and when i saw them i gave them bipolar affective d/o diagnoses, and when they were placed on mood stabilizer they became better.

In brief: Some physician

Can have difficulty in making the diagnoses , therefore during my I have experienced numerous patients they were placed on multiple antidepressant , three benzodiazepine and Ritalin (methylphenidate) , and when i saw them i gave them bipolar affective d/o diagnoses, and when they were placed on mood stabilizer they became better.
Dr. Bassam Amawi
Dr. Bassam Amawi
Thank
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