How do you tell unipolar depression and bipolar disorder apart?

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.
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.
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.
Bipolar. If in depressed phase, history of mania/hypomania points toward bipolar. Also prior response to meds.
Use MDQ. By using this method u will be unlikely to misdiagnose bipolar affective d/o.
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.

Related Questions

Can you have bipolar disorder (manic depression), then gradually become more and more depressed, until it just becomes unipolar (depression)?

That is not quite. How it works. A person with bipolar disorder has periods of markedly ^ energy, ^ impulsivity, elated or irritable mood as well as separate periods of low mood & energy. (a mixed state is also possible).However, I have seen bipolar individuals who over the years, developed one long, chronic depressive episode. Their manic or hypomanic episodes can sort of die out over time. But it is still >>. Read more...

Can you tell me how to cure depression and bipolar disorder?

No cure. There is no cure for depression or bipolar disorder. The most we can do is manage the symptoms. For bipolar disorder, medication is best. With depression, depending on the severity, people can use natural treatments, exercise, medication and therapy. If you have bipolar depression, medication is the best option for symptom control. Read more...

Can you tell me how to make my mom to get treatment for her depression and bipolar disorder?

Depends. States have civil commitment laws that govern involuntary psychiatric treatment if specific legal criteria are meet. Absent this treatment can't be forced. Read more...

Tell me if depression form into bipolar disorder?

Either a person has. A predisposition for bipolar disorder or they don't. However, a person may initially have one or more episodes of clinical depression & then at a later time have either a hypomanic or a manic episode (s). These are periods of ^ energy, ^ impulsivity, ^ productivity with agitated, irritable or euphoric mood. At that point it would become apparent that the person has some form of bipolar disorder. Read more...

How do doctors tell if it's depression, or bipolar disorder that you're feeling?

It can be kind of. Tricky. If the person has not yet experienced an episode of mania or hypomania, then it would not be possible diagnosis them with a bipolar depression at that time. It would usually be assumed that it was unipolar depression. However once either mania or hypomania has occurred than the diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be made. Read more...

I have depression or bipolar disorder, how can I tell?

You might... If you have severe depression ; bipolar runs in your family, you might have it. Are you on medication? Talk to your therapist or prescribing physician ; they can help you decide whether you are suffering from depression or bipolar. Have you ever had a "manic" episode? Read more...