woman thinking about the difference between depression and manic depression

What’s the Difference Between Depression and Manic Depression?

The differences between the symptoms of depression and the symptoms of manic depression are significant. Though they share some commonalities, the critical difference between the two is that those with manic depression experience manic episodes. This is also known also as bipolar disorder. Read on to learn more about the difference between depression and manic depression and how The Ranch TN can help you with treatment.

Signs Of Depression

Symptoms of depression, now known as major depressive disorder (MDD), include:

  • Loss of interest in usual pleasures and hobbies
  • Consistent sad, low, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of guiltiness or worthlessness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulties concentrating or remembering
  • Changes in appetite
  • Decreased energy
  • Difficulty sleeping at night or waking in the morning
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Types Of Major Depressive Disorder

There are multiple characterizations of major depressive disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) characterizes these different types of depression as follows:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder: This type of depression is characterized by a depressive mood that lasts at least two years. Those with persistent depressive disorder experience periods of major depression, occasionally accompanied by times when symptoms are less severe, but they typically last for more than two years.
  • Perinatal Depression: This is a major depression that women experience after the birth of their child. Women can also experience perinatal depression before they deliver their babies. Characteristics of this type of depression include anxiety, sadness, and exhaustion, which make it difficult for mothers to care for their babies.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Also known as manic depression, this type of depression is different from typical depression but is included on the NIMH’s list because of the major depressive episodes that people experience when they suffer from bipolar disorder. However, symptoms of manic depression are different from the regular major depressive disorder as those with bipolar also experience periods of extreme highs or mania.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder or manic depression is a disorder that causes extreme mood and energy shifts over varying periods of time. It often makes it difficult for individuals to carry out everyday tasks that are necessary to live. Bipolar disorder is divided into four categories. Each shows similar but different symptoms of manic depression:

  • Bipolar I Disorder: Individuals with Bipolar I Disorder may experience manic episodes that last at least seven days or severe manic episodes that require hospitalization. These depressive episodes last longer, with some lasting around two weeks long. It is possible to experience mixed episodes or a combination of manic and depressive features.
  • Bipolar II Disorder: Individuals with Bipolar II Disorder experience a series of hypomanic and depressive episodes. However, the manic episodes are not as severe as in those with Bipolar I Disorder.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia): Individuals with Cyclothymic Disorder may experience periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms lasting at least 2 years. However, the episodes are not as severe and do not meet the necessary requirements of Bipolar I or II.
  • Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders: Individuals may experience symptoms of bipolar disorder that do not fit into any of the categories listed above.

Clearly, manic depression and depression are two completely different disorders. Though they do share commonalities in the depressive episodes. Medication is often beneficial for individuals experiencing extreme cases of either disorder. You should take both the symptoms of depression and the symptoms of manic depression seriously. Seek treatment if you suffer from either of these illnesses so you can begin to live a more healthy lifestyle with more coping methods. If you would like to seek treatment for either depression or manic depression, contact us at The Ranch TN at 1.844.876.7680 for information about our treatment programs.

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