Many people often confuse Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Disorder Depression because they share the symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, pessimism; anxiety and sleep problems; However Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression take very different directions. It is important that we are able to tell them apart because the treatments are very different. Making an inaccurate diagnosis can result in making the disorder worse. There are two types of mood disorders: Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Disorder.
It is believed both are genetic disorders and they share many symptoms. These disorders differ in treatments, and some of the symptoms are also different. Both can be very severe and carry a risk of suicide. However, the underlying difference is that people with Bipolar Depression also experience mania or hypomania. Bipolar disorder symptoms are depression, mania, a high level of anxiety, aggression, ADHD and OCD symptoms, psychosis, rapid cycling, agitation, and mixed episodes.
Most people with Bipolar Depression often sleep excessively and suffer daytime fatigue. They also experience increased appetite and weight gain. Bipolar Depression is likely to be accompanied by stronger symptoms of anxiety. Many people with Bipolar Depression have a co-occurring anxiety disorder such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder or social anxiety disorder, which is complicated with symptoms such as mania and psychosis that accompany Bipolar Depression. It is believed that Bipolar Disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain.
There are a few findings and theories on the causes of manic episodes. Evidence suggests that one possible cause may be high amounts of norepinephrine, whereas, depression seems to be influenced by a low amount of norepinephrine. Low levels of serotonin also appear to be responsible for mania as well as depression which suggest low levels of serotonin may be linked to mood disorders. It is also believed that the ions that surround the neurons in the brain may cause the neurons to fire too quickly causing mania or to slowly causing depression.
Research points to people having a higher risk of developing a bipolar disorder if they have relatives with mood disorders. Researchers are unsure of exactly what causes Bipolar, but like Unipolar it can be inherited. People with bipolar experience high levels of euphoria, and depression so severe it can lead to suicide. It is essential to the sufferers’ well being that a balance is found between the two. People with Unipolar suffer from bouts of intense sadness so severe it causes despair. It interferes with daily activities making life unbearable.
A depressed mood and noticeable loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities. The person may feel sad, empty, and dejected, anxious, agitated, angry, tearful or humiliated most of the day. Significant weight loss or weight gain may be experienced as well as sleep problems, fatigue or restlessness. They may experience feelings of worthlessness or guilt, an inability to see positive qualities about themselves think clearly or concentrate. They may also experience headaches, dizziness, general pain, thoughts of death and may attempt suicide.
It is believed that stress, due to events such as loss of a loved one may be a possible cause. There are also biochemical factors which may play a part in depression, a higher level of the cortisol or a lack of melatonin have been linked to depression. There appears to be a link between a low level of norepinephrine and serotonin chemicals in the brains of people with depression. The endocrine system and hormones may play a major role in the development of depression. Studies have also shown a link to genetic factors in the possibility of depression.
Evidence shows that people are more likely to become depressed if they have relatives who have suffered from depression. It is not clear what causes Unipolar Depression, however it is believed that neurotransmitters in the brain have malfunctioned causing the person to become severely depressed. Genetics or other mood disorders are likely causes for unipolar depression. A major difference between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Disorder is there is no mania present in Unipolar Depression. Unipolar depression may strike one time, or it may occur many times.
Although there is some debate about whether unipolar depression is a form of bipolar disorder, the evidence supports the belief that they are two very different but related illnesses. Unipolar depression occurs more commonly than bipolar disorder. Women are affected more often than men by unipolar than bipolar disorder. In addition bipolar disorder appears at a younger age, and has shorter intervals between episodes which means there are more episodes during a lifetime. The treatments for unipolar depression and bipolar disorders differ.
People with unipolar regardless of treatment tend to experience at least one recurrence of depressive mood during their lives. However it can be treated with antidepressants alone, whereas bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, and it takes the sustained use of medication and psychological counseling to treat the illness treatment uses mood stabilizing drugs (which are different than antidepressant drugs). Therapy and anti-seizure drugs have had great success in treating bipolar disorder. Therapy is usually ineffective alone but is very helpful when combined with medications.
The treatments consist of individual, group, or family therapy. Antidepressant drugs are used to treat bipolar disorder, in addition to mood stabilizers. While the underlying cause of the two disorders is somewhat unclear, researchers are finding new ways to diagnose unipolar and bipolar disorder correctly. References: http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/2005028/unipolar_bipolar_depression_pg3. html? cat=5 http://www. bipolarcentral. com/otherillnesses/unipolar_disorder. php http://www. mentalhelp. net/poc/view_doc. php? type=doc&id=11199&cn=4 http://seekyt. com/unipolar-and-bipolar-disorder-the-underlying-cause/