Depression and bipolar disorder are both severe mental health disorders that can disrupt your life and cause many symptoms. However, they are very different conditions. Understanding the difference between bipolar disorder vs. depression can guide you toward the appropriate treatment so you can find relief from your symptoms.
Whether you are struggling with depression or bipolar disorder, Bayview Recovery has the treatment program for you. We can teach you the differences between depression vs. bipolar disorder so you can understand which of these conditions may be impacting your life. Contact us at 855.478.3650 to schedule an assessment so we can provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan at our depression and bipolar disorder treatment center in Washington.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes drastic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. The disorder affects how you think, feel, and act. Some common symptoms of bipolar disorder are:
- Mood swings – This is the most common feature of bipolar disorder. People with this condition often experience periods of depression and mania simultaneously, or they may alternate between them.
- Erratic behavior – Acting out or engaging in risky or unhealthy behaviors is common with bipolar disorder. Some people may go on radical shopping sprees during an episode of hypomania, then struggle to pay off the debt that builds. This can transition to a depressive episode in which they experience low mood and energy, finding it difficult to work and accomplish other essential tasks.
- Restlessness – This can occur during manic or depressive phases, making you more impulsive than usual when deciding to spend money or get involved in risky situations. Although, sometimes, it may just mean feeling jumpy or finding it hard to sit still.
The most noticeable sign of bipolar disorder is the extreme highs and lows of energy and mood. Bipolar disorder treatment aims to strike a healthy balance so that you can feel more emotionally stable.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental health disorder that can be mild to severe and usually requires medical treatment. Although sadness is the most noticeable sign of depression, this condition goes beyond the occasional blues. Some symptoms of depression include:
- Chronic sadness and hopelessness – You may feel down most of the time with little hope for things improving.
- Having little interest in doing things you used to enjoy – When you have depression, you may lose motivation to do things, including your favorite activities.
- Sleeping too much or too little – Depression can disrupt your sleep schedule, leaving you even more tired and irritable.
Everyone feels sad or depressed from time to time. What makes depression different from occasional sadness is that it tends to last for two weeks or more and usually occurs without apparent cause.
Bipolar Disorder vs. Depression
Although depression plays a prominent role in bipolar disorder, the most distinguishing characteristic between these two conditions is that bipolar disorder also involves a manic phase. People with depression tend to lean toward sadness, hopelessness, and low energy most of the time. On the other hand, those with bipolar disorder swing back and forth between depressive episodes and manic episodes that involve high energy and erratic behaviors. You should reach out to a mental health professional to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Get Help for Depression and Bipolar Disorder at Bayview Recovery
Now that you understand the difference between depression vs. bipolar disorder, you see how both can make everyday life more difficult. But with the appropriate treatment at Bayview Recovery, you can learn how to manage your symptoms and return to enjoying life again. Contact Bayview Recovery today at 855.478.3650 to get a customized treatment plan at our Washington facility.
Dave Cundiff, MD, MPH is an experienced leader in the field of Substance Use Disorder treatment. He works with patients suffering from Substance Use Disorder to evaluate their medication needs and prescribe treatments accordingly. In addition, he regularly participates in all-staff debriefing sessions involving peers, nurses, and other prescribers. He also reviews and advises on policies, procedures, and techniques for treating substance use disorder.