Friday, May 3, 2013

What Is The Difference Between Mild Depression, Severe Depression and Being Bipolar?

There is a world of difference among mild depression, severe depression, and being bipolar. There are, apparently, different types of depression, and each one requires different types of treatment. Knowing how to differentiate one from the other, therefore, is important in coping with the condition.

Mild Depression

Mild depression is depression of the chronic type of depression. What this means to say is that the feelings of sadness are going on almost every day for no less than two years. The symptoms are mild but should not be taken for granted, nonetheless, as they can, affect many aspects of your life, including your health, and sooner or later, these signs and symptoms can progress to something more severe.

Individuals diagnosed with mild depression are generally described to have:

  • Low energy levels.

  • Reduced appetite.

  • Difficulty sleeping.

  • Low self-esteem.

These manifestations can result in:

  • Over-fatigue.

  • Impaired work performance that can cost you your job.

  • Impaired social relationships.

  • Nutritional deficiencies.

  • Weight loss.

  • Anemia.

  • Impaired immune system.

Treatment of Choice for Mild Depression

The treatment of choice for mild depression is cognitive therapy or behavioral therapy which has the following features or goals:

  • Recognition of negative thoughts and feelings and learning to convert them to positive ones.

  • Gaining control of the situation, rather than the situation controlling you.

  • Encouraging motivation.

In some cases, this form of therapy is coupled with anti-depressants.

Severe Depression:

Severe depression is exactly what it is - depression of the severe kind. Clients diagnosed with severe depression are often called a psychotic case. Why, because the signs and symptoms associated with mild depression occur in greater intensity, and in many cases include hallucinations and delusions.

With severe depression, the client:

  • Is distressed or agitated.

  • Has very low self-esteem.

  • Is socially withdrawn.

  • Fails to take care of him/herself.

  • Hallucinates.

  • May have suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

Treatment of Choice for Severe Depression

Severe depression requires professional treatment. Make sure you engage the services of someone with extensive experience and one you will be comfortable working with. Just to give you an idea, depression of this kind is managed with anti-depressants, psychotherapy, and self-help strategies that include educating yourself, employing anti-stress techniques, deep-breathing, and making lifestyle changes.


Bipolar is depression of a different level, characterized by shifts in mood. You are manic at one point and depressed at another. Individuals with bipolar:

  • Are impulsive. They can go on a spending spree, make unwise investments, engage in gambling and other illicit activities including sex.

  • Are euphoric and restless, and highly irritable during the manic phase. There is an increase in energy levels as well.

  • Have difficulty getting out of bed, during the depressive phase. Feelings of hopelessness and self-pity are intense.

  • May have extreme feelings of guilt, hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Treatment of Choice for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is very serious and must be approached with extreme caution. Medications for bipolar cannot be bought over-the-counter and must be used only upon doctor's advice. A combination of anti-depressants and psychotherapy is usually recommended, along with a strong support system and some self-help measures. In worse-case scenarios, electro-convulsive therapy may be recommended.

It doesn't matter what type of depression you have. Mild or severe, depression can affect your health and the quality of your life. Don't let depression get the better of you. Don't let it control your life. Talk to a specialist at the first sign or symptom of depression or know how to prevent it with good food, exercise, and the right vitamins (such as the family of B-vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D) and Omega-3 fatty acids.

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