Bipolar disorder or manic depression is not a psychological condition but a medical disorder where the brain is unable to maintain a peaceful and steady mood.
People suffering from this disorder have varied states of intense emotions along with episodes of sadness and low energy which is not intentional and cannot be controlled. There are symptoms of severe mood swings which might last for a very short period or might take even years.
Different from depressive disorders due to presence of manic episodes (mania) along with episodes of depression. Usually people suffer from only depression and when this depression is combined with mania, he or she is considered to have bipolar disorder.
When the symptoms of both mania and depression occur concurrently, these periods are called mixed episodes which cause irritability or explosiveness without any specific pattern along with periods of normal behavior with high productivity and creativity especially among children.
Difference between bipolar disorder and depression
It is a complex illness which is caused due to complex genetic and environmental factors. It worsens over a period of time if not treated effectively. There have been cases of substance abuse, school failure, incarceration, accidents, and suicide due to this disorder. It can be managed effectively if proper treatment is administered along with environmental adjustments.
There is no scientific proof that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. People who are unable to deal with stress, anxiety or sadness or are over sensitive and emotional vulnerable are likely to have depression. Also they might feel helpless and hopeless with life.
The biochemical theory behind depression is related to the consequence of an array of stressors on specific genes which change the production of proteins necessary for mood mechanism in the brain which is unrelated to a chemical imbalance.
Depression is experienced by all from time to time which might sometimes help in dealing with problems whereas in clinical depression or bipolar disorder, the feeling of depression is severe.
The period of depression lasts for a prolonged period and at times it becomes so severe that is difficult or impossible to lead a normal life.
Differences between Bipolar Disorder and Other Mood Disorders
Bipolar mood disorder is often confused with various other mood and personality disorders especially schizophrenia due to its psychotic episodes leading to its wrong diagnosis.
Depression does occur in bipolar disorder but people suffering from severe depression will not have episodes of mania and depression either occurring simultaneously or alternating.