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Manic Depression: What Is It and How To Separate It From Bipolar Disorder

Manic Depression: What Is It and How To Separate It From Bipolar Disorder

Manic Depression: What Is It and How To Separate It From Bipolar Disorder
Manic Depression: What Is It and How To Separate It From Bipolar Disorder
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An estimated 280 million people across the globe are living with depression, bipolar, and similar mental disorders according to reports from the medical sector. Manic depression once fell into this category as well, but that term isn’t quite as common as it once was. There are good reasons for that. If you’re trying to understand the differences between bipolar disorder and manic depression, read on to learn more about what distinguishes one from the other.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

First of all, take a closer look at bipolar disorder. More than 7 million Americans are diagnosed with this condition each year, leaving many in search of mental health treatment in orange county. It’s a mental health disorder that comes with extreme mood swings. Those range from periods of deep depression to episodes of mania. With the latter, people experience highly elevated moods, intense excitement, and heightened levels of energy. Those two states of mind are polar opposites.

What Is Manic Depression?

Now, it’s time to delve into manic depression. In a nutshell, manic depression is the same condition as bipolar disorder. It entails periods of depression and mania. As is the case with bipolar disorder, manic episodes bring about reduced sleep, excitability, impulsivity, and even irritability due to those heightened senses. In contrast, its depressive periods come with a lack of interest in everyday activities and things that otherwise have special meaning to the person affected by the disorder. They’re characterized by extreme sadness, hopelessness, and guilt among other negative feelings.

What Are the Differences?

Essentially, the main difference between manic depression and bipolar disorder is the times when they were diagnosed. Manic depression was officially coined in the early to mid-1900s. It was a general term used to describe an array of depressive disorders. Before long, it gained a negative connotation as people who were diagnosed with this condition became stigmatized. In the 1980s, the term was replaced with bipolar disorder. That label didn’t come with the same negative stereotypes as manic depression, and it paved the way for more targeted diagnoses.

Digging Deeper

In addition to changing the name of the condition, psychiatrists also further honed the characteristics of the condition itself. It has since been divided into two categories: bipolar I and bipolar II. Bipolar I involves more extreme episodes of depression and manic behavior and often requires hospitalization. With bipolar II, the swings are less severe, but the depressive episodes tend to be more serious.

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Bipolar disorder also covers different severity levels of mood swings than manic depression did. Additionally, to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder as opposed to depression or manic depression, a person must experience at least one episode of mania that lasts for a week or longer. At this point, though the term manic depression is still used in some cases, it generally only refers to depressive disorders that involve more depression and less mania.

Distinguishing Manic Depression From Bipolar Disorder

Overall, manic depression and bipolar disorder are one and the same. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder simply replaced manic depression a few decades ago. That change was put into place to eliminate the more negative stereotype that was attached to manic depression. Beyond that, bipolar disorder is a more specific diagnosis that has been further divided into both bipolar I and bipolar II to indicate different levels of severity in mood swings. That allows for more specific diagnoses and more effective treatments than those available in the beginning.

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