Depression is a clinical term describing a period of time when a person feels very sad, to the point of feeling worthless, hopeless and helpless. Many people may become unhappy and depressed for short periods of time, but when a depressed mood persists for more than two weeks and starts to interfere with everyday living, it may be a sign of serious depression, requiring professional help. Specific symptoms include: feelings of hopelessness, changes in eating patterns, disturbed sleep, constant tiredness, an inability to have fun and thoughts of death or suicide. A person with Unipolar Depression only experiences the "lows," not the "highs" someone with Bipolar Disorder would also experience.
People with Bipolar Disorder (more commonly known as Manic Depression) experience both the lows of Depression and the highs of Mania. When someone is "manic" he or she may behave in ways which might be dismissed as personality quirks. Spending sprees, hyper-sexuality, impaired judgment, decreased need for sleep, grandiosity, euphoria, irritability, impatience, increased energy and sociability, pressured speech and delusional thinking are symptoms of Mania. When subtle, they may not interfere with everyday living, but when the symptoms are full-blown, they can produce results every bit as dangerous as Depression. Therefore, symptoms should not be ignored. A doctor’s opinion should be sought. However, Bipolar Disorder is a difficult to diagnose; experts estimate that only one in five cases of Bipolar Disorder are diagnosed. It’s estimated that almost 5% of Canadians have a kind of Bipolar Disorder.
Find more information about Depression.
Find more information about Bipolar Disorder.