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Unipolar Vs. Bipolar Depression

Studies have shown that there are very distinctive differences between unipolar and bipolar depression. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual currently uses the same criteria for both types of depression, but some of the differences can be seen in the table below.

 

SYMPTOMS
UNIPOLAR
BIPOLAR
Gender and Age of Onset
Affects women more often then men, appears later in life
Affects men and woman equally, average age of onset suspected to be 18 years
Sleep
Generally insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or waking repeatedly during the night
Generally hypersomnia, excessive tiredness and difficulty waking in the morning
Appetite
Often a loss of appetite and diminished interest in eating
Often binge-eating and cravings for carbohydrates, may alternate with loss of appetite
Activity Level
Agitated, pacing and restlessness are more common
Inactivity, somnolence, a slowing down of movements (psychomotor retardation) more common
Mood
Sadness, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness
Same as for unipolar, although guilt is often much more prominent
Other
Episodes often last longer, sometimes more responsive to treatment
Risk of drug abuse and suicide higher than in unipolar depression

 


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This Site Updated 04/09/11