Mood Disorders: Major Depressive vs. Bipolar Disorder

Subject: Psychiatry
Pages: 2
Words: 338
Reading time:
2 min

Mental health problems nowadays are treated with as much precision, attention, and importance as physical health. However, for the longest time, people were unaware of the necessity of addressing and treating them. Mental health issues, specifically mood disorders, can be defined as psychological disturbances that evoke periods of excessive emotional responses, both positive and negative. The emotional state of a person with a mood disorder is inconsistent with the circumstances. Among mood disorders, there is also a distinction between the conditions that make patients experience a heightened emotional state from either only one end of the emotional spectrum or both. A person who experiences an extended variation of depression stages at one end of the mood continuum (mania only) has a unipolar disorder. On the other hand, bipolar disorder (formerly called Manic-Depressive disorder) is a type of mood disorder where the patient switches between mania and anxiety. It comes as no surprise that some mental health disorders can be mixed up due to their similarities. However, addressing major depressive and bipolar disorders’ differences is essential.

The main differentiation between the two disorders is their nature of being either unipolar or bipolar. Major depressive disorder, as a condition that causes a person to experience the immense extent of low mood, energy, and motivation, makes a patient undergo only one “negative” end of the emotional spectrum. As a unipolar mental health illness, it focuses on the static, singular state of emotional stability with no alterations. Bipolar disorder, however, allows for a person to develop psychological spectrum limits from both sides. Characterized by mood swings, bipolar disorder affects a person by gradually causing them to encounter a period of high energy and happiness only to fall back into the depressive end of the mood continuum eventually, and vice versa. Consequently, the difference between the two mental conditions is that major depressive disorder forces a person into only one end of the emotional continuum, while bipolar disorder leads to undergoing both extremes of the spectrum.