What Is The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder And Major Depression Or Anxiety Disorders?

Question: What is the difference between bipolar disorder and major depression or anxiety disorders?

Answer: I think the best way to understand this is that major depression is one pole of an affective disorder. A bipolar person will have both highs and lows -- or a manic component as well as a depressed component. There are people who have just unipolar depressions and never have any manias.

Anxiety can be a part of either depression or bipolar disorder, but it can also exist on its own. The issues with both bipolar and unipolar or major depression is that it's a mood problem. And so, perhaps the way to tease these all apart is to say that bipolar and unipolar, mood has to be there. Anxiety disorder, anxiety has to be there. But anxiety can be present along with the mood problems. And presumably, if mood problems are present along with the anxiety, then you'd be more likely to diagnose the mood disorder, the bipolar or the unipolar depression.

Next: What Is The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder And Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder And Can A Child Have Both?

null

Previous: What Are Some Of The Common Psychiatric Disorders That Share Features With Bipolar Disorder?
-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4360185. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4360185. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4360185.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Oscar de la Renta and Oprah Winfrey attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 8, 2010, in New York City.
Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage/Getty Images
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo