Question: What is the difference between depression and manic depression (bipolar disorder)?
Answer: Depression and manic depression, or bipolar disorder -- these are two separate illnesses. With depression, typically, people experience only periods of sadness, or depressed mood that we've been talking about earlier.
With manic depression, it requires that a person also have a period of a least a week of having what is called mania. Mania involves feeling unusually energetic. There may be impulsive buying sprees or sexual indiscretions. The person may not feel that they need sleep. They may be very creative and very productive during their manic episode.
Now sometimes it gets so bad that the person may have actual delusions, delusions that they are some type of important figure, whether believing that they are God or they believe maybe they're the savior of the world -- that occurs with the more severe forms of mania, that can have again these psychotic symptoms, delusions, and even hallucinations.
However, most people with mania have this more tempered kind of increased energy, and feeling of well-being and creativity that oftentimes maybe then followed by a period of severe depression. And that's why it's called bipolar disorder because people swing from one end of the pole to the other.
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