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How Is Bipolar Depression Different From Unipolar Depression?

How Is Bipolar Depression Different From Unipolar Depression?

Depression is a condition that affects many people around the world. 

It can be classified as either bipolar or unipolar, depending on the types of symptoms exhibited. While there are some similarities between the two types of depression, there are also some crucial differences. 

This article will explore those differences in more detail, learn how to differentiate both forms of depression, and discover how ketamine therapy has shown great promise in treating these conditions.

Let’s begin with bipolar depression.

What Is Bipolar Depression?

Bipolar depression is a type of depression characterized by extreme mood swings. Patients with bipolar depression may experience periods of intense mania, followed by episodes of deep sadness and despair. 

This type of depression can be complicated to treat, as the patient’s moods can change rapidly and without warning. As a result, it can be challenging for doctors to find the right treatment plan for each individual patient. 

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Depression?

The symptoms of bipolar depression can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms are often seen in patients with this condition. These include: 

  • Feeling extremely sad or hopeless
  • Having thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Experiencing changes in appetite or weight
  • Having problems sleeping
  • Feeling tired and drained all the time
  • Having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Experiencing mood swings that are difficult to control 

What Causes Bipolar Depression?

The cause of bipolar depression is not yet fully understood, but it is thought to be due to genetic and environmental factors. 

Some people may be more likely to develop bipolar depression due to their genes, while stressful or traumatic events may trigger the condition in others. 

Some other common causes of bipolar depression include: 

  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Poor coping skills
  • History of trauma or abuse 

It is important to note that not everyone who experiences these factors will develop bipolar depression. However, they may increase the risk of developing the condition. 

How Is Bipolar Depression Diagnosed?

Both bipolar depression and unipolar depression are generally diagnosed in the same ways. However, there are a few key differences that can help doctors to differentiate between the two conditions. 

One of the essential factors in diagnosing bipolar depression is history. 

Patients with bipolar depression will often have a history of mania or hypomania, which is not typically seen in patients with unipolar depression. Mania is defined as a sudden burst of high energy or euphoria that typically lasts about a week. Hypomania is a less intense form of mania characterized by a shorter duration of time — usually lasting around three or four days.

Additionally, patients with bipolar depression may experience more severe symptoms and have a more challenging time recovering from their episodes. 

In order to make a diagnosis, your doctor will likely ask you about your family history, past medical history, and current mental state. They may also perform a physical exam and order some blood tests to rule out other causes of your symptoms.

How Is Bipolar Depression Typically Treated?

Treatments for bipolar depression can vary depending on the patient’s condition, as the best plan for each individual will vary depending on their symptoms and preferences. However, some of the most common treatments include: 

  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Bright light therapy 

Some people may also find alternative treatments such as yoga or meditation to help manage their bipolar depression. 

Now let’s take a look at unipolar depression.

What Is Unipolar Depression?

Unipolar depression is a type of depression that is not characterized by extreme mood swings. 

Patients with unipolar depression typically experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness, but their moods do not fluctuate as much as those of patients with bipolar depression. 

What Are the Symptoms of Unipolar Depression?

The symptoms of unipolar depression are very similar to bipolar depression and can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless most of the time
  • Having little interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Experiencing problems with sleep, appetite, and energy levels
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless about oneself 

Again, these symptoms can vary from person to person, so it is essential to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing any of them. 

What Causes Unipolar Depression?

Unfortunately, the cause for both bipolar depression and unipolar depression cannot be narrowed down to one specific trigger. Instead, just like bipolar depression, the cause seems to stem from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as mentioned above. 

Some of the most common causes of unipolar depression include: 

  • Stressful life events or traumatic experiences
  • Relationship problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic health problems
  • Low self-esteem or feeling inadequate 

How Is Unipolar Depression Diagnosed?

Unipolar depression is differentiated from bipolar depression by the absence of episodes of mania or hypomania. 

Just like bipolar depression, unipolar depression is generally diagnosed by your doctor asking about your family history, past medical history, and current mental state. 

Advanced Wellness and Pain: Providing Ketamine Therapy for Bipolar and Unipolar Depression

If you are struggling with bipolar or unipolar depression, Advanced Wellness and Pain may be able to help. Our team of experts provides ketamine therapy for both conditions, and we have had great success in assisting patients in managing their symptoms and finding relief. 

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy is a relatively new treatment option that has been shown to be successful in managing symptoms of bipolar and unipolar depression. 

Ketamine is a medication that works as an NMDA receptor antagonist, which helps to improve mood and reduce symptoms. 

How Is Ketamine Therapy Administered?

The ketamine is administered through an IV, and the entire treatment process typically takes about an hour. Most patients find that they experience considerable and immediate relief from their symptoms as the treatment begins. 

Is Ketamine Therapy Safe?

Yes, ketamine therapy is safe when administered by a qualified healthcare professional. In fact, it has been used for years as an anesthetic medication in both humans and animals. 

So, if you’re ready to start feeling better, please contact Advanced Wellness and Pain today to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and work with you to tailor a treatment plan around your specific needs.

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