Understanding The Major Types of Depression
Depression is a mental illness that affects many people in the world today. No matter who you are and what you do for a living, you’re at risk of catching depression at least once in your life. Nearly 18 million people in America alone are suffering from depression. There are two major kinds of depression that affects people. These are known as Unipolar and Bipolar Depression.
The Heavy Hitters of Depression
Unipolar and bipolar depression can be considered the heavy hitters of depression. These two types of depression are like night and day in how they affect someone. Understanding these two are important to be able to help friends or family going through either of these mental disorders.
Unipolar is the most common type of depression. This is what most people talk about when someone is diagnosed with depression. This is considered the silent killer as its symptoms are easily hidden by those affected and can be hard to identify by someone looking in from the outside.
Bipolar depression, unlike unipolar depression, can easily come and go as it pleases. This type of depression is distinct in that people who suffer from it have depressive episodes. These episodes are then followed by a high that lets them function beyond what you would call normal. This type of depression is like the tides of the ocean. There are low tides that make it look like unipolar depression and high tides that make the person more energetic than they normally are.
What’s the Difference?
These two types of depression certainly share symptoms. During a depressive episode, a person experiencing bipolar depression from unipolar depression can be hard to distinguish. Both types of depression can show signs of anxiety attacks and have the person receding into their shells, so to speak. However, there are several signs that you can use to your advantage to identify which is which.
People with unipolar depression will perpetually stay in a depressed state. They end up digging a hole and simply dig themselves deeper into depression unless someone comes along and helps them out. Unipolar depression makes someone progressively lose interest in the things they enjoyed in life without any respite. Bipolar depression, does have these “highs” however. These highs however, can be self destructive and they are called manic episodes.
People that go through sadness commonly go through what’s called catharsis. This is where a person “cleanses” their emotions. Manic episodes in bipolar depression can be considered an extreme version of catharsis.
Manic episodes are the distinguishing symptom for bipolar depression. These are the high to unipolar depression’s low. People going through a manic disorder will have higher levels of energy while also showing compulsive tendencies. They could go out and spend a large sum of money on things they might not need or even go on an eating spree. Despite being the “positive” side of depression, these people are still suffering from a form of depression. A person with unipolar depression, on the other hand, will almost never have manic episodes.
It is important to know what type of depression a person is suffering from in order to get them the help that they need.