Although Unipolar and bipolar disorder have some similarities; there are also manydistinctive differences between them. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual currentlyuses the same criteria for both types of depression, but most of the differences are seen inthe symptoms. Both disorders have symptoms which can include depression, sadness,lack of energy, loss of sleep, and lack of appetite, anxiousness, anger, or even humiliation.
First I want to explain a little more about unipolar, and the symptoms, andmedications available for the disorder. Then I will go into bipolar disorder and explainmore on that disorder. For the most part unipolar has similarities to bipolar disorder, andbecause of this, doctors often get the 2 mixed up. Generally, unipolar disorder occurslater in life, and can affect women more than men. Often a person may have difficultyfalling asleep or he or she may be even wake up repeatedly during the night. This willusually last for at least two weeks, but can be longer.
People who suffer from UnipolarDisorder are true to its name in that they only have symptoms at one end of the spectrum,which would be the low end. The causes for Unipolar Disorder are not fully understoodbut they may be varied, and can include disruption in neural circuits and neurochemicalsin the brain, genetic predisposition, secondary disorders like post-traumatic stressdisorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder(bipolarcentral, n.d.). A person who suffers from unipolar disorder are sometimes moreresponsive to treatment. Some types of treatments that are available for people are,antidepressants such as sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), which these can typicallydecrease symptoms within days to several weeks if used regularly. Some other types oftreatment also include Psychotherapy, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in severe cases,and therapy.
Bipolar disorder was previously called manic-depression or manic depressive disorder.
This disorder is characterized by extreme moods of highs and lows.