Difference between Bipolar Disorder and Depression. (Ft: Sushant Singh Rajput)

October 31, 2020

While it’s been 5 months since the Bollywood and India lost its famous actor Sushant Singh Rajput, speculations have been rife about it being an alleged suicide or a murder. However, beyond all allegations and new purviews, a very important purview that has skipped our spotlight is of the diagnosis and misconceptions that people had regarding the illness he suffered.  Irrespective of the lack of clarity about the diagnosis, a special feature that attracted attention was the different theories of he being diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder.

You might have heard his friends and family say he couldn’t have a mental illness because he was a genius, which is completely off base and unrelated. You cannot make out from people’s faces what they might be going through. So let’s talk about what is the difference between these two?

Depression: Classified initially in the periphery of anxiety disorders, now comes under the category of mood disorders. The diagnosed symptoms:

  • sadness and melancholy most of the day, persisting for at least 2 weeks.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • marked changes in routine, inability to carry out routine tasks efficiently
  • significant impairment in personal and occupational functioning

Bipolar disorder: Another form of mood disorder, but characterized by 2 poles/extremes of moods experienced: euphoria and sadness without any concrete reason.

  • 4 categories: bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic, bipolar due to other conditions. Each is of a different extreme and can’t be said that either is better or worse condition than the other
  • Person may experience either of these moods without any substantial evidence.
  • High levels of energy during mania while excess fatigue and exhaustion while in depression.
  • Loss of touch with reality, risk taking behaviours, engaging in self-harm.
  • Irritability and anxiety.
  • Grandiosity (importance to the self) .
  • Due to extremes of moods, they feel helpless, confused and tired about their own emotions and cognitions.

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