It is very important when we’re talking about depression to distinguish between what’s called unipolar depression and bipolar depression. Unipolar depression is really just a fancy word for depression – for major depressive disorder – people who either feel their normal self and then dip down for a month for a week for however long it is, and then emerge and they feel at their normal level. In bipolar depression, people will have depression (just like in unipolar, it’s pretty much indistinguishable) so they’ll dip down, feel very depressed for awhile and come out of it. But then at other times in their life, rather than just being at their regular baseline, they may have what’s called a manic or hypomanic episode where their mood actually lifts to a level that is very much out of character with their usual state of being. They may not be sleeping. They may be saying very bizarre things. They may be having bizarre ideas, acting very recklessly, and that is an entirely different condition, then, called bipolar disorder, which has the depressions and the manias co-occurring.
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