Bipolar disorder affects more than 5.7 adults in the United States alone. It’s a complicated disorder that can be confusing to many, including the people who suffer from it and those who think they may suffer from it. Bipolar disorder is easily confused with depression as they share common symptoms and both include depressive episodes. The biggest difference between bipolar disorder and depression is that bipolar disorder includes mania and depression does not.
In order to best understand the difference between the two disorders, it’s helpful to recognize the symptoms of each first.
Depression: According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression causes feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed and negatively affects the way you think, feel and act.
Bipolar Disorder: According to the National Institution of Mental Health, bipolar disorder is defined by manic episodes that last at least seven days or by manic symptoms that are severe enough that the individual needs immediate hospital care.
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