Bi-Polar Disorder

This is a disorder of affect, characterized by the occurrence of alternating manic, hypomanic, or mixed episodes, alternating with major depressive episodes. The DSM-5 specifies the commonly observed patterns found in Bipolar I, Bipolar II and cyclothymia and lists them as distinctly unique diagnostic patterns.


This is a mental state characterized by a constellations of symptoms including:
  • Feelings of sadness

  • Loneliness

  • Despair

  • Low self-esteem

  • Self-reproach

  • Psychomotor retardation (or less frequently, agitation)

  • Withdrawal from social contacts

  • Vegetative states such as loss of appetite and insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Loss of pleasure

  • Fatigue

  • Sleep changes

  • Tearfulness

  • Thoughts of death or suicidal ideation

  • Lack of concentration


Major Depression

This is a long term phase of depression that is characterized by depressed mood lasting at least 2 weeks with specified criteria in the DSM including:

  • Depression of mood

  • Anhedonia (is an inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable life events such as eating, exercise, social interaction or sexual activities)

  • Sleep and appetite disturbances

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Feeling guilty

  • Hopelessness


Diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder include:

  • Depressed mood

  • Marked reduction of interest or pleasure in virtually all activities, or both, lasting for at least 2 weeks.


In addition, 3 or more of the following must be present:

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain

  • Increase or decrease in sleep

  • increased or decreased level of psychomotor activity

  • Fatigue

  • Feelings of guilt

  • Feeling worthless

  • Diminished ability to concentrate

  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (this includes a plan to commit suicide)

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