What is the Difference Between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression?

Pohala Client Julie A. Fast writes about the differences between unipolar and bipolar depression for Health Central online. 

 

Depression is Complex

All human brains can experience depression, but there is more than one kind of depression. The most common depression is situational where a person goes through a downswing due to a life experience. This depression can often be treated by therapy that is specific to the event, such as grief counseling. In contrast, unipolar and bipolar depression are considered genetic, medical conditions. They often occur without a life experience trigger and usually need a more medical than therapy-based treatment approach.

Unexpected Symptoms of Unipolar and Bipolar Depression

Depression is often described as weepy, sad, and hopeless, but this is only one type of depression. The other depression, irritated depression, is angry, negative, and complaining. People with irritated depression often go untreated as they are considered bitchy, rude, or negative. Irritated depression can manifest in road rage, punching and kicking tires and walls, yelling and statements, such as “I hate everyone! Leave me alone!” Both unipolar and bipolar depression can either be the typical weepy depression or irritated depression.

What is the Difference between Unipolar and Bipolar Depression?

There are two genetic mood disorders: unipolar depression and bipolar disorder. Bipolar includes the mood swings bipolar depression and bipolar mania. Unipolar depression and bipolar depression share the same symptoms with three main differences: 1) Bipolar depression is more episodic than unipolar, 2) Bipolar depression is always on the edge of mania, and 3) Due to the mania risk, bipolar depression treatment is different than unipolar depression treatment.

Click here to read the rest of the article from Julie A. Fast on Health Central.com.

More bipolar disorder related blogs: Steroids, Allergies and Bipolar Disorder: Q&A with Portland Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster

Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon Accepting Clients with Bipolar Disorder

Julie Foster has over 20 years of experience working with people who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She also works with clients who are not sure if there is bipolar or if it is simply depression or anxiety.
Do you wonder: Do I Have Bipolar Disorder? 
Julie’s appointments allow for time to explore your history in order to come to a decision on what management plan will work best in your current situation. It can be a bit scary at first to think that you have a mental health disorder. Julie provides a safe environment where you can explore symptoms and come up with an answer.
Partners and Family Members are Welcome
Julie also encourages partners and family members to attend appointments so that their questions and needs can be  heard. Pohala encourages a family approach to stabilizing the mood, but as Julie makes very clear when asked about the role of family, your family is comprised of the people you choose to have in your life. They may be relatives or it may be you have found a family that is not related to your family of origin that supports your beliefs in life in order so that you can stay healthy.
How do you Help a Person Who Asks Do I Have Bipolar Disorder
Julie Foster describes her approach:
When I meet a new client who thinks bipolar disorder is in the family, I look at the whole person first. What is happening in the person’s life?  What is going on in the person’s relationships? What substances is the person using that could lead to symptoms that look like the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
It’s a very important time when someone comes to see me about mood swings It means that either they or someone close by has said,  “I think you have bipolar disorder!”  This is life changing and I  want to make sure I’m present and open to what the person is feeling.
I then ask questions about sleep, nutrition, relationships and life events.  I look at bipolar disorder as an opportunity to help the whole person. When we figure out what is going on with the mood and come up with the time of onset and the family history, it’s easier to figure out if bipolar is the actual diagnosis. From there, I explain my philosophy of the illness, listen to what the client feels is happening and come up with a plan that addresses the mind and the body.
I definitely use traditional psychiatric medications as needed, but I also supplement this treatment with natural treatments including homeopathic and herbal remedies. I am a careful study and make sure that what I recommend will not make my client more manic or depressed.
Please know that I have lived with bipolar disorder in my own family for all of my life and I’m very careful to make sure the treatments I suggest will keep a person well and not add more stress to a person’s life. I’m also open to any discussion of spiritual experiences and how there are many different approaches to mental health treatment around the world.
Please call Julie today to book a session and finally get the answers you need:
Do I have bipolar disorder?
What is the best treatment plan for the illness?
What help do I need?
How can I involve my family or partner?
And most importantly…
Am I going to be ok?
If you are a family member, Julie can work with you to get the best care possible for a loved one with bipolar disorder.
Julie’s approach is gentle and firm, based in sound medical practices that incorporate spiritual modalities. Give Julie a call today and book a session. It’s a good time to finally get help and start yourself on the road to stability.
What Julie’s clients say about her bipolar disorder work:
Julie Foster has been my prescriber and advocate for over ten years. I already knew that I had bipolar disorder when she took me on as a patient. I had written a few books and had a pretty good handle on how to manage the illness, but I often had problems with medications and wanted to know what non western treatments she could add to my regular plan. Julie is so compassionate. She understands bipolar as she lives with it in her own family. She is someone I can turn to when I feel overwhelmed with the the enormity of having this illness. She has helped greatly with my never ending sleep problems and I know I can call her at any time when I have a question. I highly recommend Julie as a prescriber and most importantly, as an overall provider for all of the problems many of us with bipolar disorder face including issues with our physical health. 
Julie A. Fast