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Even after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I often doubted the diagnosis. The reason was that my "up" periods were so rare, my depressions so frequent and so long. I thought major depressive disorder was a better diagnosis.
Later I learned something important that I want to share here: people with bipolar II spent about 10% time ill than with bipolar I, and about as much as a whopping 40% more time depressed than people with bipolar I.
Also, as I wrote about in the SharePost Bipolar II - Why Don't I Feel as Good as I Used To? , folks like me with bipolar II often tend not to come all the way back to a good stable mood between depressive episodes. This can leave us going between very depressed and feeling slightly depressed for a long time. I've experienced that often .
As far as symptoms go, there's no difference between the criteria for depressive episodes of bipolar I, bipolar II, and major depression. But having hypomanic episodes occasionally - as I do -
What is the difference between dysthymia and major depression? The simple answer is severity, but let me expand on this further. Technically, dysthymia is a pervasive "low level" depression that lasts a long time – often a few years. "Major Depression" is a discrete episode of severe depression. When it is gone, the patient is in "remission,” and feels completely normal. "Recurrent major depression" comprises discrete periods of major depression that come and go, while "major depression in partial remission" is a severe discrete episode that never completely gets better. How does that feel any differently than dysthymia, you might ask? It doesn't. These terms are descriptions, not different diseases. The problem with these terms is that the medications are pretty much the same: antidepressants. Ostensibly, the diagnosis is supposed to have predictive value. For example, there are high rates of relapse in partially treated depression, while dysthymi...
Alternative Names Psychotic depression; Delusional depression Treatment Psychotic depression requires immediate medical care and treatment. Treatment usually involves antidepressant and antipsychotic medication. You may only need antipsychotic medication for a short period of time. Electroconvulsive therapy can help treat depression with psychotic symptoms. However, medication is usually tried first. Support Groups Expectations (prognosis) This is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment and close monitoring by a doctor. You may need to take medication for a long time to prevent the depression from coming back. Depression symptoms are more likely to return than the psychotic symptoms. Complications The risk of suicide is much higher in people with depresison with psychotic symptoms than in those without psychosis. You may need to stay in the hospital if you have thoughts of suicide. The safety of others must also be considered. Calling your health care provider If you have thoughts ...
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