Major Depressive Disorder ( Unipolar Depression ) And Bipolar Depression

2296 Words Oct 3rd, 2014 10 Pages
The purpose of this essay is to discuss the clinical differences in the diagnosis of both Major Depressive Disorder (Unipolar depression) and Bipolar Depression can be made on the basis of characteristics of a Major Depressive Episode (MDE). That is, can an MDE in patients with Major Depressive Disorder be differentiated from a MDE in patients with Bipolar Disorder? Firstly, the extremes in mood, Major Depressive Episode and mania/hypomania will be defined and it will be explained how they contribute to a diagnosis of MDD or Bipolar Disorder based on the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Secondly, the importance of differentiating the two disorders based on MDE characteristics will be explained. Thirdly, the literature on the clinical characteristics of MDE in Bipolar and Unipolar Depression will be reviewed. Lastly, this essay will touch on what this means for clinicians in their decisions in diagnosing patients with Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar disorder. The main features of Major Depressive Episodes (MDE) include a depressed mood for most days and loss of interest and pleasure in enjoyable activities (also known as ahedonia). For the diagnoses of a MDE to be made, these symptoms must be experienced for at least two weeks and symptoms must cause significant impact on day to day functioning (APA, 2013). Additional symptoms include lack of concentration (e.g unable to focus on everyday tasks, work), lack of…
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