Depression Bipolar Diagnosis

by Michael Fusillo, MD

Depression may be part of a bipolar diagnosis. The symptoms may be the same but the person with a bipolar diagnosis also has at least one episode of manic symptoms. These include:

  • An elevated, expansive or irritable mood
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Agitation
  • Excessive involvement with pleasurable activities that causes problems for him/her (unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, and foolish business investments)

This diagnosis requires a different medication treatment, so the distinction between depression and bipolar disorder is an important one. In fact, antidepressants alone usually make bipolar disorder worse.