Is It Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder?

To the person who finds him/herself in the throws of a bout of depression, it matters little whether the depression meets the criteria consistent with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder or the depressed phase of a very different psychiatric disorder known as Bipolar Disorder. However, the distinction is important, particularly with respect to the approach to treatment as common antidepressants can actually trigger or exacerbate manic episodes.

There are different forms of bipolar disorder, but the most common and arguably the most severe is Bipolar 1 Disorder that “is characterized by one or more manic or mixed episodes, usually accompanied by major depressive episodes”. A manic episode is defined as a “distinct period, lasting at least one week, during which time there is an abnormally and persistent elevated, expansive, or irritable mood”. “The elevated mood… may be described as euphoric unusually good, cheerful or high. “ Inflated self-esteem is common during this period as well (Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

The challenge for mental health professionals is that people do not generally rush off to see a doctor because they are feeling great. They go when they are feeling bad. As a result, bipolar disorder can go on a long time unrecognized.

Medical science, in concert with the pharmaceutical industry, continues to explore better ways to approach the differential treatment of the depression associated with these two psychiatric conditions. SPRI Clinical Trials is one such medical institution engaged in Bipolar Research Studies Brooklyn. They are currently looking for people suffering from either Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar 1 Depression who are looking for a better approach to the treatment of their psychiatric condition than they have realized thus far. To learn more about SPRI, what is involved in participating in one of their clinical research studies and/or whether you may be eligible to participate, call them at 718-646-2400 or visit them on the web at

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