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Is Manic depression and bipolar the same?

Is Manic depression and bipolar the same?

Manic depression rehab

Manic depression and Bipolar Facts

Manic depression and bipolar, many, adhering to only its name, consider it same or similar to each other, while others argue the opposite. Manic depression and bipolar are in fact the same but the preferred terminology used is bipolar and not manic depression. If they are same then why and how are there different terms?

Earlier the disorder was termed as ‘manic depression’ which characterized of severe mood swings between a manic state and a depressed state. This manic depression was again divided into three types: (1) Manic type, where manic episodes occurred exclusively, (2) Depressed type, where depressed episodes occurred exclusively and (3) mixed type, where both the episodes, manic and depression, occur at least once.

Later from 1960 onwards experts started discussing on a new term for this group of disorder and finally with the third edition of Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders the disorder was officially named bipolar. But why did it changed?

  • Manic depression was used for a broad range of mental disorders mainly consisting of two emotional states. Now with the increased empirical data, the classification has become more sophisticated and bipolar disorder allows for a clearer distinction. It also gives space for cyclothymia and hypomania which were not considered earlier.
  • Manic depression mainly focused on the two extreme emotional states but seemed to ignore the cognitive and physical symptoms. Bipolar is inclusive of both.
  • The term ‘manic’ is highly stigmatized. People loosely use it on a daily basis and attribute to anyone acting “mad” or a little different.

Bipolar disorder

These are group of disorders that is characterized by occurrence of more than one extreme emotional state. It is divided into different types. Before explaining the types, 3 significant mood episodes have to be understood.

  1. Manic episode: Here the symptoms last for at least a week and severely affects the individual’s personal, social and professional areas of life. The symptoms are:
  • Elevated and irritable mood
  • Unreasonable high self esteem
  • Individual does not feel the need to sleep
  • Racing thoughts and easily distracted
  • Engaging increasingly in activities
  • Engaging in risky activities
  1. Hypomanic episode: This involves the same symptoms as manic episode but with a lesser intensity. The symptom here lasts for at least four days and does not severely affect the individual’s life areas.
  2. Major depressive episode: This involves symptoms such as:
  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Sleeplessness
  • Increase or decrease in appetite and weight
  • Feeling worthless
  • Thoughts of death


  • Bipolar I: This is characterized by a manic episode which may be either followed by or preceded by a hypomanic episode or major depressive episode.
  • Bipolar II: This is characterized by a hypomanic episode and a major depressive episode. The episodes may be current or have occurred in the past.
  • Cyclothymic disorder: This involves occurrence of hypomanic like symptoms which are not very clear to be categorized as hypomanic episode and depressive symptoms which are not clear to be categorized as major depressive episode.
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Bipolar and Related Disorder: Which involves an elevated, irritable mood with or without depressed mood; this occurs under the influence of a substance or medication.
  • Bipolar and Related Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition: Abnormal elevated, irritable mood due to a medical condition.

Since now we know manic depression is bipolar disorder that is the term to be used. The use of correct term is important because it has been changed for a reason and after years of studies. One of these reasons is the stigma attached to the term “manic”. We need to be careful while use such delicate terms as it might affect the individual in way we might not know and ultimately affecting their treatment process. For treatment of manic depression or bipolar disorder, call us now on +919611194949.

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