Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

What is the difference between depression and bipolar?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2019 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Conditions

Many people have probably heard of bipolar disorder and may even know one or more people who have been diagnosed with this condition. However, many people may not fully understand the symptoms of this mental condition, which can be debilitating.

Someone who has this condition will typically experience periods of what psychologists call mania or hypomania followed by a bout of depression. The cycle of these swings in mood can repeat over the course of years or over the course of a few weeks or months.

There are several different types of conditions collectively called bipolar disorder. In some types, a person may experience a full-blown manic episode, that is, an episode of abnormally high energy that can lead to psychosis, or the loss of a sense of reality. This condition can lead to a person needing institutionalization at least for a short time.

Even without experiencing mania, however, someone with bipolar could still face a lot of obstacles in life. For example, during depressive episodes, they may encounter the usual symptoms of anxiety and depression, including sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue and the inability to focus on a task.

Likewise, someone dealing with a hypomanic or manic episode may be easily distracted and may also be prone to making very poor decisions which could land a person in trouble at work.

Although bipolar disorder is a treatable condition, in many cases, a Houston resident suffering with it will not be able to hold down either his or her current job or find other gainful employment. In such cases, a Texan may wish to speak with an experienced Social Security attorney about obtaining disability benefits.