By Jocelyn Garcia 

What is Unipolar Depression? 

Unipolar depression, or also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental health disorder that affects 8.4% of the U.S population. It is characterized by feeling worthless, continuous feeling of sadness, and other symptoms. It affects the individuals by making it a challenge to function normally in their daily lives. Most people with unipolar depression experience sadness that can last the entire day and can persist for long periods.  

Understanding the Symptoms

Unipolar depression is characterized by persistent and intense feelings of depression. Women and younger people (age 18-25) are more likely to experience this mental health disorder. In fact, 14.8 millions adults were reported in 2020 with a severe episode of unipolar disorder. 

Here are some main symptoms of unipolar depression:

  1. Feeling of sadness/ hopelessness most of the day
  2. Lack of energy 
  3. Not enjoying activities that the individual use to enjoy
  4. Issues/ difficulties falling asleep
  5. Sudden weight loss/ gain
  6. Feeling worthless/ guilty
  7. Difficulty concentrating
  8. Thoughts of self-harm/ suicide 

In order to get diagnosed with unipolar depression, individuals need to have had more than five symptoms of a depressive episode for longer than two weeks. 

What Are the Differences between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression Depression?

Unipolar depression and bipolar depression are categorized as medical conditions that can affect an individual at any time, however, they are different from each other. Bipolar depression is a mental health disorder that is associated with extreme mood swings ranging from manic high to feeling emotional lows. The main differences between unipolar depression and bipolar depression is that unipolar depression does not include extreme mood swings such as elevated moods, while bipolar depression is associated with extreme mood swings, ranging from feeling depressed to feeling really happy/ energetic from manic high.  

It is important to understand the differences between unipolar depression versus bipolar depression because it can help individuals get the correct diagnosis. It can prevent a misdiagnosis which can potentially lead to dangerous consequences that can be prevented and the treatment not being effective. 

Coping with Unipolar Depression 

Psychotherapy along with antidepressant medications has shown to be an effective way to treat unipolar depression among people. Psychotherapy which is also known as “talk therapy” has shown that it is a highly effective treatment and plays an important role to treat the symptoms of unipolar depression. Two types of therapy that are used to treat unipolar depression are cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. Addition to these two, changes in certain lifestyles can help lessen symptoms. Adding exercise into your daily schedule while practicing meditation, getting enough sleep, and decreasing the use of drugs/ alcohol can help with lessening symptoms with unipolar depression. Making a few adjustments can help individuals with coping with unipolar depression and improve depression symptoms. 

How We Can Help

Norooz Clinic offers therapy services to help you cope with life situations, depression, anxiety, relationships, trauma. It’s okay to seek help, please contact us today at (714) 386-9171 or to schedule an appointment. Our therapists speak English, Farsi, and Spanish.


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