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National Contest Encourages People with Depressive Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder to Speak Out
Date:7/20/2010

rfere with thoughts, activity, and physical health.(8) The depressive episodes of bipolar disorder often produce symptoms like prolonged periods of sadness, a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, and feelings of worthlessness.(1) For many individuals, the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder are often the predominant mood episode.  This means that for people living with bipolar disorder, their depressive symptoms may recur more often and last longer than their mania.(9)  

About Major Depressive Disorder

MDD affects approximately 14.2 million American adults in a given year and today it is often treated with antidepressants.(4) Unlike normal instances of sadness, loss, or passing mood states, MDD is persistent and can interfere with an individual's thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the US.(7)

Symptoms of depression include: persistently sad or irritable mood; pronounced changes in sleep, appetite, and energy; difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering; physical slowing or agitation; lack of interest in or pleasure from activities that were once enjoyed; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and emptiness; recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.(1) The diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode in MDD is the same as for a depressive episode of bipolar disorder with the major distinguishing feature between the disorders being the absence of manic or hypomanic episodes in MDD.(1)

About the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading patient-directed national organization focusing on depression and bipolar disorder. The organization fosters an environment of understanding about the impact and management of these
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