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While most people experience the blues at some point in time, it is typically of short duration and triggered by some type of loss. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is a more disruptive and serious diagnosis, usually lasting much longer and accompanied by symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Explore the differences among the mood disorders and examine the difficulty in properly differentiating among them for the purpose of accurate diagnosis. You also will look at steps that can be taken to increase the likelihood that clients who are depressed benefit from treatment and refrain from physically harming themselves.
Several mood disorders have overlapping characteristics. However, mood disorders may be distinguished one from another by their significant differences. These differences may aid in the accuracy of the diagnosis, treatment planning, and appropriate follow-up. Additionally, these differences may influence the selection of therapeutic treatment, as well as the potential for a multidisciplinary treatment plan. In this discussion, you will compare mood disorders and discuss challenges in making diagnoses.
Bipolar Disorder- YouTube has many, and Khan Academy. Select what best.
Consider how you would explain the differences between the disorders. Remember DSM5-TR is your key source!
A comparison of similarities and differences between bipolar disorder and one with Major Depressive Disorder. Use the information from the: 1). Textbook, Revel, and DSM5-TR; and. Then, explain the factors that might make it difficult to differentiate between and diagnose these disorders. What specific diagnosis would your chosen cases receive? You may select any case studies.
Support your postings and responses with specific references from your readings and other relevant scholarly literature. Citations and references must be in APA format. See the grading rubric for more information.
Similarities and Differences
Disorders, when there is a disturbance in mood, include bipolar disorder and severe depressive disorder. Both diseases are episodic in nature. Bipolar disorder is a chronic episodic condition that causes mood swings between depression (low) and mania (high) (Beidel, Bulk, & Stanley, 2017). There are two types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II, with the amount of the elevated mood being the difference between the two. Whereas with major depressive disorder, one may experience a single episode or recurring episodes with normal moods between them, one’s mood will be depressed, worthless, and at risk for self-harm (Beidel et al., 2017).
Difficult to Differentiate and Diagnose
Because it can be challenging to distinguish between bipolar illness and major depressive disorder when it comes to mood disturbances. The bipolar disorder diagnostic criteria include the major depressive disorder diagnostic criteria. Daily insomnia or hypersomnia, weight loss, exhaustion, a gloomy mood, and a lack of interest in nearly all daytime activities are some of the related requirements (American Psychology Association, 2013). Manic episodes and hypomanic episodes would, however, need to meet other bipolar disorder criteria. In order to distinguish and diagnose these conditions, it is also necessary to consider the timing of the episodes.
Case Study
I considered Felizano and Alexis for my cases. In the video of Felizano on Revel explaining his disease, he claimed that during a depressive episode, he experiences self-hatred, is tight, apprehensive, and hermit-like. Felizano claimed that a depressive episode may last for seven to nine months. Felizano is a pleasant guy who will chat to everyone while he is having a hypomanic episode. This episode will continue for several weeks. He said that he had gone through psychosis when going through a depressive period. Felizano would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder since he exhibits the symptoms of both a severe depressive episode and a hypomanic episode. Due to his psychotic symptoms, a bipolar I disorder diagnosis would be made specifically.
Alexis is a high school senior who has outstanding grades, participates in extracurricular activities, and plays varsity sports, according to the information about her in the textbook. Alexis had begun to lose interest in activities and preferred to stay in her room and stay away from her pals. Additionally, she has started to lose weight, has trouble sleeping, and has suicidal thoughts. Alexis meets more than five of the DSM-5’s diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder. Since there haven’t been any manic episodes, bipolar illness would not be the diagnosis.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.
Beidel, D. C., Bulk, C. M, & Stanely, M.A. (2017). Abnormal psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson.
The DSM5-TR identifies both bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder as diagnosable disorders. Although there are two bipolar disorders (bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder), both versions of bipolar and major depressive disorder can share a common symptom: depression. However, it is important to note that the manifestation of depression and other accompanying symptoms differentiate the diagnosis.
For a bipolar I disorder diagnosis, one must have a manic episode with a hypomanic or depressive episode. Note, in this form of bipolar disorder depression is neither necessary nor sufficient for a diagnosis. Bipolar II (F31.81), however, must include both a manic episode and a major depressive episode. The depressive episode in this case cannot be the byproduct of substance use, such as recreation or medical drugs, or toxin exposure. Major depressive disorder includes either “1. Depressed mood or 2. Loss of interest or pleasure” (DSM5-TR, 2022, under Major Depressive Disorder).
Consider the case of Latisha, a 22-year-old female, from Beidel et al. (2017, p. 274). Latisha presents with sadness, academic decline, uncertainty about her future, a loss of appetite, loss of interest, and suicidal ideations. She notes the presence of manic episodes, but no psychosis. There is no indication of alcohol or drug use. There is a history of depression in her family. While there is no indication of abuse, her boyfriend of three years broke up with her and her grandmother, which whom she was close, passes away a year prior.
The case of Latisha demonstrates the difficulty of diagnosis between bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Latisha meets the criteria for major depressive disorder. The DSM5-TR (2022) identifies five broad criteria for this diagnosis A-E (under Major Depressive Disorder). Because Latisha has depression, diminished interest in pleasure, weight loss, insomnia, daily agitation, fatigue, and thoughts of death, she meets the criteria for A. Because Latisha’s symptoms cause impairment, she meets the criteria for B. Because Latisha’s symptoms are not the cause of substance intake, she meets the criteria for C. Because Latisha meets the criteria A-C, she has a major depressive episode. However, this does not necessarily entail major depressive disorder. A major depressive disorder diagnosis, according to the DSM5-TR, requires D. that the episode is not caused by schizophrenia or related disorders and E. the absence of a manic episode.
Latisha meets the requirements for D as no psychosis is present. This is required for a schizophrenic or schizophrenic-like diagnosis (DSM5-TR, 2022, under Major Depressive Disorder ). Latisha does not meet E., the final criteria for a major depressive disorder, as she has experienced a manic episode. The presence of a manic episode opens the door for a bipolar diagnosis.
Because a bipolar II diagnosis excludes the presence of a manic episode and Latisha had a manic episode, bipolar II is off the table (DSM5-TR, 2022, under Bipolar II Disorder). However, because Latisha has experienced both a manic episode and a major depressive episode and her episode is not better explained by schizophrenia, a bipolar I diagnosis is the best diagnosis. To code this diagnosis a practitioner must identify the severity and type of the latest episode. Because of the latest episode of a moderate form of depression the code for Latisha’s diagnosis is F31.32. The difficulty of diagnosis, in this case, is highlighted by the DSM5-TR (2022) under Bipolar II, Differential Diagnosis stating that “There is a risk of misdiagnosing bipolar I disorder as unipolar depression because of the prominence of depression in the presentation of bipolar I…”

American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(5th ed. TR). Arlington, VA.
Beidel, D.C.; Bulik, C.M.; and Stanley, M.A. (2017) . Abnormal Psychology (4th Edition).
Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.
Mood and Anxiety Disorders
We will explore the symptoms, etiology, diagnostic classification, and treatment of the most common disorders in mental health care: the mood and anxiety disorders.
Manage your study and review time to cover all chapters. The final exam covers all chapters.
Table of Contents
1. Abnormal Psychology: Historical and Modern Perspectives
2. Research Methods in Abnormal Psychology
3. Assessment and Diagnosis
4. Anxiety, Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
5. Obsessive-Compulsive and Impulse Control Disorders
6. Somatic Symptom and Dissociative Disorders
7. Bipolar and Depressive Disorders
8. Feeding and Eating Disorders
9. Gender Dysphoria, Sexual Dysfunctions, and Paraphilic Disorders
10. Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
11. Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
12. Personality Disorders
13. Neurodevelopmental, Disruptive, Conduct, and Elimination Disorders
14. Aging and Neurocognitive Disorders
15. Abnormal Psychology: Legal and Ethical Issues

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