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Unipolar Depression


  • Atypical depressive disorder

  • Bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive

  • Borderline personality disorder

  • Chronic bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive

  • Depressive disorder

  • Mild bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive

  • Mixed anxiety and depressive disorder

  • Moderate bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive

  • No diagnosis on Axis I

  • Person with feared complaint, no diagnosis made

  • Severe bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive with psychotic features

  • Severe bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive without psychotic features

  • Severe bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive, in partial remission

  • Severe bipolar II disorder, most recent episode major depressive, in remission

  • Single major depressive episode, severe, with psychosis



  • Develop and demonstrate coping skills to deal with mood swings.

  • Develop the ability to control impulsive behavior.

  • Replace dichotomous thinking with the ability to tolerate ambiguity and complexity in people and issues.

  • Develop and demonstrate anger management skills.

  • Learn and practice interpersonal relationship skills.

  • Terminate self-damaging behaviors (such as substance abuse, reckless driving, sexual acting out, binge eating, or suicidal behaviors).


Behavioral Definitions

  • A minor stress leads to extreme emotional reactivity (anger, anxiety, or depression) that usually lasts from a few hours to a few days.

  • A pattern of intense, chaotic interpersonal relationships.

  • Marked identity disturbance.

  • Impulsive behaviors that are potentially self-damaging.

  • Recurrent suicidal gestures, threats, or self-mutilating behavior.

  • Chronic feelings of emptiness and boredom.

  • Frequent eruptions of intense, inappropriate anger.

  • Easily feels unfairly treated and believes that others can't be trusted.

  • Analyzes most issues in simple terms (e.g., right/wrong, black/white, trustworthy/deceitful) without regard for extenuating circumstances or complex situations.

  • Becomes very anxious with any hint of perceived abandonment in a relationship.

What is Unipolar Depression? 

Unipolar depression, also often referred to as major depressive disorder (MDD), is a mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed. It's important to distinguish unipolar depression from bipolar disorder, where a person experiences both episodes of depression and episodes of mania or hypomania (elevated mood and energy levels).

Here's a breakdown of unipolar depression:


  • Emotional Symptoms: Deep sadness, despair, emptiness, loneliness, guilt, worthlessness, irritability, anxiety, loss of interest in enjoyable activities (anhedonia).

  • Cognitive Symptoms: Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, making decisions, negative thoughts about oneself or the future.

  • Behavioral Symptoms: Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little), changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual), withdrawal from social activities, fatigue, lack of motivation, thoughts of suicide.

It's important to note that not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary.


The exact cause of unipolar depression is unknown, but it's likely a combination of factors, including:

  • Brain Chemistry: Imbalances in brain chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are thought to play a role.

  • Genetics: Having a family history of depression increases your risk.

  • Life Events: Stressful life events, such as a job loss, a break-up, or the death of a loved one, can trigger depression.

  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain or thyroid problems, can contribute to depression.

  • Medications: Some medications can have side effects that include depression.

Effects of Unipolar Depression

Relationships: Depression can strain relationships with family and friends.

Work or School: It can be difficult to concentrate, focus, and complete tasks.

Physical Health: Depression can lead to changes in sleep and appetite, and weaken the immune system.

Overall Well-Being: It can decrease enjoyment of life and lead to feelings of isolation and despair. In severe cases, it can increase the risk of suicide.

How does Unipolar Depression affect your life?

Here's how unipolar depression can affect individuals' lives:

Emotional Impact: Unipolar depression can cause intense and overwhelming emotions, including persistent sadness, emptiness, and despair. 

Cognitive Symptoms: Unipolar depression can affect cognitive function, leading to difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making. 

Physical Symptoms: Depression can manifest in physical symptoms such as changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances (insomnia or hypersomnia), fatigue or loss of energy, and psychomotor agitation or retardation.

Interpersonal Relationships: Depression can strain relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners.

Work or Academic Performance: Depression can significantly impact work or academic performance. Individuals may have difficulty concentrating, meeting deadlines, or completing tasks. 

Suicidal Thoughts or Behavior: Individuals with depression may experience suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, or a desire to escape emotional pain. 

Overall, unipolar depression is a debilitating condition that can affect every aspect of individuals' lives, including their emotional well-being, relationships, work or academic performance, and overall quality of life. It's essential for individuals experiencing symptoms of depression to seek help from mental health professionals for diagnosis, treatment, and support.

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