Bipolar depression This is a depressed phase of a bipolar mood disorder. It tends to be longer-lasting than unipolar depression and is much more difficult to treat. Antidepressants are generally ineffective. Some of the symptoms include: • Decreased energy and fatigue (lethargy) • Sleeping badly • Doing less • Poor sleep (too much or too little) • Loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyable • Feelings of wanting to self-harm. What’s the difference between depression and b ipolar depression? • The difference can be confusing for people • Depression is a condition in its own right, and is the predominant symptom of unipolar depression, of which there are other symptoms e.g. loss of interest, poor sleep etc. and from where depression gets its name • Bipolar depression is a symptom of a phase or part of bipolar mood disorder, of which includes several other phases e.g. manic or mixed episodes, as well as remission or euthymia. Each of those have separate symptoms • Depression can be thought of as a little like e.g. headache, which is a condition in its own right but can also be a symptom of something completely different e.g. tumour, raised intraocular pressure; and the treatments can be quite different.