Difference Between Anxiety and Bipolar (With Table)

Anxiety is a feeling of worry which causes uneasiness and restlessness to a person. Excessive worry and fear about everyday situations that lead to sweating, rapid breathing, or fatigue are symptoms of Anxiety. Bipolar disorder is related to mood swings that range from depressing lows to overwhelming joys.

Anxiety vs Bipolar

The difference between Anxiety and Bipolar is that Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress whereas Bipolar is a mental disorder that is frequent and more severe than Anxiety. Bipolar causes unusual shifts in mood and energy and this can last from few days to months sometimes.

Anxiety is the fear that strikes before facing a difficult problem or a particularly stressful situation. If the condition is frequent, it can be categorized as a disorder. In such times, the fear levels up, and the body starts to shiver, pulse and heart rate increases rapidly and sweating starts.

Bipolarity is a mental and emotional disorder marked by extreme mood shifts from depressive (lows) to maniac (highs). Depressive episodes include symptoms such as low energy and motivation, loss of sleep, and interest in daily activities. Maniac episodes include symptoms like reduced need for sleep and high energy.

Comparison Table Between Anxiety and Bipolar

Parameters of ComparisonAnxietyBipolar
Sleep SchedulesA person with anxiety disorder can get easily irritated when they get little to no sleep.They themselves feel the need for reduced sleep and do not get bothered by it.
Behavioral patternsThey feel tired most of the time and have constant fears in mind.They can feel overwhelming happiness and stress-free at times or extremely low on energy during lows.
Social InteractionThey face difficulty in facing and interacting with the crowd. At most times, they avoid social situations.They tend to be more social and friendly. Great in communication and maintaining social and professional relations.
ConfidenceThey develop less self-esteem due to fearful situations and value themselves less than others.They tend to have higher self-esteem and behave very impulsively (quick decisions without thinking).
DurationThey get frequent episodes while facing a particular situation. Such a person needs constant reassurance from their close ones.Their mood shifts can range from weeks to years. In some cases, it is frequent while others can experience it less often.

What is Anxiety?

When anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time, it gets developed into the condition of Anxiety disorder. The cause of Anxiety is not known but symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as performance in workspaces and schoolwork and also with social and personal relationships.

Anxiety can be categorized into three categories majorly: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder or Phobias. In GAD, people worry excessively about ordinary everyday situations.

A person suffering from panic disorder gets panic attacks, they might have sudden intense and repeated episodes where they start to sweat and heart rate increases rapidly. They do panic sometimes even when there is no visible sense of danger.

Phobia develops as a result of past incidents with certain things like some people are phobic to deep waters, spiders, height or darkness, others are phobic to crowd and social situations.

The factors leading to anxiety are diverse and unknown. Introverted, shy people and ones who might have experienced trauma due to some major incidents in past tend to suffer more from anxiety.

What is Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is a common form of mental illness. People with bipolar disorder get both crazy highs called manic episodes and lows called depressive episodes. These episodes can last from hours to weeks and have no symptoms between episodes. People with bipolar disorder often have a much greater risk of dying by suicide than the general population.

Manic and depressive episodes can include psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. Mixed episodes, which have features of manic and depressive episodes at the same time, also occur in some affected individuals. Bipolar disorder often occurs with other mental health conditions and developed in people who are hyperactive or attention deficit.

Much lesser is known about the genetics of bipolar disorder. Bipolarity is not a rare condition but can be hard to diagnose because of its diverse symptoms. Men and women both are at equal risks of getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder, however, the main symptoms of the disorder are different between the two genders. 

Main Differences Between Anxiety and Bipolar

  1. A person with anxiety disorder can get easily irritated with when they get little to no sleep. A bipolar person feels the need of reduced sleep and do not get bothered by it.
  2. A person with anxiety feels fatigued and have constant fears in mind. A bipolar person can feel overwhelming happiness or extremely low at times.
  3. Anxious people face difficulty in facing and interacting with crowd. At most times, they avoid social situations. Bipolars tend to be more social and are great in communication and maintaining relations.
  4. Anxious people develop less self esteem and Bipolars tend to have a higher self esteem.
  5. A person with anxiety gets frequent episodes of it while facing a particular situation. In bipolarity, mood shifts can range from weeks to years.

Conclusion

Anxiety and Bipolarity both affect the mental health of an individual. Both disorders completely mess up with lives as it prevails for prolonged periods of time and most people do not seek the help of an expert because either they are not aware of the symptoms or due to societal thinking that prohibits to talk about mental health.

Introverted, shy people and ones who might have experienced trauma due to some major incidents in past tend to suffer more from anxiety. Anxious people have less self-esteem and avoid social situations more than usual humans do.

Bipolar disorder often occurs with other mental health conditions and in people who are hyperactive or impulsive and their mood switches rapidly. Sometimes, it is even difficult for the family members or their close ones to interact and maintain relationships with them.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203508282
  2. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(02)07450-0
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