Sample Psychology Essay on Depressive and Bipolar Disorders

Depressive and Bipolar Disorders

People normally experience highs and lows on a day-to-day basis. However, the concern arises when people’s disturbances of mood require clinical attention. When a person’s mood disturbances reach this point, it is highly likely that they have either a depressive or bipolar disorder. Depressive and bipolar disorders have a significant impact on how people interact with others and how they undertake their responsibilities in specific contexts such as learning or work settings. This paper explores various concepts and ideas associated with the two disorders with a discussion of how I have seen them at work in my career.

Depressive disorders entail periods of symptoms during which a person experiences an extremely sad mood. Depressive disorders can be categorized into major depressive and persistent depressive disorders (Whitbourne, 2020, p. 172). Major depressive disorder is common among my colleagues at the workplace. I work with an organization that offers services to customers, implying that we have to deal with the varied demands of customers. Our customer service representative has to deal with many people facing various frustrations in life. Her frequent interactions and encounters with customers trigger her major depressive episodes. The representative exhibits a number of conditions related to the condition on a day-to-day basis. Some of the symptoms include a depressed mood throughout the day, noticeably diminished interest in almost all daily activities, fatigue, difficulty maintaining concentration or making decisions on her own, and excessive guilt. The representative’s major depressive disorder has significantly impacted her service delivery and productivity. Unless the disorder is treated, it could have adverse repercussions in the near future such as the loss of a job or life.

I have also encountered a colleague who suffered from bipolar disorder in my previous place of work. Bipolar disorder refers to a mood disorder that involves manic episodes to intense and disruptive experiences whereby an individual exhibits heightened mood (Whitbourne, 2020, p. 176). The manic episodes are possibly alternate with major depressive episodes. It was hard to tell whether the disorder was attributed to my colleague’s nature of work or other factors. My colleague was an assistant manager in the HR department and had minimal interactions with customers. Some of the symptoms exhibited by the colleague during manic episodes include inflated self-esteem, becoming more talking than usual, distractibility, and excessive involvement in activities with increased potential for painful or harmful consequences. The disorder had adverse impacts on his day-to-day functioning even though no action was taken to have it addressed.

There is a perception that depressive and bipolar disorders have minimal adverse impacts on persons experiencing them. However, my thoughts in this regard have changed having gone through the learning material. I have to realize that an individual’s productivity and normal functioning, particularly at the workplace, may be adversely affected by depressive or bipolar disorders. The exhibition of symptoms related to either of the disorders would require one to visit a doctor for diagnosis and possible treatment of the same to avoid painful consequences.

In sum, depressive and bipolar disorders are common and adversely affect how people interact or carry out their responsibilities in learning and work environments and other settings. The interaction with the material on these two disorders has greatly changed my perception of them. I believe that any slight symptoms of either disorder warrant a visit to a physician for diagnosis and treatment. Unless the disorders are treated early enough, they can trigger suicidal thoughts and death in the long run.


Whitbourne, S. K. (2020). Depressive and Bipolar Disorders. In Abnormal psychology: Clinical perspectives in psychological disorders (9th ed., pp. 170–193). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.