Depression and Bipolar Disorders


Everyone feels blue or sad sometimes but within a day or two is usually feeling better. If sadness follows you around for days or weeksor includes some of the following featuresyou could have depression. Depression is an invisible condition that gets in the way of everyday activities such as working, sleeping, eating, and even just enjoying time with friends.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling worthless
  • Feeling irritable
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Lack of energy
  • Problems concentrating, remembering information, or making decisions
  • Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much
  • Social withdrawal
  • Using substances like alcohol and other drugs
  • Wishing you were dead, considering suicide, or making a suicide attempt

(Adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health)

Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is marked by extreme shifts in mood, from overly joyful to overly sad or hopeless. Whether it is high or low, the extreme moods of bipolar disorder are far from your usual state. It is possible to have bipolar disorder for years without knowing it. You might have had the first symptoms when you were a child, or you could develop them later in life. At least half of all cases start before the age of 25.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

  • Feeling elated for an extended period of time or out of proportion to the circumstances
  • Extreme irritability
  • Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
  • Increase in energy, feeling revved up
  • Needing less sleep than usual without feeling tired
  • Feeling unusually confident in yourself and your abilities (for example, feeling as if you have special powers or abilities that you did not have before)
  • Behaving impulsively, taking unusual risks, overspending money

(Adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health)

Learn More

Additional Information

Mental Health Emergencies
Emergencies During Regular Office Hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday)

Contact emergency services through the CMHS front office at 617-627-3360.

After-Hours Emergencies (5 p.m. to 9 a.m. and on weekends)

For mental health crises, the after-hours Counselor on Call can be reached by dialing CMHS at 617-627-3360 and following the prompts. For more information, please visit our Mental Health Emergencies page.

Get Help Immediately if you are having
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Impulses to hurt yourself or someone else
  • Severe mental confusion or disorientation
Get Help Immediately if someone you know is feeling suicidal
  • Take any reference to suicide seriously
  • Do not leave the person alone
Are you in Crisis?