Manic depression

manic depression

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is manic depression/bipolar disorder?

Bipolar, which was formerly known as manic depression, is a serious mood disorder that is characterized by extreme mood swings, spells of mania (emotional highs) and melancholia (depression).

The mania spells are accompanied by euphoria, sleeplessness, hallucinations, psychosis, grandiose delusions, or paranoid rage. The depressive episodes, meanwhile, are accompanied by severe depression, loss of interest in doing any activity, low energy, and excessive sleepiness. These mood swings, which can happen multiple times a year or rarely, can have an adverse effect on a person’s life as they are unable to think properly.

Types

There are four types of bipolar disorder

Bipolar I disorder

This type is characterized by manic episodes that last at least a week. The person who has this type of bipolar may need hospitalization due to the manic symptoms being too severe. The depressive episode, meanwhile, last for at least two weeks. Episodes with both depression and manic symptoms at the same time may also happen.

Bipolar II disorder

Bipolar II is also accompanied by episodes of mania and depression. However, bipolar is characterized by more episodes of depression than mania. Also, the mania associated with bipolar II is less severe compared to bipolar I and is known as hypomania. A person with bipolar II will have at least one spell of mania in his/her lifetime.

Cyclothymic disorder

Cyclothymia (also known as cyclothymic disorder) is a mild form of bipolar and is characterized by short episodes of mild depression and hypomania.

Mixed bipolar disorder

This type is characterized by simultaneous symptoms of opposite mood polarities during manic or depressive episodes. A person with this type may have high energy, sleeplessness, and racing thoughts but at the same time he/she may also feel hopeless and suicidal.

Causes

The exact cause of bipolar is still unknown. However, it is believed that bipolar disorder may be caused by

  • Physical chances in the brain: Studies have shown that patients with bipolar disorder have physical changes in their brains.
  • Neurotransmitter imbalances: All mood disorders have been linked to neurotransmitter imbalances. This happens when the brain has too much or too little quantities of certain chemicals known as neurotransmitter, which are known to be responsible for mood regulation.
  • Hormonal imbalances: It is believed that hormonal imbalances may also cause bipolar disorders.
  • Environmental factors: Factors like abuse (sexual, physical, and mental), stress or a traumatic event may also cause bipolar disorders.
  • Genetics: Bipolar disorder is more prevalent in people who have a first-degree relative (sibling or parent) with this condition.

Symptoms

The symptoms vary depending on the type of bipolar a person has. Some of the symptoms include

Bipolar I

During a manic episode, a person with this type feels

  • Intense enthusiasm
  • Happiness
  • excitement
  • Anger
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Increased energy
  • Less need for sleep
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Reckless behavior
  • Increased interest in sex, alcohol, and drugs
  • High self-esteem

During the depressive episode, people feel

  • Extreme sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Low energy and constant fatigue
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Loss or gain in appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Aches and pains that have no apparent physical cause
  • Suicidal behavior

Bipolar II

During a hypomanic episode, a person with this type feels

  • Increase in energy
  • Feeling agitated
  • Upbeat
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Decreased need to sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Talking too fast or talking much more than normal
  • A tendency towards reckless behavior, such as spending too much, drinking or using drugs
  • Impaired decision making

During the depressive episode, people feel

  • Sadness
  • Emptiness
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Decreased energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Guilt
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies

Cyclothymia

During a hypomanic episode, a person with this type feels

  • An exaggerated feeling of happiness or well-being
  • Extreme optimism
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Talking more than usual
  • Poor judgment
  • Risky behavior or unwise choices
  • Racing thoughts
  • Irritable or agitated behavior
  • Excessive physical activity
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate

During the depressive episode, people feel

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Emptiness
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability (especially in children and teenagers)
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in weight
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Sleep problems
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue or feeling slowed down
  • Problems concentrating
  • Thinking of death or suicide

Mixed bipolar disorder

This type is characterized by the following symptoms

  • Mania with mixed features usually involves, over activity, high energy, racing thoughts, irritability or agitation.
  • Depression during episodes with mixed features involves worthlessness, sadness, guilt, loss of interest in activities, low energy, and thoughts of suicide.

Diagnosis

When diagnosing any bipolar disorder, other mental illnesses like schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or schizophreniform disorder have to be ruled out. As lab tests or imaging tests cannot be used, bipolar disorder has to diagnosed by analyzing symptoms, including their severity, length, and frequency.

Cyclothymic disorder

For at least two years, many periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms (see above), but the symptoms do not meet the criteria for hypomanic or depressive episode.

During the two-year period, the symptoms (mood swings) have lasted for at least half the time and have never stopped for more than two months.

Treatment

Bipolar I

Bipolar I disorder is very treatable. Medication alone or a combination of talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medication are often used to manage the disorder over time. Each person is different and each treatment is individualized. Different people respond to treatment in different ways. People with bipolar disorder may need to try different medications and therapy before finding what works for them.

Medications

Mood stabilizers are the most commonly prescribed type of medication for bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsant medications are also sometimes used.

Psychotherapy

manic depressionIn psychotherapy, the individual can work with a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to work out problems, better understand the illness and rebuild relationships. A psychiatrist is also able to prescribe medications as part of a treatment plan. Because bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness, meaning that it can come back, ongoing preventive treatment is recommended. In most cases, bipolar disorder is much better controlled if treatment is continuous.

Electroconvulsive therapy

In some cases, when medication and psychotherapy have not helped, a treatment known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. ECT uses a brief electrical current applied to the scalp while the patient is under anesthesia. The procedure takes about 10-15 minutes and patients typically receive ECT two to three times a week for a total of six to 12 treatments.

Support groups

Since bipolar disorder can cause serious disruptions and create an intensely stressful family situation, family members may also benefit from professional resources, particularly mental health advocacy and support groups. From these sources, families can learn strategies to help them cope, to be an active part of the treatment and to gain support for themselves.

Eat a healthy diet

You may be surprised to know how diet plays an important role in relieving your stress and depression.  Studies have found that people consuming high fat foods and processed foods are more likely to suffer from psychological disorders as compared to others who consume a healthy diet.

Diet plays an important role in determining how hormones are secreted.  Studies have claimed that avoiding high sugar content foods, caffeine, and alcohol can reduce the number of anxiety and panic attacks.  Adding foods rich in lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber can overall improve immune system and regulate the hormonal balance.  This in turn helps in providing a more stable and calm mind.

Meditation and yoga

Meditation is an important way to have a control on mind.  Similarly, yoga postures help the body to concentrate and prevent harmful thoughts to affect the mind.  The best part is that both meditation and yoga can be performed at the comfort of your house.  There is no specific time or place needed to perform meditation and yoga.

Apart from having a control over the mind, it also increases the cognitive level of thinking.  This type of therapy is highly beneficial for people suffering from bipolar disorder where the mind seems to be wandering even if the person is physically present and addressing a completely different subject.  This wandering of mind can be prevented by practicing meditation and yoga.

Bipolar II

Treatments for bipolar II are similar to those for bipolar I — medication and psychotherapy. Medications most commonly used are mood stabilizers and antidepressants, depending on the specific symptoms. If depression symptoms are severe and medication is not working, ECT (see above) may be used. Each person is different and each treatment is individualized.

Cyclothymic Disorder

Treatment for cyclothymic disorder can involve medication and talk therapy. For many people, talk therapy can help with the stresses of ongoing high and low moods. People with cyclothymia may start and stop treatment over time.

Bipolar disorder and creativity

A number of creative people in the arts have been reliably diagnosed as having bipolar disorder such as writers Ernest Hemingway, Robert Lowell, Theodore Roethke, and Virginia Woolf, composers Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf, artists Jackson Pollock, probably Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and Arshile Gorky, actors Vivian Leigh, Dick Van Dyke,  Jason Robards, and Robin Williams

There may now be a scientific explanation as to why many creative people have bipolar disorder. Several recent studies have showed that people who are genetically predisposed to bipolar disorder are more likely than others to show high levels of creativity, particularly in artistic fields where strong verbal skills are helpful.

Bipolar Disorder and Suicide

People with bipolar disorder are at great risk for suicide if they are not getting treatment. The National Mental Health Association reports that 30%-70% of suicide victims have suffered from a form of depression. Men commit almost 75% of suicides, even though twice as many women attempt suicide.

Risk factors for suicide include:

  • Having mental and substance abuse disorders
  • Family history of mental or substance abuse disorders
  • Having attempted suicide previously
  • Having a family history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Having family members or friends who have attempted suicide
  • Keeping a firearm in the home

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Address mood swings one step at a time.
  • Speak with family or friends about your thoughts.
  • Follow a healthy sleeping pattern.
  • Seek medical treatment when things are getting out of hand.
Don'ts
  • Follow an unhealthy dietary regimen.
  • Indulge in alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Follow a stressful lifestyle.
  • Avoid social encounters.

 

 

 

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leptospira Igm test
Leptospira-IgM Test A Leptospira-IgM test is a blood test which is carried out to detect anti-Leptospira IgM antibody. Leptospirosis is…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
free psa test
Free PSA Test The free PSA test is used to detect the level or percentage of free PSA in the body…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This is the main…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
apolipoprotein a1 test
Apolipoprotein -A1 (APO-A1) Test Apolipoprotein A-I (Apo-A1) constitutes 70% of protein content in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and helps in lipid metabolism.
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
CERULOPLASMIN- triple marker
Triple Marker Test A triple marker test is an important prenatal test that is performed to detect the presence of chromosomal…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
Sharpen your brain with these top brain-friendly foods! Did you know your diet could decide how razor sharp your memory is? Or that what you eat…
cytomegalovirus iGG
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)- IgG Test The cytomegalovirus IgG is the immunoglobulin protein produced by our immune system when the body is infected by…
stevia side effects
Stevia: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another risky additive? Stevia is a plant native to South America.  It has been used as a natural sugar substitute and…
PROLACTIN-(PRL)
Prolactin Test (PRL) Prolactin or PRL is a lactogenic hormone produced to induce milk production in lactating mothers. PRL test measures…
6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints. This is usually…
Ca 19.9 test
CA19.9 Test CA 19.9 is a cancer antigen that exists on the surface of cancer-causing cells. The levels of CA…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
top 10 deadliest diseases
What are the top 10 deadliest diseases and what is causing them? What are the largest killers of human lives across the globe? Which diseases are the most fatal ones?…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Fibromyalgia fatigue
HCG Diet: The dangers of using this diet to lose weight HCG is a natural hormone produced by both men and women that corresponds to fertility. But how is…
EMG electromyography
EMG- Electromyography EMG detects the presence, location, and extent of diseases that damage the nerves such motor neuron disease. Electromyography…
glutamine workout
Glutamine: Why is this the right choice for muscle-gain supplement? Glutamine can help you gain muscles and build higher immunity. Read more to find out how you can…
HSV-IgM test
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-IgM Test The HSV-IgM class antibody is produced by the body a few days after an initial HSV infection and…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
blood elements analysis
Vitamin Profile Your doctor will recommend you undergo the vitamin profile test if you are showing signs of either vitamin…
Turner syndrome and infertility
Infertility profile (women) The infertility profile tests in women are conducted to form a complete picture of the hormonal balance and…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
complement c4 test
Complement 4 (C4) Test The Complement 4 or C4 test measures the level of the protein in the bloodstream, and is primarily…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
Spinach: The ultimate way to boost health with this green superfood! Spinach is a green superfood that ranks high in both taste and nutrition. Read more to discover how…
Bronchoscopy procedure
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy is a procedure where in a scope is inserted into the lung pathway to observe any growth…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
Echocardiogram
Echocardiography – ECHO Echocardiography (commonly known as ECHO) is an imaging modality (similar to ultrasonography) used to visualize the interior of…
creatinine
Creatinine Test The level of creatinine in the blood is a significant indicator of the health of your kidneys. This…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
beta hcg test
Beta hCG Test A Beta hCG test measures the level of human gonadotropin hormones present in the blood that is primarliy…
Proteinuria and blood pressure
Hypertension Profile Hypertension profile is a panel of blood tests done to analyse the cause of hypertension or high blood…
Crossfit with rope
CrossFit: Now get the perfectly sculpted body with this explosive gym routine CrossFit is a fitness regimen that makes use of high-intensity exercises in a shorter period to achieve muscle…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your survival. However, these…
free thyroxine ft4
Free thyroxine test (FT4) The FT4 or free thyroxine test is used to detect the level of free thyroxine of FT4 thyroid…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Top reasons why you need to pay attention to your vitamin B6 intake Vitamin B6- An essential water-soluble vitamin. Its deficiency leads to physical changes such as sores & glossy tongue…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
kidney stones
Kidney stones Kidney stones are solid substances made up of crystals. They can be of various sizes. Treatment depend on…
cytomegalovirus igm test
Cytomegalo Virus (CMV) – IgM Test The CMV antibodies include both IgM and IgG antibodies which are the immune system's response to a CMV…
folate test
Folate test The Folate test measures and monitors the levels of folic acid in the blood. This test is also…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
Cardiolipin Antibody (ACL) –IgG Test The cardiolipin antibody IgG are responsible for the abnormal formation of clots in veins and arteries or phlebitis…
lipoprotein A
Lipoprotein (A) Test Lipoprotein (A) test is used to measure and monitor the levels of LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein) in the bloodstream in…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
Anti-Inflammatory foods: 18 foods to a disease-free you Anti-inflammatory foods are the foods which are known to reduce the inflammation as well as the pain from…

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