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

Facts

  • Bipolar depressive episodes tend to look a lot like classic depression.
  • The length of mood episodes can vary from person to person.

Facts

  • It can take a while to receive a proper diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which is often misdiagnosed as depression.
  • Treatment almost always involves medication, but effective drugs and dosages vary widely by individual.

Facts

  • Bipolar disorder medications can affect pregnancy and birth control.

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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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Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
antihepatitis core antigent
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen (AHBc) Total Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (AHBC ) is a blood examination and the only serological marker of infectious blood…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
Oil of Oregano: The one-stop essential oil you’ve been looking for Are you plagued by a weak immune system? High body inflammation accompanied by pain and infections? Why not…
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…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition to regulating bowels,…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
Anti-CCP Test – Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Anti-ccp or ACCP test is a blood test that is primarily employed to diagnose the onset of rheumatoid…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
cardioliin antibody iga
Cardiolipin Antibody (ACL) – IgA test Cardiolipins are phospholipids that are constituents of the platelets and the cell membranes. The IgA test detects the…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  It was…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
PROGESTERONE_test
Progesterone test The progesterone test is a blood test used to determine the level of hormone progesterone in the blood…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
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…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
pilonidal sinus
Pilonidal sinus Pilonidal sinus is more common in young men than women. Learn about treatment options, surgical management, risks, and…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual truth behind the…
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…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Bone marrow aspiration Bone marrow aspiration is a process where a sample of the bone marrow is withdrawn from the bone…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
malarial antigen test
Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
lipase test
Lipase Test A lipase test is a blood test performed to quantitatively measure the level of the enzyme lipase in…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…