The initial symptoms of manic depression, otherwise known as bipolar depression, usually begin to manifest during adolescence and can be triggered at any time. It is a well-known fact that many bipolar sufferers do not realize that their condition exists.
Fortunately, manic depression can be treated very successfully. Thought to be a chemical brain imbalance, bipolar response well to treatment provided an accurate diagnosis can be made and the appropriate treatment started. The main concern is to spot the initial symptoms of bipolar early.
If someone in your circle of family and friends has manic depression, then you would already know the effect it has on their daily lives. Contrary to popular belief, individuals suffering from manic depression are not always depressed and morose. The illness is highly likely to recur frequently, affecting a person for their entire lifetime. The best long-term treatment is achieved by fostering and maintaining a strong support group. This, of course, is totally dependent on being able to spot the initial symptoms of manic depression in the first place.
How to Spot Depression
Correctly identifying depression is a tricky exercise, and can baffle even the most experienced professional. One obvious sign of depression is a sad or anxious mood manifesting over an extended period. Another can be a lack of motivation or desire to participate in activities which would normally be enjoyed by the person, for example, hobbies, sex or social activities.
What Constitutes a Manic Episode
The most noticeable behavior is a euphoric mood and increased level of energy. These characteristics are quite evident and easily noticed. Other signs include over generosity, spending sprees, hypersexuality (increased sex drive), loss of concentration, and grandiose feelings of invincibility.
Symptoms of Psychosis
In serious cases of manic depression, the associated extreme mood swings can progress into psychosis symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. While others can recognize psychosis quite easily, the patient is often unaware of them.
Mixed Bipolar States
Sometimes a mixed state of a manic depression occurs, where the sufferer simultaneously experiences depression and mania. Symptoms often include sleep deficiency, appetite changes, and agitation. Patients with mixed bipolar states can be extremely depressed but still, possess high energy levels.
Identifying Morbid Thoughts
One of the most feared bipolar symptoms for the loved ones supporting a bipolar sufferer is the appearance of potentially morbid thoughts. Any suspicion that a patient is thinking morbidly and contemplating suicide should be acted upon immediately. In such cases, a 911 or other emergency call should be made as a standard preventative measure. Better to be on the safe side than suffer a tragic suicide.
If the true nature of a person’s condition is to be revealed, recognizing the initial symptoms of manic/bipolar is vitally important. Improper diagnosis can lead to a prolonged lifetime of suffering. All too often a patient seeks medical advice when suffering from depression, but they do not think it important to disclose their manic episodes. This is mainly because they feel good, and connect their manic periods with happiness and a normal state.
Research and study have now heightened awareness of this condition. More and more people are becoming educated and can recognize the initial symptoms of manic depression. Information and guidance are now readily available through quality resources on reputable websites and from local mental health clinics.
How lucky we are to live in an age where the condition can be overcome by identifying the initial symptoms of bipolar early, allowing patients and their loved ones to lead normal, productive and healthy lives.
Causes of Manic depression
The frequency can vary from one person to the next and is characterized by extreme low depression and extreme highs of an elevated mood or mania.
While the cause of manic depression is still yet to be discovered, experts believe that it may have something to do with genetics and hormonal levels. There are even some cases where another form of illness brings on the bipolar affective disorder in a person.
Every day, people will experience a wide variety of emotions and events which can often time trigger the bipolar affective disorder.
Bipolar Affective Disorder triggers are what causes the extreme mood swings in bipolar suffers. Below is a list of some possible manic depression triggers:
- Drugs and/or alcohol misuse
- Not sleeping regularly
- Medication stoppage
- Seasonal changes
- Starting a new medication
- Having medical conditions like thyroid
- Disagreements with family and/or friends
- Work-related problems
- Death of a loved one
- Marital problems
- Starting a new line of work
If you or someone you know is dealing with manic depression then you should be able to identify the different manic depression triggers. One of the best ways of doing this is by keeping a mood chart.
Record all of the individual’s emotions and the corresponding events that took place, over time you will begin to see a pattern in the manic depression triggers.
If you are the one dealing with bipolar affective disorder then making the mood chart on your own can be tough. You should try talking with a loved one for help.
You should also discuss with your professional health caregiver like clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, psychiatrists. They will be able to help you in ways that your loved ones cant. You will be able to see things better through their professional help.
Once you have discovered all of your manic depression triggers, the next step is to try to avoid them. This can be a lot of hard work and it will require you to avoid some of your bad habits.
Make sure that your loved ones are informed about your manic depression triggers too so that they can help you avoid them. Once you know the triggers of manic depression, dealing with bipolar affective disorder becomes much easier.
Treatments For Manic depression
Although there is no cure for manic depression, there are several different treatments for manic depression. Below I will list a few treatments for manic depression:
This is a medication that is designed to help relieve or delay manic depression and manic episodes.
People that may be suffering from a depressive episode can use a mood stabilizer with an antidepressant. However, if this medication is used alone it can actually help trigger a manic episode.
Severe cases of mania or depressive episodes can lead to psychosis. When this happens it can be treated with Antipsychotic. This medication can be used alone or combined with others for the treatment of manic depression.
Manic depression is a psychotic problem which makes a change into to the brain chemical. Psychotherapy/counseling may not bring positive change in the severe phase of the brain chemical. But in an early phase, if the symptoms are not severe then psychotherapy can be effective. At the same time, it might be helpful after using mood stabilizer medication.
Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT
This is not really a medication for manic depression but rather it is a treatment to help people that are suffering from extreme episodes. This is also good for those that don’t respond positively to medications.
ECT is a therapy that is designed to help control acute depressive and manic symptoms. This treatment for manic depression can effectively reduce mood instability and cycling. Through a management plan, the manic depression patient can return to his/her normal life again.
Even though medications are not guaranteed to remove a condition like manic depression, the mood swings that one faces can be reduced and stabilized.
With the proper medications and treatments for manic depression, the condition of mood can be stabilized and controlled.