The initial symptoms of manic depression, also 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 their condition exists. So, first of all, proper diagnosis is essential at the initial stage.
In America, approximately 2.3 million and around 1% of the population suffer from manic depression. In addition, about 10%-15% of people commit suicide for lack of proper diagnosis and treatment. Bipolar disorder may be first diagnosed after puberty, but it can reveal as late as age 40 or 50.
Manic depression can be treated very successfully. It is thought chemical brain imbalance and bipolar response tests can provide an accurate diagnosis for appropriate treatment. The main concern is to spot the initial symptoms of bipolar early.
If someone in your circle of family and friends has depression, you would already know its effect on their daily lives. Individuals suffering from manic depression can not be treated as general depression.
This illness highly affects a person for his entire lifetime. However, the best long-term treatment and fostering and maintaining a support group can bring a fruitful outcome. The first step for this is to spot the initial symptoms of manic depression in the first place.
How to Spot Depression?
Correctly identifying depression is tricky 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 typically 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 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.
Manic Depression Symptoms
In severe cases of manic depression, the associated extreme mood swings can progress into psychosis symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. Unfortunately, while others can recognize psychosis quickly, the patient is often unaware.
Mixed Bipolar States
Sometimes a mixed state of 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 highly depressed but 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. Therefore, any suspicion that a patient thinks morbidly and contemplates suicide should be acted upon immediately.
A 911 or other emergency call should be made as a standard preventative measure in such cases. 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. So, special attention is required.
Sometimes patient seeks medical advice when suffering from depression, but they do not think it necessary 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.
We are lucky to live in an age where this condition can be overcome by identifying the initial symptoms of bipolar, allowing patients and their loved ones to lead everyday, productive, and healthy lives.
Causes of Manic Depression
The frequency can vary from person to person and is characterized by shallow depression and extreme highs of an elevated mood or mania.
While the cause of manic depression is still running, it must be discovered. Experts believe it may have something to do with genetics and hormonal levels. There are even some cases where another form of illness brings on bipolar affective disorder in a person.
People experience various emotions and events daily, which can often trigger bipolar affective disorder.
Bipolar Affective Disorder triggers are what cause extreme mood swings in bipolar suffers. Below is a list of some possible manic depression triggers:
- Drugs and alcohol misuse
- Not sleeping regularly
- Medication stoppage
- Seasonal changes
- Starting a new medication
- Having medical conditions like thyroid
- Disagreements with family and 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, you should be able to identify the triggers. One of the best ways of doing this is by keeping a self-mood chart.
Here you will record all of the emotions and the related events that took place. Over time, you will see a pattern in the manic depression triggers.
Suppose you are dealing with bipolar affective disorder, then making the mood chart on your own can be challenging. You should try talking with a loved one for help. Also, you can take help from a professional psychologist.
So, it would be best if you also discussed with your professional health caregiver like clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, and psychiatrists. They can help you in ways that your loved ones can’t. 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 this disorder, dealing with bipolar affective disorder becomes much more accessible.
Treatments For Manic Depression
Although it is believed that there is no cure for manic depression, instead it can manage through various proper treatments. Below I will list a few treatments procedure for manic depression:
This medication is designed to help relieve or delay manic depression and manic episodes.
People suffering from a depressive episode can use a mood stabilizer with an antidepressant. However, if this medication is used alone,, it can help trigger a manic episode.
Severe cases of mania or depressive episodes can lead to psychosis. When this happens, it can be treated with antipsychotics. This medication can be used alone or combined with others to treat manic depression.
Manic depression is a psychotic problem that changes the brain chemical. Psychotherapy or counseling may not bring positive difference in the severe phase of the brain chemical. But in an early stage, psychotherapy can be effective if the symptoms are not severe,. At the same time, it might be helpful after using mood stabilizer medication.
Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT
This is not a medication for manic depression, but rather, a treatment to help people suffering from extreme episodes. This is also good for those that don’t respond positively to medications.
ECT is a therapy 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 their everyday 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 mood can be stabilized and controlled.