What is Manic Depression?
Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings, including periods of extreme elation, happiness, and energy (known as manic episodes) and periods of depression. It affects an estimated 4.4% of the U.S. population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
What Causes Manic Depression?
The exact cause of manic depression is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and biochemical factors. People with a family history of bipolar disorder are more likely to develop the condition. It is also more common in those with certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders or brain injuries.
Symptoms of Manic Depression
Manic depression can cause a range of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. During a manic episode, a person may experience:
- Elevated mood
- Excessive energy
- Decreased need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Impulsive behavior
- Risky behavior
During a depressive episode, a person may experience:
- Lack of energy
- Loss of interest in activities
- Trouble concentrating
- Changes in appetite or weight
Diagnosis of Manic Depression
Manic depression is typically diagnosed by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. They will conduct a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. They may also use lab tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Treatment for Manic Depression
Manic depression is typically treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medications used to treat manic depression include mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help people learn how to manage their symptoms and cope with stress.
Living with Manic Depression
Manic depression can be a challenging condition to live with, but there are things you can do to help manage your symptoms. It is important to stick to a treatment plan and get plenty of rest. Exercise, healthy eating, and avoiding alcohol and drugs can also help. It is also important to find ways to manage stress and connect with a support system.
Manic depression is a serious condition, but with the right treatment, people can live full and meaningful lives.