Define Manic Depression - Overview

This page seeks to give an overview of as well as to define manic depression.

Manic depression can be defined as a medical condition where the moods of a person alternate between mania and depression. Mania is characterized by hyperactivity which is way above normal, while depression is characterized by abnormal lows.

This medical condition which alternates between mania and depression is also referred to as bipolar disorder. For short, people also sometimes refer to the entire condition as bipolar depression. Strictly speaking, though, the definition of bipolar disorder includes both manic and depressive states.

As we define manic depression or bipolar mood disorder, let us first discuss the two different phases. When a person is going through the manic phase of bipolar disorder, his or her thought processes are affected and they are not able to control their anxiety and hyperactivity. During the depressive phase of bipolar disorder, patients experience serious depression, and untreated bipolar depression can be responsible for suicide.

If the manic phase of bipolar disorder is not very severe, the patient might actually feel energetic and become extremely productive. Whereas, during the depressive phase, all this disappears and patients go through severe depression where all activity and action is replaced with overwhelming feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and sadness.

For family and friends who are observing these patients, these signs and symptoms are a strong indication that the loved one is suffering from bipolar disorder. The two phases of mania and depression, however, switch quite gradually. Each phase can last from several weeks to several months.

As we define manic depression, let us now talk about some of its symptoms. Some patients suffering from bipolar disorder sometimes experience psychotic symptoms, which include auditory and visual hallucinations accompanied with delusions. These psychotic symptoms could manifest during the manic phase as well as during the depressive phase.

Auditory hallucinations include patients hearing voices and visual hallucinations include seeing different things. Delusions of grandeur experienced during the manic phase include patients believing that they are a famous personality, mostly the President or Vice President of a country, or a physician, teacher, etc, and they often speak and conduct themselves accordingly.

During the depressive phase, however, these delusions make them feel they are miserable, bankrupt, and lonely. These symptoms are often confused with schizophrenia, which is another mental condition. It is during the depressive phase of bipolar disorder that people feel extremely guilty, sad, lonely, and contemplate suicide.

There are high chances of relapse in patients suffering from this condition, especially when the condition is untreated or the treatment is incomplete. Therefore, patients suffering from bipolar disorder need to be diagnosed and treated at the earliest. Treatment typically includes a combination of counseling, psychotherapy, and pharmacological drugs. All this accompanied with a strong support system in the form of family and friends will go a long way in curing patients suffering from bipolar disorder.

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    Related Pages on Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression
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    Famous People with Manic Depression

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