Manic Depression Symptoms and Signs
Manic Depression, also known as bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by unusual elevations & drops in mood that affect the normal functioning of an individual. Unlike unipolar depression which is characterized by depressive episodes, bipolar disorder (as the name suggest “bi” “polar“, two polar) is characterized by 2 opposite set of symptoms of mood; depressive episodes & manic, hypomanic episodes, or a mix of the 2 types of episodes that occur at the same time, called mixed episodes. Therefore symptoms of manic depression include the symptoms of depression, as well as symptoms of mania & hypomania & mixed episodes. In severe cases psychotic symptoms may occur, such as delusions & hallucinations.
Manic Depression Symptoms – Symptoms of Mania
Euphoria, abnormally elevated or irritable mood (must last at least a week if the condition is not serious enough that requires hospitalization, generally lasts from several weeks to months). In contrast to regular or normal highs, manic symptoms can cause impairment in social, occupational or interpersonal functioning, in some cases hospitalization can be necessary to prevent self-harm or potential harm to others. Psychotic features like hallucinations or delusions may occur during a manic episode. 50-60% of time a major depressive episode occurs immediately after. Common manic symptoms include:
- Overtly inflated feeling of self-esteem or grandiosity, sensational mood, preoccupied with grandiose achievements, fame, unlimited success, brilliance, power, beauty, convinced in having superficial powers, (they often feel that they are the chosen ones and are on a special mission)
- Being restless, little or no need for sleep (ex. Feels like 3rhs is enough)
- Irritable mood, anger, agitation, jumpy and wired
- Increased need for talking & increased rate of speech, pressures to have a conversation, excessive talking & giving advice to strangers
- Racing thoughts, disorganized thinking, unusually fast flow of ideas, mostly disrupted, one comes before the other ends
- Easily distracted by irrelevant or unimportant factors, short attention span
- Elevated goal oriented activity, taking on new ideas & starting new projects (social, work, sexual or other)
- Unintentional motions, caused by mental tension
- Engaging in high risk activities (gambling, spending unreasonable amounts of money while shopping, impulse high ticket purchases, engaging in risky sex, high risk business investments, antisocial behavior etc.)
- Disregards ethical norms
- Heightened sense of vision, smell & hearing
- In severe cases with psychotic features can be capable of physical assault, hostile or threatening behavior or engaging in suicidal actions
Symptoms must not be caused by medication or other treatment, substance, drug abuse, or other medical condition.
Hyperactivity & poor judgement during a manic episode often result in financial difficulties, injuries to physical well being, troubles with the law, involuntary hospitalization.
Manic Depression – Symptoms of Hypomania
Symptoms of hypomania are identical to symptoms of mania in less severe form. Unlike symptoms of mania, symptoms of hypomania do not cause impairment in social, occupational, interpersonal functioning, do not include psychotic features or require hospitalization. Such episodes may last from a few weeks to months, and 5-15% of people experiencing hypomania are likely to experience the condition developing into mania.
Manic Depression – Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depressive episode of manic depression are similar to those with unipolar depression. Many symptoms can be the exact opposite of those occurring during mania of hypo-mania. The depressive phase of manic depression can be identified by the presence of persistent feelings of anger, anxiety, guilt, hopelessness, disturbances in appetite and sleep. Individuals tend to show decreased or no interest in hobbies, activities, and often show apathy, and indifference. A full list of symptoms of depression can be found here http://depressiond.org/depression-symptoms-signs/
Manic Depression Mixed Episode Symptoms
Manic depression symptoms during a mixed episode meet the criteria of both manic & depressive episode at the same time, nearly every day for at least a week. The affected person usually experiences rapidly alternating mood, frequently agitation, changes in appetite, insomnia, suicidal thoughts & psychotic features like hallucination & delusion. The behavior does cause impairment in social, occupational, interpersonal functioning and can include psychotic features or require involuntary hospitalization.
While genetic & physiological factors, such as abnormalities in the brain, are believed to trigger manic depression, there are environmental factors such as abusive childhoods, traumatic experiences early in life that can cause manic depression in individuals. Diagnosing bipolar disorder is difficult & can take some substantial time & effort. For a patient suffering from bipolar disorder psychotherapy coupled with medications is the recommended treatment. A number of people who are involved with arts are known to suffer from manic depression. One famous example is Vincent van Gough.