What is manic depression? According to WebMD, manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is “a form of major affective disorder, or mood disorder, defined by manic or hypomanic episodes (changes from one’s normal mood accompanied by high energy states.” This condition is serious and brings on unsafe behavior, even suicidal tendencies. Manic depression involves changes in mood and energy levels that in the manic episodes can produce sleeplessness, hallucinations, delusions, rage and psychosis. The depressive episodes are often more severe and more difficult to treat than other forms of depression. Although it is called manic depression, the term bipolar describes more accurately how the symptoms range between two “poles” – depressive and manic behaviors. Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year,” according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).
What are the Symptoms of Manic Depression?
It can be hard to identify the symptoms of a manic depressive individual. They are sometimes thought to be quirky behaviors or personality traits. The signs of manic depression are often attributed to moodiness, just being tired or personal or work problems. The condition is characterized by ups and downs between mania and depression. The periods of each are not consistent and can change in duration.
Hypomania, a symptom of manic depression, is a high-energy, creative state where an individual’s mood can be elevated, and they may experience euphoria. This state can cause long periods of sleeplessness, grandiose delusions, buoyancy and excitement, hallucinations and aggression.
The depressive state shows the symptoms of regular clinical depression, such as lack of energy, easy tearfulness, frequent sadness, loss of appetite, and problems sleeping. However, antidepressants typically used for depression can be dangerous for manic depressive individuals as they can worsen their condition or could put them in a manic state and lead to a break with reality.
As per InCrisis.org, other symptoms include abuse of drugs or alcohol, racing thoughts and rapid speech, poor judgment, high-risk behavior, increased sexual drive, suicidal behavior and thoughts, and feelings or self-harming behavior.
What Causes Manic Depression?
Although doctors don’t completely understand the causes of manic depression, there does appear to be a genetic link that can run in families. It may be partially caused by the unbalance of neurotransmitters or brain chemicals, and problems with specific brain circuits. It is also believed that environment and lifestyle, including drug or alcohol abuse, may have an effect on the disorder’s severity.
What are Possible Treatments for Manic Depression?
Many manic depressive individuals can go undiagnosed for years. They are more likely to go to a doctor when they are depressed, not when they are manic; therefore subsequently being misdiagnosed with depression and treated with little benefit. Manic depression be can be treated effectively over the long-term, although there is no cure; the important thing is to provide treatment as soon as possible. Successful treatments include medication and therapy of manic depression. “The types of medications generally used to treat bipolar disorder include mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and antidepressants,” states the National Institute of Mental Health.
Unfortunately, there are patients who don’t respond to conventional treatments for manic depression; however, a new non-invasive treatment, deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (Deep TMS), is being offered in Los Angeles. This treatment consists of short, thirty-minute sessions where a helmet is strapped on a person’s head. The helmet is attached to magnetic coils that send messages to the brain, helping to heal depression. For more information, contact Westside Neurotherapeutics y by phone at 310.946.0008 or visit them at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.