Life brings a rollercoaster of emotions, no matter who you are. During our lifetime, we will experience a range of different emotions, some pleasant, some not. In time, we also come to realize that emotions are fleeting and change fairly quickly. While we may be extremely saddened by an event for a short period, we typically return back to our normal state of being in a after a while. For those with manic depressive disorder, that is not the case. The symptoms of the mental disorder intensifies both good and bad emotions ten-fold, which are experienced by sufferers in a continuously looping cycle.
What is Manic Depression?
Manic depressive disorder, otherwise known as bipolar disorder, is a cyclical mental disease that causes periods of extreme elation, followed by a severe period of depression. There are two different forms of manic depression: Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2. If you are diagnosed with the former, you will experience frequently occurring manic episodes, or daily cycling between mania and depression. The latter is different in that it consists of long lasting periods of depression, followed by a hypomanic state – a mild form of mania that is noticeable but does not cause significant obstruction to daily performance.
In the United States, 2.6% of people over the age of 18 are manic-depressive, states The National Institute of Mental Health. If you have manic-depressive disorder, there are two distinct sets of symptoms that you may experience.
Signs of Mania:
- Elevated mood
- Increased agitation/irritability
- Mood swings
- Racing thoughts
- Increased motivation
- Irresponsible spending habits
- Delusions of grandeur
Signs of Depression:
- Persistent sadness
- Low self-esteem
- Cognitive deficits
- Concentration issues
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Decreased sexual drive
- Suicide (15% of those with manic depression commit suicide, states The Treatment Advocacy Center).
Lithium is a mood stabilizer that is the most widely used manic depression treatment medication. The prescription is used for the prevention or lessening of the manic symptoms of manic-depressive disorder. Medication for controlling seizures in those with epilepsy, called anticonvulsants, has also been shown to be beneficial for increasing mood stability. Depending on your personal circumstances, your doctor may recommend that you take an antidepressant (i.e. Zoloft, etc.), as well.
Psychotherapy is another manic depression treatment tool, which is frequently paired with drug therapy for maximum effectiveness. While medication does decrease the symptoms in those who deal with manic-depressive disorder, it does not teach you how to better understand your illness and your perceptions. The most common form of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches a patient how their thinking impacts the way they interact with the world. This allows you to identify and rectify negative thought patterns, changing them to positively benefit you.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is a relatively new procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate hard-to-reach areas of the brain thought to be involved in producing manic-depressive symptoms. The treatment is safe, does not require anaesthesia, is non-invasive; and has not been shown to have any negative symptoms. The overall efficacy is still being assessed, on account of how new the procedure is. According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnological Innovation’s website, a study looking at the usefulness of dTMS as a manic-depression treatment, showed positive results. Participants received 20 consecutive days of dTMS, followed by one bi-weekly treatment for the following three months. Results showed that symptom severity improved by a statistically significant level, and was maintained over a period of six months, states The National Center for Biotechnological Innovation.
If you or a loved on has been struggling with manic-depressive disorder, you know that theups and downs of the disorder can be extremely draining. While there is no cure for the condition, there are many viable treatment options available to help you lead as health a life as possible.
Westside Neurotherapeutics provides dTMS therapy for manic depression in Los Angeles. For more information, contact them by calling 310.946.0008, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.