What is Manic Depression?
Manic Depression is now more commonly referred to as Bipolar Disorder. Manic Depression symptoms include extreme mood swings.
The individual suffering from Manic Depression alternates between feelings of depression and feelings of exaggerated happiness and confidence (mania).
This mood disorder can range in severity and in extreme cases, can be a seriously incapacitating disorder that and sometimes Manic Depression symptoms prevent the individual from living a normal productive life.
Diagnosing Manic Depression
One of the primary difficulties in diagnosing this disorder is that most of those who suffer from it are blind to the negative consequences caused by their alternating mood states and it is often the people in their lives that are most affected.
If left untreated, Manic Depressive disorder can have serious consequences such as substance abuse, spending sprees and bankruptcy, car accidents, and even suicide. Often times a major problem is that since Manic Depression symptoms are so tied up in the psychology of the sufferer, often times they simply feel that their mood swings are just ‘part of them’, and will not seek help.
Seek a professional evaluation if you think you may be suffering from Manic Depressive disorder so that you can begin a treatment plan as soon as possible. Usually, a specialist will perform a full psychiatric evaluation in order to determine the extent of the symptoms.
Often, they will also request a full family psychiatric history in order to determine if depression or manic depressive conditions have existed in relatives, as the condition is considered to be partially hereditary.
They will also perform blood tests and a physical evaluation to make sure no other disease or sickness is causing the symptoms.
What Causes Manic Depression?
There are many theories as to the cause of Manic Depressive disorder. Some suggest that the problem can be based off of a person’s environment or life experience, basically meaning that certain events, hardships, stress or other outside factors can have an impact on a person’s psyche and induce manic depressive symptoms.
However, manic depression is more widely considered to be a biological disorder, and that environmental factors mainly act as triggers for symptoms or work to exacerbate the condition.
Evidence also exists to suggest that manic depression is inherited, and that the children of parents who are manic depressive are more pre-disposed to developing the condition themselves.
Help for Manic Depression
There are a number of treatment options available that can help manage Manic Depression and promote a normal and healthy life. Some options may be prescription medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy or a natural holistic approach involving a healthy life-style, positive behavioral changes and natural and homeopathic remedies.
Certain homeopathic and herbal remedies are especially formulated to optimize the nervous system, lift the mood, and reduce anxiety. Some herbal ingredients commonly used for these purposes are Passiflora and Skullcap – both of which can be very helpful in calming manic states.
While herbal remedies commonly used for depression are not usually recommended for the depressive phases of Bipolar Disorder, homeopathic remedies, including Natrium sulphate, Kalium phosphate and Natrium phosphate (all biochemic tissue salts) may often be very helpful.
The benefit of the natural approach is that it is relatively side effect free and if taken in the form of tissue salts or other homeopathic ingredients, is also safe to use during pregnancy (often a concern when on long-term medication). Consult a doctor, homeopath or naturopath for advice, especially when other chronic medications are also in use and do not discontinue your prescription medication unless under medical supervision.
More Information on Manic Depression
Types of Manic Depressive Episodes
- Manic Episode: A manic episode refers to when a sufferer experiences a manic upswing in mood, in which they seem to have limitless energy and enthusiasm. Characteristics of this condition are feeling overly euphoric, an inability to focus or concentrate, unrealistic beliefs in ones abilities and powers, poor judgment and aggressive or overly impulsive behavior.
- Depressive Episode: A depressive episode is, for all intents and purposes, the opposite of a manic episode, during which the sufferer experiences extreme lows in their mood and energy and is prone to extremely negative thoughts and a loss of self-worth. Characteristics of this condition are feelings of guilt and hopelessness, a loss of interest in pleasurable activities, extreme lethargy, sadness and anxiousness, loss of appetite, and in some cases, suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
- Mixed Bipolar Episode: Some patients experience the mixed bipolar episode, in which they can experience symptoms of manic episodes and depressive episodes at the same time. This can be an extremely dangerous state that can resemble psychosis in extreme cases. It is marked by the sad, hopeless feelings associated with the depressive state, but also the boundless energy, racing thoughts and agitation that is characteristic of manic episodes.