Manic-depressive symptoms run the gamut from barely noticeable to rather severe. They can be rather different from the usual ups and downs of life in that a "normal" person can usually shake them off, while a manic-depressive patient has a much harder time dealing with life's stresses. Very often, manic-depressive symptoms can cause poor school or job performance, damage relationships, and even suicide. However, the good news is that bipolar disorder, which is another name for this affliction, is treatable. Those individuals with the condition can lead normal and productive lives.
Research shows that bipolar disorder, very often develops in a person's late teens to early 20's. About half of those who have the condition, will get it before they turn 25. A small proportion of individuals get their first symptoms in childhood, and another small proportion may develop manic-depressive symptoms later in life.
One may be suffering from bipolar disorder if he or she has several manic-depressive symptoms for the better part of the day. Additionally, clinicians look for symptoms that appear almost daily, for at least 1-2 weeks. Sometimes these symptoms are very serious to the point that one can not function normally at home, work, or school.
In general, manic-depressive symptoms consist of symptoms of mania as well as symptoms of depression. In severe cases, psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions may also occur in patients that have multiple mental disorders occurring concurrently.
Symptoms of a manic episode or mania include:
- Mood changes such as an extended spell of feeling high, or excessively happy or friendly mood
- Extremely irritable mood, feeling "wired" or "jumpy", and agitation
- Behavioral changes such as talking very fast, having racing thoughts and jumping from idea to idea
- Being restless or easily distracted
- Having an unrealistic belief in a person's abilities
- Sleeping little or very poor sleeping habits
- Increasing goal-oriented activities, like working on too many new projects simultaneously
- Behaving recklessly and participating in many pleasurable, risky behaviors
- Impulsive business investments, impulsive sex, and impulsive spending sprees
Symptoms of a depressive episode or depression include:
- Mood changes such as a long-lasting feeling of worry and emptiness
- Lack of interest in things once enjoyed, such as hobbies, sports or intimacy
- Behavioral changes such as feeling "slowed down", worn out or tired
- Difficulty with concentrating, making decisions or remembering things
- Being irritable and or grouchy beyond reason
- Changing one's eating, sleeping, or other habits
- Thinking of suicide or death, or attempting suicide
With the help of friends and family, patient's should not hesitate to discuss any of the aforementioned manic-depressive symptoms with their doctor. Early detection is key to a favorable treatment regimen. Do it today for a better quality of life tomorrow!