Manic depression or manic-depressive illness is also known as bipolar disorder, a medical condition characterized by shifting moods, energy levels, and functional abilities of the afflicted person. With the mood and energy swings reaching the severe levels, tests for manic depression are increasingly becoming more complex.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness or simply manic depression is a condition characterized by recurring bouts of significant, severe mood and energy disturbances. The range of the spectrum is from those lows of debilitating depression to those highs of uncontrollable mania, thus the bipolar or extreme poles of the condition. Bipolar disorder sufferers are almost always in a mixed range of depression episodes that occur in cycles.
Precisely a cyclic illness, bipolar disorder or manic depression occurs regularly from the elevated or manic level to the lowest depressed level. It begins to manifest itself from childhood and may continue on to young adulthood and even adulthood if not treated.
The state of mania is characterized by the elevated irritability state of the sufferer's mood. The manic depressive may experience a surge of energy and will have difficulty in falling asleep. Attentiveness may be affected and the manic-depressive is distracted easily. The manic-depressive may have delusions of grandeur. The manic-depressive may even in the extreme get psychotic or detach himself from reality.
What Tests Are There For Manic Depression?
Manic depression being a mental illness is not measurable or diagnosable physiologically, that is through blood tests, MRIs, or brain scans. Tests for manic depression are more focused on the disorder's symptoms, the genetic and family history of the sufferer, the course and duration of the illness.
Clinical studies on manic depression or bipolar disorder abound. These include tests for manic depression presence or occurrence in the subjects. Tests for manic depression include scientific evaluation and investigation into the causes and treatments of this illness.
Research studies on mental health, such as those sponsored or conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, provide relevant information on the types of medication, the combination of medication and therapies, the benefits of psychotherapy or behavioral intervention in manic depression, the diagnosis and the diagnosis' reliability, and preventive measures.
The National Institute of Mental Health introduced recently tests for manic depression and other behavioral disorders through real-world studies, so called for several underlying reasons. These tests provide different treatments and different combinations of treatments and target large numbers of mental disorder sufferers living in diverse area settings. The real-world aspect comes in such real-world issues like family life, work patterns and attitudes, even social relations and functions.
More recently, the National Institute of Mental Health initiated and implemented the STEP-BD or Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder. This test for manic depression or bipolar disorder solicited participants for this largest-ever study based on "real-world" scenarios on the different treatment schemes for bipolar disorder. This and other clinical studies on bipolar disorder are proving that tests for manic depression will shed more light on better medication and therapy regimens for patients.
What To Do If You Were Tested "Positive?"
Bipolar disorder is a serious form of mood disorder. Its symptoms of shifting moods from one end of the spectrum to the other end make the person suffering from it very unpredictable.
Today, the patient may be extremely happy as though the world has been too good for him. Then the next day he falls into a crying episode, displaying melancholy and gloominess, and dislikes to socialize even with members of the family.
These erratic changes in behavior makes a manic depressive person a high risk for suicide. He can harm himself and he can harm the people around him, even those that he loves.
If you are tested "positive" from bipolar disorder, seek help immediately. You need to know how to manage and control your impulses and urges, which a manic depressive has a hard time controlling, such as excessive gambling, promiscuous sexual behavior or shop lifting.
Thus if you suspect you or a family member is manic depressive, don't hesitate to take the test for manic depression.