Awareness of the symptoms of manic depression is important, although manic depression or bipolar depression, as it is often referred to, is not very common. It affects approximately 5.7 million Americans.
Symptoms of manic depression are as follows:
Swings in mood: Depending on the severity of the case, these can sometimes be quite rapid. Switching from depression to manic elation puts a person into an emotional roller coaster that can be confusing and even frightening.
When depressed: all the symptoms of clinical depression are present. Lack of interest in things that we used to enjoy, a profound feeling of sadness and disturbances of sleep patterns are just a few symptoms of depression. Sometimes the symptoms of mani depression becomes so intense that thoughts of suicide are very prevalent.
On the other hand when manic episodes occur, other symptoms manifest themselves. Extremely rapid speech can be apparent, irritability, and sometimes, false feelings of grandeur about themselves. There is an increase in energy and a decrease in the ability to sleep. The mood is euphoric and ideas are racing at an uncontrollable pace.
Bipolar or manic depression is treatable. Mood stabilizers are given and even anticonvulsive medications have proven to be helpful. Once moods are stabilized it is easier for the person to take back their life and get things under control again. Although it is not curable as yet at least treatment can decrease symptoms and allow patients to lead a normal life.
This form of depression can start in late adolescence to early adulthood. Sometimes it is not recognized at first and a person can suffer for a longer period without being treated. It is a lifetime illness that needs treatment for a person's whole life.
Symptoms can be accompanied by hallucinations, seeing and hearing things that are not there. These hallucinations are related to the manic or depressive mood the person is experiencing at this time. For instance in a manic mood a person can think they are a king or intensely rich person, with lots of influence. Whereas when they are depressed a person can feel worthless, penniless and even suicidal. It is not uncommon for people experiencing manic depression moods to go on uncontrolled shopping sprees.