Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to Spot Manic Depression (Bipolar)


We all have our ups and downs, but if you're suffering from manic depression, or bipolar disorder, these mood swings are more severe. The extreme highs and lows of bipolar disorder can disrupt daily activities and damage relationships. And although it's treatable, many people don't recognize the warning signs and fail to get the help they need. Since bipolar disorder tends to worsen without treatment, it's important to learn how to spot manic depression. Recognizing the problem is the first step to getting it under control.


There are several symptoms that are quite specific to manic depression, and recognizing them is how to spot manic depression.

There are four types of mood episodes that can occur in bipolar disorder, each with a unique pattern of symptoms:

  • Mania

  • Hypomania

  • Depression

  • Mixed Episode

We can now look at the symptoms of each of these episodes in turn. In this way, I hope to help you know how to spot the symptoms of manic depression and to help either yourself or someone close to you get the help that they need.

MANIA: Do you know someone who, for certain brief periods of between a couple of weeks and a couple of months, can seem so full of energy that they can walk a mile a minute or seems to need no sleep at all? Then read on! The mania episode of the cycle is typically that. Whilst this episode may seem fine at first, and to onlookers can even seem funny, it can spiral out of control.

Other common signs include:

  • Feeling unusually optimistic, high or irritable

  • Unnatural perceptions of ones own ability and mortality - the person can literally feel like "Superman"

  • Feeling really energetic although they have had little sleep

  • Talking so rapidly that no one else can keep up

  • Racing thoughts and jumping from one subject to the next

  • Unable to concentrate

  • Lack of judgment or increased impulsiveness

  • Delusions and hallucinations in severe cases

HYPOMANIA: This is a milder form of mania. The person will feel overly optimistic and euphoric and enthusiastic but will definitely not include delusions and hallucinations.Most of us may feel that the person is just in a good mood. The thing is, how realistically can one person stay in such a good mood? This is a dangerous time in the manic depressive cycle as, if you don't recognize how to spot manic depression, it can spiral into full blown mania.

DEPRESSION: Unlike normal depression, when it is part of this cycle, the person tends to speak very slowly and seem un naturally tired. The opposite, in fact of Mania. There are also the usual symptoms of depression that the person may exhibit, and these are as follows;

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty.

  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Physical and mental sluggishness

  • Appetite or weight changes

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Concentration and memory problems

  • Feelings of self-loathing, shame, or guilt

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

MIXED EPISODE: A mixed episode of manic depression has symptoms of both mania and depression. Common signs of this stage include agitation, irritability, insomnia, appetite changes, loss of contact with reality and suicidal thoughts. This is a risky combination and makes it a particularly high risk of suicide.

I know that this is a worrying illness and that you will be feeling very anxious, but there is help and hope, and I wish you luck in your journey.

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