Bipolar or Manic Depression is a condition that causes extreme shifts in a persons thinking, mood and behaviour, that is characterized by feelings of elation or euphoria when high, to feelings of deep despair and hopelessness, when low. During an episode of mania a person may impulsively charge up huge amounts of credit, relocate or quit their job. They might feel rested after two hours sleep. Then during bipolar depression the same individual maybe unable to get out of bed and become overcome with guilt and self loathing because of their unemployment and/or debt.
It is not yet understood how the disorder is caused but it often runs in families with the first manic or depressive episode occurring during the teenage years or young adulthood.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Common signs and symptoms of mania include:
* Feeling elated and optimistic or extremely irritable
* Grandiose beliefs about ones abilities, or belief they may have supernatural powers.
* Getting little sleep but feeling extremely energetic.
* Speaking with such speed that others are unable to keep up.
* Scattered thoughts, changing quickly from one idea to the next.
* Inability to concentrate.
* Irrational decision making.
* Delusions and hallucinations.
Common signs and symptoms of a Bipolar depressive episode include
* Feeling hopeless or empty.
* Fatigue,mental and physical sluggishness
* Inability to experience pleasure.
* Weight changes.
* Sleep disturbances.
* Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
* Thoughts of death or suicide.
Treatment is aimed at recovery not just to alleviate symptoms. Diagnosis can be difficult and Manic depression is classed as a chronic relapsing illness so it best to work with an experienced Psychiatrist and continue treatmet even when you're feeling better.
Medication alone is not enough to control the symptoms of the illness. Good long term prognosis involves a combination of medication, psycho therapy, lifestyle changes and family/social support.