Manic depression symptoms are diverse. Also called bipolar
disorder, manic depression is characterized by episodes or phases of extreme
elation and extreme sadness; people diagnosed with this disorder can go back
and forth between these phases. Depending on what episode a person with manic
depression is experiencing, this will determine what symptoms you could see.
The Manic Phase
During the manic phase of manic depression, which is also
called mania, a person will exhibit signs of extreme mood elevation and energy.
So it's not unusual to see this person experiencing insomnia, racing thoughts,
and delusions of grandeur. Along with mood elevation, people with manic
depression can also become very irritable and reckless in their behavior. That
recklessness may be evident in binge eating or drinking, excessive shopping
sprees, and high-risk sexual behaviors like promiscuity and engaging in
The Depression Phase
The depression phase of manic depression reveals completely
opposite symptoms of mania. It's during this phase that the person will show
classic signs of depression: extreme sadness, loss of interest in activities
once pleasurable, loss of self-esteem, and suicidal ideation. Other symptoms during
the depression phase can include sleep disturbances and poor eating habits,
reflected by not eating enough or gaining too much weight.
What triggers manic
According to the Mayo Clinic, manic depression can be caused
by a number of factors, including biological traits, traumatic events, and
hormonal or neurotransmitter imbalances. Once a person is diagnosed with manic
depression, symptoms can be triggered by such actions as forgetting to take
medication, experiencing a stressful event like the loss of a job or death of a
close family member, or even pregnancy and giving birth, which cause a huge
shift in hormonal balance.
How do you treat
manic depression symptoms?
Manic depression can be treated with a combination of
medication and psychotherapy. Some of the medications frequently prescribed to
people with manic depression include mood stabilizers like lithium,
antidepressants such as Prozac or Effexor, and antipsychotics like Zyprexa or
Seroquel. If a person is beginning to show manic depression symptoms, it is
important to orient him to reality and point out he is showing signs of either
mania or depression. Try to keep him safe by assessing for any suicidal
thoughts (for example, "Are you planning to hurt yourself?") or
attempts at reckless behavior. Keep names and phone numbers of the person's
psychiatrist/psychotherapist and suicide hotline numbers close at hand for
immediate assistance during times of crisis.