Manic depression or as it is also known bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes the sufferer to have rapid shifts in mood of such a magnitude to affect an individuals normal functioning.
The symptoms of manic depression are quite wide ranging. They normally include large mood swings, ranging from an extreme high, occasionally with irritability, to an extremely low and hopeless mood and back again. In between these two poles of mood are periods of normal mood. As a ratio, the low and depressive mood is most common at a ratio of 3 to 1 manic, or high, mood.
Manic Depression Symptoms – Manic Episode
When a person has symptoms of manic depression and they experience “mania” it is known as a manic episode.
A manic episode is usually characterized by these manic depression symptoms:
- An extreme increase of energy, increased participation in physical and mental activities or restlessness
- An extreme high or euphoria and an overly good mood.
- Heightened irritability
- Fast talking and occasionally jumping from on topic to the next as a result of ideas and thoughts racing through the individuals mind
- A reduction in concentration levels and being distracted very easily
- Not needing a lot of sleep
- Egomania and a belief in one’s abilities and powers regardless of how unrealistic they may be.
- A lack of good judgment
- Spending money regardless of whether it is available to spend or not
- The abnormal behavior lasts for a long period of time
- An increase in sexual drive
- Abusing drugs, in particular alcohol, cocaine and medications to aid sleep
- Aggressive, invasive or confrontational behavior
- Denying that there is something wrong
The diagnosis of a manic episode mostly occurs in an individual when there are three or more manic depression symptoms and they are accompanied by an elevated mood. Then again, if the mood is primarily characterized by high irritability then it must be accompanied by another four symptoms. In either case, the manic depression symptoms must be noticeable for most of the day, nearly every day for at least a week.
Manic Depression Symptoms – Depressive Episode
During a depressive episode, the manic depression symptoms may include:
- Relentlessly feeling sad or empty
- High levels of anxiety
- Feeling hopeless/pessimistic, Dwelling on negative thoughts
- Feeling guilty/worthless
- A lack of motivation and/or energy and feeling like there is nothing worth making an effort for
- No interest in activities usually found pleasurable
- Low or no energy
- Feeling like you are being slowed down or fatigued
- A loss of memory and trouble concentrating on one thing at a time
- Can’t make decisions
- Annoyance, rage or petulance
- Having not enough or too much sleep
- Appetite change and/or weight loss/gain without any explanation
- Physical symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury, such as aches and pains
- suicidal or death related thoughts, possible suicide attempts
A person in a depressive episode who is suffering with manic depression symptoms needs all the help they can get. Throughout the depressive episode, there is a greater possibility of suicide and it is strongly advised that professional help is found as soon as a person starts talking about suicide.