Symptoms and treatment of manic depression

Many rash and terrible actions are committed by people in an inadequate state. One of these is manic depression. It is extremely dangerous, but if you find out and identify its symptoms in time, you can avoid serious consequences and trouble.

What it is?

Manic depression, which in psychological and medical practice is also called bipolar affective disorder, is quite a serious mental condition, which is often regarded as an independent disease. It is characterized by wave-like changes of phases, that is, affective states. Speaking in ordinary language, mood swings occur: from manic to depressive.

According to statistics, bipolar affective disorder affects about 3-7% of the world's population. Moreover, in most patients (about 60-70%), other mental disorders are also diagnosed. In both men and women, the disease affects approximately equally, but some sexual differences may occur during the course of the disease.The first signs are usually seen in people over 30-35 years old, but sometimes they are noticed earlier, even in childhood.

Interestingly, bipolar affective disorder was observed in many well-known and even brilliant personalities, such as Sigmund Freud, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, Charles Dickens, Vincent Van Gogh, Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, Winston Churchill, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Arthur Schopenhauer and others. It is probably because of this disease that these people were able to discover talents and experience true inspiration. But some payment for fame were frequent depressions.

Why can manic depression develop?

The exact causes of the development of manic depression has not yet been reliably established, and research is still ongoing. But among the possible factors of negative influence are the following:

  • Heredity. It has been observed that episodes of bipolar effective disorders are often found in the closest blood relatives. And there may be a variety of mental disorders.
  • Endocrine and hormonal disorders. As you know, hormones have the most direct impact on the body, including the brain.Therefore, serious hormonal disruptions, impaired functioning of the thyroid gland or the adrenal cortex can provoke bipolar affective disorder.
  • Disorders of the brain. During the research it was found that depression is often caused by a shortage of serotonin - the so-called hormone of joy. The reasons for the decline in its level may be different, among them such as cerebral circulation disorders, neoplasms.
  • Strong stress, emotional stress or stress.
  • Injuries, especially cranial.
  • Infectious diseases affecting the brain (encephalitis, meningitis).

The stages of the disease and their manifestations

There are two phases of bipolar affective disorder: manic and depressive. And the manifestations are radically different. The flow is usually undulating, that is, the stages follow each other. The duration of a particular phase can be almost any (from several days or months to 2-3 years), because the development of the disease is entirely individual and depends on many different factors, such as living conditions, status in society, family status, environment, professional activity and so on.

How does manic depression manifest itself? It all depends on the phase in which the patient is.The main symptoms of manic stage:

  • Increased mood, bouts of unreasonable joy, a feeling of happiness, euphoria.
  • Increased self-esteem, exaggeration of their own forces and capabilities, self-confidence.
  • Many patients at this stage discover talents or abilities.
  • Reckless acts committed at the peak of emotional recovery.
  • Talk, excessively fast speech, verbal flow of thoughts.
  • Increased motor activity, which can manifest itself in excessive gesticulation, facial expressions, fast and numerous movements.
  • Increased impulsiveness, nervous irritability, sometimes aggression and irritability.
  • The emergence of many ideas, sometimes delirious.
  • No sense of fear and danger.

The long and complete course of the manic phase can include several stages:

  1. Hypomaniacal implies emotional uplift.
  2. The expressed mania. At this stage, the main symptoms increase, become more pronounced.
  3. Maniacal frenzy is a kind of peak in all manifestations of the disorder, in which there are also movement disorders.At this stage, the person really looks mentally ill.
  4. Motive sedation. The physical condition begins to normalize, but the mental state continues to be agitated.
  5. The reactive stage can be regarded as a kind of remission, in which all manifestations almost completely disappear.

Signs of a depressive phase:

  • Unreasonable sadness, emptiness, apathy, low mood, lack of interest and indifference to everyone and everything.
  • Anxiety, unfounded fears and experiences.
  • Decreased physical activity, chronic fatigue, drowsiness, fatigue.
  • Inhibition: mental, physical, mental, verbal.
  • Decreased concentration, memory loss.
  • Feeling of guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, own insolvency.
  • Loss of appetite or, on the contrary, increase.
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Thoughts of suicide.
  • Failures of the menstrual cycle in women.
  • Violations of the cardiovascular system (angina, arrhythmia, hypotension).
  • Problems in the gastrointestinal tract: diarrhea, constipation, pain and cramps.

The depressive phase also includes several stages:

  1. The initial stage is characterized by a decline in mood, a decrease in psychological tone.
  2. Growing depression. At this stage, low mood remains, anxiety joins it, and motor changes are also observed.
  3. Severe depression is the peak of all symptoms.
  4. In the reactive stage, manifestations gradually become less pronounced and disappear altogether.

Interestingly, as noted above, the disease can occur differently in women and men. Thus, the fair sex is more prone to depression, while the strong half of humankind often has manic tendencies.


An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a specialist after two episodes of phase change.

How to treat the disease?

Treatment of manic depression is not an easy and long process. It may include such directions as:

  1. Drug therapy, for example, taking antipsychotics, antidepressants, sedatives, hypnotics, psychotropic and lithium-containing drugs, mood stabilizers, and so on. Sometimes hormones are recommended.All these medications put in order emotional and partly physical states, but they should be prescribed only by a doctor!
  2. A course of psychotherapy will be helpful.
  3. The support of loved ones is extremely important.
  4. In order to avoid aggravation, the patient is recommended to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, to avoid excessive exertion and stress.

Manic depression is a serious and dangerous disease, but if it is detected in time, the patient will be able to live a normal life with proper treatment.

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