Bipolar Manic Depression

Those who suffer from bipolar manic depression are dealing with a very serious mental illness that carries with it a risk of suicide and major life upheaval. As the name suggests, patients will go back and forth between episodes of irrational mania and deep depression. Seeking diagnosis and treatment for this malady is crucial. If the disease is not treated, the chances that an individual will eventually commit suicide are much higher. The illness does not usually exhibit itself until the late teens or in early adulthood.

Studies have shown that bipolar manic depression is hereditary and is a mental illness that will usually need treatment throughout life. There is no definitive cure for this malady, but a number of effective treatments do exist. In the manic phase, the patient may experience extra energy and a remarkable lift in mood. In the depression phase, the patient will usually experience a very blue mood and will have little energy or desire to participate in the normal activities of life. Mixed episodes can also occur. When this happens, a patient may experience extreme highs and lows within the course of one twenty four hour period.

Patients who live with bipolar manic depression may also be dealing with a number of other issues at the same time. It is not uncommon for individuals to be forced to cope with such difficulties as substance abuse, eating disorders, sexual problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, Tourette's syndrome, diabetes, migraines, heart disease, and thyroid disorders. A number of mental diseases may go hand in hand with this illness as well such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, various panic disorders, as well as alcoholism and social phobia. Dealing with such extreme mood swings can take a heavy toll on the life of the patient. Effective and timely treatment is extremely important since symptoms will only worsen with the passage of time. However, patients who have been successfully treated have gone on to live fulfilling and well rounded lives.

If a friend or family member suspects that someone they care about is suffering from bipolar manic depression, there are a few warning signs to look for. When an individual moves rapidly from euphoria to extreme sadness, this can be a major indicator of the presence of the disease. During a manic phase the individual will be very optimistic and may seem to have an overblown sense of self esteem. Aggression, fast speech, risky behavior, extravagant spending or an inability to concentrate can also be some of the hallmarks of bipolar mania. The signs of depression are relatively easy to recognize. If a friend seems sad and hopeless, is tired all the time, has no appetite, is irritable or is excessively anxious, these may be signs of a depressive episode. Treatment for this disease can include medications such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants. Psychotherapy can be effective as well.

There are three types of bipolar manic depression. They are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and cyclothymia. The differences between type I and type II manic depressive illness will center on the severity and number of episodes. Cyclothymia is a milder version of the disease in which the highs and lows that the patient experiences are not as extreme. If an episode of the illness is severe enough, a psychosis may occur. A psychosis is a complete separation from reality and could involve delusions and hallucinations.

Dealing with bipolar manic depression will involve taking a number of consistent steps that will aide in recovery and the maintenance of the patient's well being. Taking medications as prescribed is very important. Neglecting to do so will usually result in the return of symptoms. Many patients report a pattern to bipolar episodes. Remaining in tune to the circumstances and conditions that are likely to trigger problems can be very effective when it comes to dealing with this illness. Knowing the warning signs of an episode and making both family and physicians aware of these signs can help all involved to address symptoms early enough to make a difference.

Alcohol, as well as a number of other drugs can cause serious problems for anyone who is taking a medication for bipolar manic depression. Patients should be sure to check with their doctor before taking any additional medications. There are many support groups that can help those who suffer from this disease. Communicating with others who struggle with similar challenges is always helpful. Many mental health care professionals also suggest that patients focus on the future rather than the past. Knowing that it is possible to live a fulfilled life can help many patients stay motivated and stick with the program that their doctor has laid out. The Bible tells believers to turn to God as a very real source of help and hope. "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God." (Psalm 146:5)

The causes of bipolar manic depression may be biochemical, genetic or environmental in nature. There is evidence of physical differences in the brain of the patient. Brain chemicals and hormonal imbalances may also be involved. If a close relative suffers from the illness, there is an increased likelihood of contracting the disorder. Environment may also have a bearing on the illness, but it is not believed to major determining factor. Whatever the cause, with proper diagnosis and skilled care, patients can go on to live full and meaningful lives.

Treatment Of Manic Depression

Those who have manic depression symptoms suffer from indications of their disease such as overly high to overly low mood swings. Another term for this condition is bipolar depression. It is a brain disorder that causes changes in a person's mood, resulting sometimes in an inability to function in society. This condition does not discriminate between male and female and usually manifests itself in adolescence. The problems associated with the disease can devastate families and cause the patient to become homeless or to suffer devastating social repercussions. Treatment of manic depression can run from medications to therapy to determining if there is an underlying physical cause.

Manic depression symptoms can vary widely. They may include feelings of elation that are not appropriate for the occasion, sleeplessness, grandiose ideas, speaking faster and faster, racing thoughts, inappropriate sexual desires, too much energy, and inappropriate social behavior. These can result in poor judgment, which leads to poor choices. Studies have been done that show that members of each generation in a family will inherit the disease, so it is a genetic condition. However, many family members will not be affected by the disorder. Stress in the environment tends to exacerbate the illness. And sometimes the condition will occur in families with no history of bipolar depression. Because the brain is so complicated, treatment of manic depression takes some time to determine.

Some studies show that perhaps one cause of this disorder is fetal stress during a pregnancy. In other words, when a woman is pregnant and undergoes unusual stress, this can affect the development of the fetus and result in passing on bipolar depression. The cause of this problem is thought to be the circulation of hormones through the blood, which then transfer through to the baby and affects his development of his brain. More studies are needed to see exactly how this happens and the frequency of the syndrome. Other causes can vary from deprivation in infancy, physical or sexual abuse, the presence of certain personality traits, and an inability to cope with stressful situations.

One of prevalent treatment of manic depression is to use prescribed medications to ease the indications. One cause of manic depression symptoms is too much dopamine and serotonin in the brain, therefore health professionals will recommend medications try to address this problem. These are called neurochemicals, and are found in lower quantities in normal functioning people. The brain is so complex that there are more than 100 different types of neurochemicals found in the brain that regulate different functions of thinking and acting. It is not known how the difference in levels affect the brain and why there are differences in the amount of neurochemicals in the brain; however, certain medications lower the amount of neurochemicals in the brain, giving the patient relief from manic depression symptoms.

A difficult situation, usually one with associated stress, can initiate an attack. This could be problems in a marriage, difficulties on a job, financial problems, a serious loss, or even a change in the pattern of lifestyle. These can trigger an onset of the disease or make the disease more difficult to deal with. When the person doesn't have good coping mechanisms, he has trouble dealing with the issue at hand and drops into a low or a high, depending on the issue at hand. This causes the person to do inappropriate measures and further alienates him from the people in his life or further deepens the problem he is dealing with. Then he begins to feel sad and hopeless, to feel he is worthless, or has a loss of interest in the normal things in his life. Hobbies are neglected with feelings of fatigue and sleeplessness. Guilt is another feeling that can overcome that person struggling with the disease. Restlessness and irritability take over. In extreme cases, the patient struggles with a desire to commit suicide. There are two types of bipolar disorder, I and II. Bipolar I consists of cycles of lows and elation. It can affect all areas of a person's life, causing disruption of normal living patterns when the low cycle comes. Bipolar I is the more common disorder. Bipolar disorder II has euphoric states that do not meet the criteria of bipolar I. This syndrome is accompanied by mini highs called hypomania.

When a person is experiencing manic depression symptoms, he can turn to mental health professionals to help him through the difficult times. He can also rely on a regimen of medications that can alleviate the indications and keep him on a more even keel and avoid the poor judgment that low cycles often precipitate. Another treatment of manic depression is to change patterns of thinking. Psalm 48:9 says, "We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple." Concentrating on the good things in life help to alleviate the low times and bring the thinking patterns back into a more stable pattern. More severe attacks accompanied by lack of concentration and persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, and pain may need to be addressed by a physician. If the patient has repeated thoughts of suicide, immediate intervention may be needed. The treatment of manic depression may take years, and some follow-up may be needed for the rest of the ill person's life. However, the outlook is good if the afflicted patient is consistent in following recommended treatment and learns coping mechanisms to cope with the stresses of life.

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