Manic Depression Bipolar Disorder

Manic depression bipolar disorder is a brain disturbance that is characterized by extreme shifts in mood and ability to function. With this emotional disorder, moods tend to swing to one extreme of a pendulum to another; from extreme highs to extreme lows. This illness tends to be exceptionally disruptive to the lives of the victim and to their families. Relationships are difficult to maintain, school drop out rates for those who have bipolar are high, jobs come and go and the suicide rate among those diagnosed is prevalent. This diagnosis can be devastating, but all is not lost. With proper medications and on going treatments, this extreme emotional dysfunction can be managed and a normal life is possible. When seeking treatment, doctors will most likely conduct a test for manic depression through a series of screening questions. There are no scientific lab tests that can reveal a medical situation. But answering questions that involve family history, mood swings, and feelings can indicate to a doctor if the patient has some form of this illness.

There has been no single cause that has been found for bipolar disorder. Most doctors believe that this illness is the result of biological and genetic makeup. With technical imaging of the brain, some research is showing that there is an over secretion of the stress hormone known as cortisol and an influx of calcium to the brain. Family history also plays a big part in being diagnosed with manic depression bipolar disorder. Research is indicating that when there is a family history of depression on one side of the family and a history of alcoholism or addictive behaviors on the other, the result is depression and mania in one or more offspring. This is, of course, theory, but with screening and conducting a test for manic depression, family history will generally play a significant part. Further studies are being conducted with genetics in a hope to discover the exact contributing factor.

Symptoms associated with this illness mirror symptoms of many other mental health disruptions, and make a diagnosis, sometimes difficult. This is especially true for "shadow" manifestations that can mean moderate highs and lows, but an absence of normal functioning. General symptoms can include times of depression and an inability to function. Thoughts of helplessness and suicide are also present. This depressive state can be incorrectly diagnosed as clinical depression. Then, as if the person were over the hump of feeling low, an elevated mood occurs. There can be a "flight" of ideas and an inability to keep up with one's own thoughts. Sleeplessness and hyperactivity can occur. Grandiose thinking about one's own abilities is associated with manic depression bipolar disorder when the victim is experiencing mania. These symptoms are much like the symptoms of ADHD, and many are wrongly diagnosed with ADHD.

To achieve any type of normal lifestyle, those who have a diagnosis of bipolar that goes beyond the milder cases will need to first, receive a test for manic depression and then work under the care of a psychiatrist who has experience in this disorder. No one drug has proven to be effective, but rather doctor's generally try a combination of drugs to achieve balance. Treating children can be difficult because as they grow, have hormonal changes, and emotionally mature, medications can stop working. Ongoing evaluations may be necessary. Psychiatric therapy will also be necessary, giving the one diagnosed the tools to live and cope with the illness. Those who have milder cases of manic depression bipolar disorder may be able to manage with counseling alone, learning how to recognize the onset of a depressive state or the onset of mania.

A diagnosis of bipolar can be devastating to the one with the illness and to friends and family. But, God offers promises of a hope and future for everyone and when we turn to Him and pray, we can find the strength to hang onto His promises. There may be times when it feels like life is out of control when dealing with a child or spouse who has manic depression bipolar disorder. But, remember, God is in complete control. "What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seek shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant." (Psalm 25:12-14)

When there is a family member with this illness, other members of the family will need to have someone to talk to for support as well. Keeping a healthy and realistic perspective will require retreating and processing with trustworthy people outside the immediate family. Education is also a very important factor. Getting informed about the facts involved with a test for manic depression and treatment will help all family members understand and therefore cope. There has been a stigma attached to this disorder for far too long, and being equipped with the truth will help not only the victim and the immediate family, but will help in changing perceptions in our culture.

Cause Of Manic Depression

The cause of manic depression or bipolar disorder is not known but it is suggested that there is a genetic link of the disorder within families. Unusual amounts of stress and anxiety can make the symptoms more pronounced causing many doctors to prescribe medication for bipolar sufferers. The onset of this disease usually occurs in the twenties for most people, but some experience symptoms in their childhood and teen years. Bipolar disorder displays exaggerated moods swings from a euphoric feeling to a depressed state.

The moods swings are drastic which makes this the most difficult type of depression to deal with for those who live with the sufferer. The euphoric or mania mood that is characteristic of those with bipolar can be viewed as reckless, rebellious behavior by family members. Loud, boisterous attitudes and unchecked activities are common in this particular mood and medications for depression are given for the opposite mood swing. Even though medical professionals do not know the exact cause of manic depression the mood swings can be calculated to occur if a patient has more than three episodes from the onset.

After three episodes of bipolar mood swings, most doctors who specialize in the cure will officially diagnose a patient as manic depressive. Medication for these types of episodes are prescribed at the time of diagnosis. Ongoing counseling therapy is also strongly suggested by medical professionals because many who experience extreme sadness after a manic episode are plagued with suicidal thoughts. Since the cause of manic depression is not clear, medication can only be given to alleviate symptoms and help a patient deal with fluctuating mood swings.

Doctors believe that the cause may in part, stem from changes in the brain chemistry. The exaggerated moods swings among severe bipolar patients lead scientists to believe that brain chemicals fluctuate dramatically stimulating the cause of manic depression. In order to regulate the brain chemistry, doctors prescribe not only a medication for depression, but also other medications that can level out the manic states as well. Both moods can be harmful to a manic patient because the manic mood can result in risky behavior. These periods of manic mood swings can last for weeks or months and often allow the patient to do productive work with high energy and an up mood swing.

At some point, the depressed mood is triggered but the reason is not known, it makes diagnosis difficult to pinpoint when a let down will occur in the patient. The depressive mood swing can drop so fast that the patient may reach a place where he or she cannot function normally. A medication for depression is given to alleviate these darker moods that plague bipolar sufferers. Unlike other forms of depression, manic depression affects the number of men and women equally and the treatment is typically the same. If a person is diagnosed, it is considered to be a lifelong illness and will require continued maintenance even when symptoms are alleviated.

A combined approach of therapy, lifestyle changes are recommended for those who display these symptoms. Bipolar illness can be a particularly painful illness to have and can cause severe emotional pain to the sufferer. Many times there are spiritual issues that can be dealt with that can help relieve some of the stress and anxiety that are known to exacerbate the symptoms. Many times those who have been diagnosed with manic depression disorder continue to live a relatively normal life and may go months without a mood swing.

The ability to choose and make decisions is available to most that are diagnosed with the disorder and it is important that any personal issues be resolved. Many times there will be a lessening of mood swings and symptoms when personal issues such as anger, anxiety, stress and guilt if dealt with from a biblical perspective. Painful emotions can be dealt with as well from a Scriptural viewpoint which can possibly lessen the need for a medication for depression. There are many complicated factors involved in helping anyone with this type of disorder, but since the reason is not known, it is a wise decision to always attempt to alleviate personal issues that can trigger symptoms.

There are other common sense things that can be done by anyone who experiences symptoms in order to lessen mood swings and live a normal life other than just depend on a medication for depression. It is important that a regular schedule be established every day as well as a low stress environment. A regimen of health eating and exercise are also important in alleviating stress factors that can trigger manic episodes. It is always risky behavior for anyone who suffers with bipolar disorder to use drugs or alcohol. Even though the cause of manic depression is still not known, a less stressed life with good sleep habits and healthy emotional attitudes are important in overcoming the symptoms of manic depression.

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