Manic depression is the old name of bipolar disorder. It is a serious mood disorder that can be defined as a major affective disorder characterized by remarkable mood swings – manic (highs) and depressive (lows). The most severe form of depressive disorder is manic-depressive psychosis (MDP) in which the person exhibits losing touch with reality and causing sleeplessness for days, along with hallucinations, psychosis, grandiose delusions, and/or paranoid rage. This is not an ordinary depression that can be assessed by using manic depression test without an expert mental health professional. This is a severe mental disorder that needs professional evaluation.
Bipolar disorder is a complicated and disabling disorder. The extreme mood swings are so dramatic that it can shift from major or clinical depression to mania or sudden euphoric emotions. The shifting of moods can just happen without warning and may range from very mild to extreme. Such events can occur within a timeframe of minutes to hours from once in a while to frequent or rapid cycling. Along with the moods swings are the disturbance in thinking, distortions in perceptions and difficulty in keeping relationships and social functioning. The causes are not really very clear except that there is a genetic component in its transmission along families. It can appear in the teen years to early adulthood and some persist for a lifetime especially if untreated. With treatment, the possibilities of relapse and remissions are not as high but still possible. Severe episodes generally require confinement in hospitals and other mental health facilities to prevent endangering lives including their own. Suicidal tendencies and violent behavior are strong possibilities.
Once symptoms are observed, it is best to have a manic depression test done right away to prevent becoming severe or getting too close in the brink of losing touch with reality. Some manic depressive or bipolar disorder symptoms are:
• Lack of appetite or overeating lead to either excessive weight loss or weight gain
• Feelings of guilt, unimportance, defenselessness, as well as despondency and negativity
• Sleep deprivation due to insomnia, wakefulness during unholy hours or excessive sleeping
• Poor memory, difficulty of focusing and reduced mental alertness
• Fatigue, sluggishness and lack of physical drive
• Disinterest in activities that are usually pleasurable and that were once enjoyed like eating, physical intimacy and hobbies
• Agitation, irritability and impatience
• Unresponsive to treatments and unrelenting physical pain like headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
• Steadily distressed, apprehensive, or nonchalant
• Morbid thoughts of death, suicide and suicide attempts
A deteriorated condition exhibits worse signs of mania with bipolar disorder such as: flamboyant notions; inappropriate euphoria; incoherent and racing thoughts; irritability; unsuitable social behavior; heightened sexual appetite; markedly amplified energy; poor judgment; increased talking speed and/or volume; and severe insomnia. In short, a person suffering from a severe episode of manic depressive or bipolar disorder is out of contact with reality. These are of course clinical symptoms that experts perceive to be what they must observe in a person suffering from bipolar disorder.
The process starts usually with ‘depression’ when a person’s mind gradually, unnoticeably slows down along with the burning out that zaps one’s energy. It is frequently ignored thinking it will pass just like how it is with others. But, the feeling can get worse until the mood just ends and one is suddenly overcome with euphoric elation. Thus starts ‘hypomania’ when everything moves at a fast pace. Shyness disappears, sensuality is heightened, the interest to become noticed becomes pervasive and the words just flow without inhibitions or prodding. This phase goes faster and higher towards the phase called ‘mania’. At this phase the fast becomes much faster when the sudden influx of emotions become too fast, too confusing, too overwhelming and people around you just stop laughing because they start getting frightened. Confused and overwhelmed you become irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and trapped.
In the end melancholic depression and mania just lets one with manic depressive disorder let go of the loose threads of reality without any help. An early detection with the help of the manic depression test remains to be one’s best hope so that the looming disorder can be kept at bay. With more efforts to educate the public about the disorder, better things can come to these unfortunate people.