Bipolar Manic depression. These terms are used interchangeably to describe a relatively common mental illness. The terms are often misused by lay people in common parlance. Exactly what does it mean to be “bipolar?” Manic depression is a complicated illness featuring a diverse set of symptoms. Let us look at the illness’ traits to get a better idea of what it is all about.
The hallmark of the condition is a cycling between emotional extremes. A person with a bipolar disorder will experience deep depressive states and periods of manic euphoria. This move between the two ends of the emotional spectrum is why those with the condition are referred to as “bipolar.” Manic depression is a combination of wild emotional swings between inappropriate bliss and debilitating depression.
Many of those who have the disorder are, at least at first, misdiagnosed. One may be labeled depressed instead of bipolar. Manic depression combines the symptoms of “standard” depression with mania and those who seek treatment often only do so when at a low point. Clinicians may interpret symptoms such as listlessness, despondency or suicidal ideation as a depressive disorder when the patient is actually bipolar. Manic depression does not necessarily involve quick bobs between extremes, so one may appear to be depressed and their tendencies toward mania may not be recognized immediately. In other cases, a manic bipolar may display symptoms of a different mental health condition and by misdiagnosed until depressive tendencies are noted.
There are those who move more quickly between extremes. Someone in that situation may be termed a rapid cycling bipolar. Manic depression of this sort is usually easier to spot because the person in question either will be coming off a “high” period or will experience a period of almost-deranged euphoria in the near treatment. Although rapid cycling may make it easier to diagnose the disorder, it can also be quite traumatic and poses a series of treatment challenges.
Regardless of the particular form of the illness, bipolar disorder is responsive to treatment. One does not need to feel trapped in a permanent cycle of difficulties simply because he or she is bipolar. Manic depression can be handled with pharmaceutical interventions and by the use of therapeutic protocols. The disease is, however, quite serious and one should not try to handle the matter by himself or herself if he or she is bipolar. Manic depression requires assistance from a medical professional.
Those who suffer from manic highs replete with inappropriate feelings of invincibility, excessive energy and disproportionate euphoria who the experience the horrors of utter despondency are often referred to as bipolar. Manic depression is a unique, but treatable mental health challenge.