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Manic Depression

Manic depression, also referred to as a bipolar disorder due to the fact that the mania and depression are both opposite poles of human emotions, is a condition of extremes with both ends of the spectrum dissimilar like winter or summer.  This disorder is characterized by a high state known as a manic episode and low state known as a depressive episode with different medication required too stabilize each mood.

This disorder is estimated to affect around 2% of the population and generally begin during the teenage years or in early adulthood with manic episodes and depressive episodes inter - dispersed with normal moods.  There are three common types of this disorder:

*Bipolar type I - The classic form of the disorder involving recurrent episodes of mania and depression.

*Bipolar type II - This involves one or more depressive episodes accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode rather than manic episode.  Hypomania is a milder form of mania which makes this different to type I with hypomania not causing a marked impairment in functioning or hospitalization.

*Rapid cycling bipolar - This form of the disorder involves four or more mood episodes occurring within a 12-month period and is thought to affect 10-20% of individuals with a bipolar disorder.

The Symptoms of Bipolar - The manic episodes and depressive swings may include the following symptoms:

Manic Episodes:

Overly excited state with an outgoing mood,

Frenzied Talk and hyperactive behaviour with racing thoughts,

Restless, Irritable, agitated and jumpy and easily distracted,

A decreased need to sleep,

Grandeur of self importance or delusions of being powerful and brilliant,

Impulsive with risk taking behaviour such as spending sprees, impulsive sex and risky investments.

Depressive Episodes:

Extreme sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness,

Disinterest in everyday activities and pleasures and socially withdrawn,

Irritable and tired with difficulty concentrating and indecisiveness,

Difficulty sleeping/Over-sleeping,

Abrupt changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or weight gain,

Thought about death and suicide with a pessimistic view of themselves, their situation and the future.

A bipolar disorder is a life-long and recurrent illness with a strong genetic underpinning which needs to be carefully monitored and medicated to help control mood swings. This disorder can have a major impact on relationships, can result in job loss and lead to drug and alcohol abuse and suicide. But treatment is available.

Mood stabilizing medications commonly prescribed to treat manic depression include, lithium, valproic acid and lamotrigine which is marketed as lamictal are best combined with psychotherapy.

Psychological therapy such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) can be used to help manage the symptoms of this disorder, learn the warning signs of relapse to prevent full relapse and gain the coping skills to deal with this disorder.

Depression Counselling online

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