Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC
You may have heard the term manic depression and thought to yourself, “What is manic depression?” This article discusses manic depression, including how to recognize it and what the proper treatments are. Keep reading for all of the details that you need to recognize it for yourself.
What’s Manic Depression?
Manic depression is a mental health condition, which is more commonly referred to as bipolar disorder. This condition involves both symptoms of depression and those of mania. Mania is a period of ‘up’ (marked by intense energy or feelings of euphoria, among other symptoms), which directly contrasts with depressive feelings that occur with depression.
What Is A Manic Depressive?
A manic depressive is someone that is experiencing manic depression or bipolar disorder.
There are a couple of different types of bipolar disorder and another condition, known as hypomania.
Like mania, Hypomania includes feelings of excitement or feeling up, but by itself is not associated with bipolar disorder. It is also less severe than mania. Some people experience hypomania and do not have any depression.
Symptoms of Manic Depression
Here are some of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder:
- Eating too much
- Taking no joy in anything
- No energy
- Suicidal thoughts
If you or someone you know is talking about suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support. They can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
Treatments for Manic (Bipolar) Depression
If you feel like mania is impacting your life, you can check out this mania test, which might help you determine what is going on and if you need to seek out help.
According to results posted in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, people who exhibit bipolar disorder symptoms often have other conditions as well. These conditions can be physical or mental illnesses.
For this reason, the first course of action when it comes to treatment get checked out by a doctor. You need to be informed when it comes to any conditions you have already or on a prescription that may cause you to experience some of the common symptoms of manic depression. Once you know if you have a health condition, you can move on to mental health treatment options.
As with other mental illnesses, psychotherapy can be helpful. Therapy can help keep certain symptoms at bay and provide support for the person coping with bipolar disorder. When you are considering therapy for yourself, you need to be honest and open with the therapist this is the best way to ensure that they will develop a treatment plan that keeps you covered.
Other Things You Can Do
Even after you seek out treatment for your manic depression, you will still likely need to be in therapy for quite a while to see the results you want to see. You can do some things in the meantime, which may make your treatment work quicker or help you lessen certain symptoms that you have.
- Get Moving.While it seems like exercise is always recommended, no matter what someone is experiencing, it can help in this case. Physical exercise releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good hormones our bodies produce. Research shows that low-intensity exercise, like walking outside, can significantly reduce depression symptoms. Try taking a five-minute walk outside at a time that works for you (some people prefer going outside when they wake up, while others prefer walking outside after work).
- Eat Right.This is another thing that you can do for yourself. When you eat a mix of vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein, you will get vitamins, which your body needs to be healthy. These could help you improve your mood, not to mention doing something good for your body. The American Heart Association website shows that foods like fruits, fish, and even a bit of chocolate may be able to keep you in good spirits.
- Sleep Well.Getting the right amount of sleep is a great way to allow your body to renew itself each night. Get the rest you need and try not to sleep too much or too little. When you want to just lounge in bed, consider doing something else. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep once you do go to bed.
- Make A Routine.While you are getting treatment for bipolar disorder, you may see some positive effects when you keep to a routine. Do what you can to eat, sleep, and exercise at certain times each day, so you can get used to doing things simultaneously. This may also be able to signal your body when something should be happening. For example, if you get up at the same time each day, your body may start getting you up at that time every day, without you having to set the alarm since this has become what you are used to.
- Keep A Journal.You can keep track of your routine in your journal, and you can also write about your feelings and the things that happen to you each day. When you write something down, this could give you a chance to get it out of your head, and you can choose to think about it later. You may also be able to see patterns or triggers, which are affecting you or causing symptoms. If you feel comfortable doing so, share some of your journal contents with your therapist. They may even ask you to keep a journal as part of the treatment process (if you want to).
- Don’t Make Big Decisions.One part of mania is that you might make decisions that aren’t in your best interests or take part in risky behaviors. When you can, consider refraining from making any big decisions until you know you are in a place where you can handle them.
- Don’t Skip Therapy Sessions.You should not miss any of your therapy sessions. It may take a while to see a change in the disorder, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t being helped. Make sure to hang in there for your best chance of getting rid of some symptoms that you are experiencing.
- Visit with Friends And Family.There are times when you will probably feel like you don’t want to be around anyone. However, you should try to go around people that you love and trust occasionally. They may help improve your mood, and sometimes just talking to someone you care about can change your perspective. You will also need to lean on people or have a support system for those hard days. Determine who you want to lean on when you just need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.
- Limit Alcohol.Do your best to stay away from alcohol, especially if you are taking medicines during your treatment. Alcohol can change your mood and impair decision-making, which are two things that you likely want to avoid at all costs.
Getting the help you need for manic depression will take more than just a few visits with a therapist. It may take a while to see a significant change in your condition, and you might need to institute other changes in your life, so you have a good chance of cutting off some of the undesired symptoms. The important thing to remember is that you can start to feel differently when you keep with your treatment program. It is possible. Reach out for support when you need it.