Treating Bipolar Disorder And Manic Depression
As with many mental disorders, bipolar disorder is treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy.
Mood stabilizers are often the first medication that is prescribed in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Lithium has been the leading mood stabilizer for many years, and while it has shown to be effective it may have several potential side effects. These side effects include low thyroid function, joint pain and stiffness, and problems with digestion. Frequent blood tests are also required for patients that are prescribed lithium in order to monitor therapeutic levels of the drug and ensure healthy kidney function.
Patients are typically prescribed a low dose of whatever medication is deemed appropriate in order to see how your body and symptoms respond. You may end up needing to take a stronger dose than what is initially prescribed. Its also common to need a combination of different medications in order to control your symptoms.
All medications can have potential side effects and dangerous interactions with other drugs. If youre pregnant or are prescribed other medications, be sure to disclose this with your doctor.
Many mental healthcare professionals also advocate keeping a diary during the treatment process. Keeping track of your moods, sleeping and eating patterns, and significant life events can help you and your doctor figure out what treatments are most effective.
Coping With Bipolar Disorder
Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to help make it easier for yourself, a friend, or a loved one.
- Get treatment and stick with itrecovery takes time and its not easy. But treatment is the best way to start feeling better.
- Keep medical and therapy appointments and talk with the provider about treatment options.
- Take all medicines as directed.
- Structure activities: keep a routine for eating and sleeping, and make sure to get enough sleep and exercise.
- Learn to recognize your mood swings and warning signs, such as decreased sleep.
- Ask for help when trying to stick with your treatment.
- Be patient improvement takes time. Social support helps.
- Avoid misuse of alcohol and drugs.
Remember: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but long-term, ongoing treatment can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy life.
What Are The Depression Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
The clinical depression symptoms seen with bipolar disorder are the same as those seen in major depressive disorder and include:
- Decreased appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Fatigue, decreased energy, being “slowed down”
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Poor judgment and risk taking
- A decreased need for sleep due to high energy
Recommended Reading: Is Insomnia A Symptom Of Depression
Why Did Manic Depression Become Bipolar Disorder
In the past, “manic depression” was generally used to denote a wide array of mental illnesses. It was also a term that quickly became stigmatized. As classification systems became more sophisticated, the new term bipolar disorder allowed for more clarity in diagnosis, which has also provided a clinical term that is less emotionally loaded.
What Is Manic Depression
In older days, general Bipolar disorder was also known as manic depressive disorder, since it also has alternating periods of mania and depression. But, after the identification of subcategories under Bipolar disorder, Bipolar 1, which is characterized by full-blown episodes of mania alternating with periods of depression, began to be called as manic depression.
A person who is in a manic phase will indicate high feelings or euphoria, intense energy, and activity, restlessness, insomnia, agitation or irritability and tendency to engage in risky things recklessly, e.g., fast driving.
In contrast, a person who is in a depressive phase will feel hopeless and empty. He or she will have low energy, trouble sleeping or increased sleepiness, have trouble concentrating, poor insight, loss of appetite and tendency to develop feelings of suicide.
Additionally, people may also develop both mania and depression at once, in a single episode which is then referred to as an episode of mixed features where there will be extreme low moods which suddenly convert into euphoria.
Manic depression can be effectively treated with anti-psychotic and anti-depressants combined with psychotherapy, family-focused therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Recommended Reading: Does Depression Cause Loss Of Appetite
Setting The Record Straight
Continuing the topic of spreading accurate information on the topic of bipolar disorder, there is another important item to note regarding what symptoms are needed to meet the criteria for bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is the appropriate diagnosis when someone experiences periods of significant depression and periods of significant manic or hypomanic symptoms. These episodes are separated by days, weeks, or months.
A depressive episode needs to be a period of at least two weeks where the person is experiencing symptoms of depression more often than not. These symptoms include:
- Feeling depressed or irritable.
- Having low energy and fatigue.
- Having low motivation.
- Changes in diet or weight.
- Feeling excessively guilty or worthless.
- Thinking about death.
- Feeling slowed down or sped up.
- Poor concentration and decision-making.
A hypomanic/manic episode will present much differently. Hypomania is typically less severe than a manic episode based on intensity and duration. Manic symptoms include:
- Reduced need for sleep.
- Increased energy.
- Feeling driven to complete certain behaviors.
- A string of poor decisions involving sexual promiscuity, overspending money, drug use, and other risky behaviors.
These behaviors will last for at least four consecutive days but can last for much longer with consistency.
It is time to put this myth to bed: manic depression and bipolar disorder are not two separate conditions. They are one and the same.
How Do Doctors Treat It
Although there’s no cure for bipolar disorder, treatment can help stabilize moods and help the person manage and control symptoms. Like other teens with long-lasting medical conditions , teens with bipolar disorder need to work closely with their doctors and other medical professionals to treat it.
This team of medical professionals, together with the teen and family, develop what is called a treatment plan. Teens with bipolar disorder will probably receive medication, such as a mood stabilizer, from a psychiatrist or other medical doctor. A psychologist or other type of counselor will provide counseling or psychotherapy for the teen and his or her family. Doctors will watch the symptoms closely and offer additional treatment advice if necessary.
Also Check: Do Essential Oils Work For Anxiety
Bipolar Disorder & Manic Depression Are Actually The Same Thing
Bustle spoke with Jodi Aman, a psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience working with mentally ill patients and the author of You 1 Anxiety 0, who says the two terms clinically have no difference. “The name of changed from manic depressive to bipolar,” she says. Technically, the term manic depressive is no longer used in the medical community. It was removed as an official label several years ago in order to distinctly separate it from depression, yet people will still use it in conversation, which is why you still hear it.
What Risks And Complications Can Bipolar Disorder Cause
There can be complications and risks for people who live with bipolar disorder. But these risks can be lessened with the right support and treatment.
What about suicide and self-harm?
You might have an illness where you experience psychosis, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Your risk of suicide is estimated to be between 5% and 6% higher than the general population.
You are more likely to try to take your own life if you have a history of attempted suicide and depression. It is important that you get the right treatment for your symptoms of depression and have an up to date crisis plan.
There is also research that suggests you are 30% 40% more likely to self-harm if you live with bipolar disorder.
What about financial risk?
If you have mania or hypomania you may struggle to manage your finances. You may spend lots of money without thinking about the effect that it may have on your life.
You could make a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a legal process. This means that you pick someone that you trust to manage your finances if you lack mental capacity to manage them by yourself.
You can work with your carer and mental health team. You can form an action plan. This can say what they can do if you have a period of mania or hypomania and you start to make poor financial decisions.
What about physical health risk?
What about alcohol and drugs risk?
If you want advice or help with alcohol or drug use contact your GP.
What about driving risk?
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Rid Of Anxiety
What Is A Manic Episode
Mania is a period of elevated mood, increased energy levels, restlessness, a sense of empowerment, increased activity, and irritability. It is sometimes thought to be a plus side to bipolar disorder because it causes a lifted mood and increased energy. However, these symptoms can also lead to serious consequences.
People tend to make dangerous decisions during a manic phase. They may spend all their money on a project they cant possibly finish. In severe cases, mania can also cause psychotic symptoms like delusions or hallucinations.
To qualify as having manic episodes, you have to have three or more of the seven common symptoms that are associated with mania. The symptoms include:
Unlike a depressive episode, a manic episode can feel fine while its happening unless you become irritable. But most people who experience a manic episode report feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable with the consequences of a manic episode once its over. Mania is an important factor in identifying bipolar disorder in general. Otherwise, major depressive episodes may be better explained by another mood disorder like major depression.
How Do I Get Help If I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder
The usual first step to getting help is to speak to your GP.
It can help to keep a record of your moods. This can help you and your GP to understand your mood swings. Bipolar UK have a mood diary and a mood scale on their website. You can find their details in the Useful contacts section at the bottom of this page.
Your GP cant diagnose bipolar disorder. Only a psychiatrist can make a formal diagnosis. Your GP may arrange an appointment with a psychiatrist if you have:
- depression, and
- ever felt very excited or not in control of your mood or behaviour for at least 4 days in a row.
They might refer you to a psychiatrist at your local NHS community mental health team .
Your GP should make an urgent referral to the CMHT if they think that you might have mania or severe depression. Or there is a chance that you are a danger to yourself or someone else.
Your GP should refer you to your local NHS early intervention team if you have an episode of psychosis and its your first one.
Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it affects everyone differently. Also, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be experienced by people who have other mental illness diagnoses. It can take a long time to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
You can find more information about:
- NHS mental health teams by clicking here.
What Is Samhsas National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locators.
What Is A Major Depressive Episode
Major depression is a mood state thats characterized by low energy levels, low mood, and feelings of despair or hopelessness. Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States after anxiety disorders.
When it comes to bipolar disorder, major depression is identified by a set of symptoms similar to a manic episode. The DSM outlines nine symptoms of depression, and you need to experience five or more of them for it to be considered a major depressive episode. The symptoms include:
In addition to experiencing at least five of these symptoms, one of them has to be the first or second symptom. A low mood and the loss of interest in activities are definitive symptoms of a major depressive episode.
Recommended Reading: What Bipolar Medications Cause Weight Loss
Health And Outlook After Treatment
Bipolar disorder and manic depression arent curable, but with proper support and treatment, the symptoms can certainly be managed. The goal is to deny bipolar disorder from determining the course of your life.
Its important that you follow the plan that you develop with your doctor. It is also important to make positive lifestyle choices regarding your
- Alcohol/drug use
Bipolar Disorder Vs Major Depression
You may have heard of people who were first diagnosed with depression but later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and this can be confusing. How can you tell the difference? Keep in mind that the hallmark of bipolar disorder is the presence of episodes of mania or hypomania. These are not present in major depression.
Another common question that’s asked is “Can depression turn into bipolar disorder?” The answer to that question is no, depression doesn’t transition into bipolar disorder later on.
However, it is possible for someone to be diagnosed while they are in the depressive phase, which may result in a diagnosis of depression. At the time, they may not recall or be asked about symptoms of mania or hypomania that would lead to a bipolar diagnosis. Later on, with more careful questioning, or with the occurrence of a manic or hypomanic episode, the diagnosis of bipolar may become clear.
Why Was Manic Depression Changed To Bipolar
The shift to bipolar disorder The term bipolar disorder was first introduced during the third revision of the DSM in 1980, when psychiatrists agreed to do away with the term manicdepressive. Using the word, manic often led patients to be described as maniacs, a label fraught with stigma and judgment.
Why Did They Change Manic Depression To Bipolar
. Accordingly, is bipolar the same as manic depression?
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain disorder in which a person experiences extreme variances in thinking, mood, and behavior. Bipolar disorder is also sometimes called manic–depressive illness or manic depression. The condition is not the same for every person who has it.
Furthermore, when did bipolar become a disorder? The shift to bipolar disorderThe term bipolar disorderwas first introduced during the third revision of the DSM in 1980, when psychiatrists agreed to do away with the term manic-depressive. Using the word, manic often led patients to be described as maniacs, a label fraught with stigma and judgment.
Consequently, what causes manic depression bipolar disorder?
Hormonal problems: Hormonal imbalances might trigger or cause bipolar disorder. Environmental factors: Abuse, mental stress, a significant loss, or some other traumatic event may contribute to or trigger bipolar disorder.
How do you deal with a manic depressive?
You can take other steps to fight depression, too:
Also Check: What Phobia Is Weather Related
Treatment For Bipolar And Depression
Left untreated, both bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder can have a major impact on social and occupational functioning. Both include the risk of suicide. The good news is that both conditions are treatable. Combination treatment often works best in both cases. Possible treatment modalities include:
- Talk therapy
- Family therapy
- Medication management
Patients with both depression and bipolar disorder respond well to highly structured routines. Creating a routine helps patients know what to expect and follow through with medication management independently.
American Psychological Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2013.
Are Manic Depression And Bipolar The Same Thing
Manic depression, which was formerly known as manic-depressive illness, is a type of Bipolar disorder. These two terms are often used interchangeably due to the confusion as to whether both the terms refer to the same illness or a different subcategory of the same illness.
Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs Also, Can you have manic and depressive episodes without being bipolar? Mania and hypomania are symptoms that can occur with bipolar disorder.
Even in the most awful of circumstances, a clear reasoning mind is of even more value than a mind that is depressed and also afraid to act. Once more in 2003, a larger study exposed the exact same outcomes: Even after months, the depression is entered the majority of people! Given that Chinese medical professionals have actually been maintaining documents forFrom the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, depression is considered as a trouble of restraint, it is mainly related to the torpidity of liver Qi. Dealing with depression as well as relevant problems such as seasonal affective disorder or dysthymic disorder persistent depression with TCM requiresThe effectiveness of Chinese herbal medication in depression can not be completely corroborated based upon current proof. This is where acupuncture as well as Chinese natural medicine stand out.
Don’t Miss: How Do Therapy Dogs Help With Ptsd
What Can I Expect After Treatment
For most people, a good treatment program can stabilize severe moods and provide effective symptom relief. Treatment that is continual has proven more effective in preventing relapses. Those who also have a substance abuse problem may need more specialized treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/27/2018.