• Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. From high to low, from euphoria to depression, from recklessness to listlessness, it affects approximately 2.3 million adult Americans—about 1.2 percent of the population. Men and women are equally likely to develop this disabling illness. The disorder typically emerges in adolescence or early adulthood, but in some cases appears in childhood. Cycles, or episodes, of depression, mania, or "mixed" manic and depressive symptoms typically recur and may become more frequent, often disrupting work, school, family, and social life. Depression: Symptoms include a persistent sad mood; loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed; significant change in appetite or body weight; difficulty sleeping or oversleeping; physical slowing or agitation; loss of energy; feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt; difficulty thinking or concentrating; and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. Mania: Abnormally and persistently elevated (high) mood or irritability accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms: overly-inflated self-esteem; decreased need for sleep; increased talkativeness; racing thoughts; distractibility; increased goal-directed activity such as shopping; physical agitation; and excessive involvement in risky behaviors or activities. "Mixed" state: Symptoms of mania and depression are present at the same time. The symptom picture frequently includes agitation, trouble sleeping, significant change in appetite, psychosis, and suicidal thinking. Depressed mood accompanies manic activation. Especially early in the course of illness, the episodes may be separated by periods of wellness during which a person suffers few to no symptoms. When 4 or more episodes of illness occur within a 12-month period, the person is said to have bipolar disorder with rapid cycling. Bipolar disorder is often complicated by co-occurring alcohol or substance abuse. 4 Severe depression or mania may be accompanied by symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include: hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or otherwise sensing the presence of stimuli that are not there) and delusions (false personal beliefs that are not subject to reason or contradictory evidence and are not explained by a person's cultural concepts). Psychotic symptoms associated with bipolar typically reflect the extreme mood state at the time.
  • Clinically, 4 episodes per year would diagnose manic-depressive - however, in many cases, a person could have 4 episodes per day and still appear functional. It's like an old vinyl record with a bad needle, sliding between a happy song and a sad one. Aside from the slew of medications offered, you have to identify the genesis of the problem before you can discover alleviation. Manic-depressive is often triggered by a sustained high-stress experience - this does not necessarily have to be tragic in nature. Once the body chemistry has adapted to the experience, it becomes natural for the brain chemistry to attempt to reproduce the hightened effect at inappropriate times or situations. While the depression is the worst part, the manic is the culprit. By willfully trying to take the manic down a notch, you will find it easier to bring the depression up a notch.
  • As a bipolar, aka manic depressive, myself, I would tell you that being bipolar is different for each bipolar diagnosed. The scientists categorize like 4 types of bipoar cause well scientists are like that but I know for myself from being around other bipolars, each is individually lived. I would describe bipolar as I have it, periods of running away from whatever reality there is that hurts too much to live by either suddenly becoming a superwoman or the contrary the most depressed woman in the world or even worst a temporarily deranged psychotic believing in some plot that believe it or not is believable to another fellow human being. So if I summarize in science, extreme highs and lows and some psychotic episodes. Believe or not, a bipolar, thanks to the MEDS VERY IMPORTANT, can live a great life. Don't worry we're human just like you we just sometimes want to forget that we are human to take a break from the big emotions.
  • Everyone can get depressed from time to time. Manic depression is a more serious form of depression.
  • Bipolar Disorder Vs Manic-Depression: Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that has been increasingly found in young children and young adults all over America. Bipolar disorder and Manic Depression Disorder are two terms that describe the same condition. It is believed however that Bipolar is a bit more accurate because the condition is characterized as being mood swings that seem to swing from one extreme to the other, hence Bipolar. The two phases, especially when we are discussing children, are not always clearly defined as Manic or Depressive. For this reason, it is unclear why they have begun using Manic Depression to stand in for Bipolar Disorder. Source:

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