Depression is a well-known concept, and most people know how to recognize it. But what about manic depression? Manic depression also known as bipolar disorder is a sub-type of depression which has depressive periods as well as manic periods. The symptoms or signs of a depressed episode are the same in both manic depression and ‘normal’ depression. However, when you have a manic depression, you have manic episodes in addition to the depressed episodes. This article summarizes and describes the symptoms of bipolar depression for both depressive and manic episodes.
A depressive period
A depressive episode of bipolar disorder is easiest to recognize by a dominating unhappy mood. This mood can include irritability, unhappy feelings, crying spells, a negative self-image, etc. Also, less interest or capability of having fun clearly signals that one is in a depressive episode. People with depression tend to feel neutral or negative about the idea of doing something enjoyable. They have no, or only very little, interest in doing such things. A change of appetite is also a sign of a depressive episode, which will cause either weight gain or weight loss. Moreover, depressed people are often also troubled sleepers, or have problems with their sleeping pattern. This could mean that they sleep lightly, or that they find it difficult to fall asleep to begin with, et cetera.
Those with a depression are often tired, and they find that their motor skills are affected: they could become very slow in their reactions, or are constantly wound-up. People in a depressed episode often suffer from the feeling of guilt or blame themselves. Besides, indecision is one sign which is connected to negative self-image. Those suffering from depression find it difficult to choose, and take more time to make a decision. Because of continuous worrying, they even start having concentration problems. For example, they can not pay attention for a long time, and their long-term focus deteriorates. Consequently, this may lead to those suffering from depression to make more mistakes in what they do.
A manic period
A manic episode of bipolar disorder is the exact opposite of a depressive episode. Someone suffering from manic depression gets unnaturally happy during a manic episode. This does not need to be expressed as happiness alone. People during a manic episode can also become more irritable. Manic episodes often go paired with a lessened need for sleep. Also, people become extremely talkative during a manic episode, meaning they want to speak to everyone about everything, while during depressive episode, people often give up on talking about things in general. Furthermore, in mania, people have extremely positive feelings of self-worth and greatness, to the extent that they are too positive. This is in contrast to a depressive episode, where an extremely negative self-perception is experienced. Finally, one of the symptoms of a manic episode is that people in this state will not hold back anything. This means that their self-inhibition is gone and they easily ignore limits. For instance, manic people buy extremely expensive things, even though they might already have debts. They do not feel the need to stop themselves from, say, buying a new television, and disregard any factors that could stop them from this action.
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Manic depression? Do the self-test
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