Manic depression is an illness that affects how people think, feel, and act. These people have really extreme episodes of mania (highs) and depression (lows.) It happens to about 1% of the population, both equally in men and women. When the person is going through a manic episode they have lots of energy, talk fast, jumping from topic to topic. Also, their thoughts are racing, they have a higher self-esteem, and have more enthusiasm. They also may not need as much sleep. During this time, the person feels normal and they are not aware that they’re behaviors may not be normal. They almost feel if the are “on top of the world.”
A depression episode on the other hand is almost opposite of a manic one. During a depressive episode, the person is sad, irritable, has low self-esteem, negative thoughts, and loss of interest in usual activities. They feel like they’re worthless and hopeless. They also have negative thoughts towards the past and future. Many people go
through guilt, crying, or having suicidal thoughts. Unlike a manic episode, the person has lack of energy, and either an appetite loss or gain.
Manic depression is a recurrent illness, so a person usually has more than one episode. These episodes can last from weeks to months. They occur whenever and have no certain pattern. Sometimes a stressful life event can trigger an episode, and sometimes they just happen. If a person has more than four episodes a year they are
known as “rapid cyclers”. This is more common in women.
There is no exact reason for what causes manic depression, but some doctors say that it may be from imbalances of certain kinds of brain chemicals. Heredity also has a little part to do with it. Manic depression is treatable though. Medication, such as lithium can be given. Counseling can also help the person lead a more normal and
productive life. Manic depression is a serious illness but it can be treated, so the person can get back to a healthy lifestyle.