The National Alliance of Mental Illness has identified four types of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I Disorder is an illness featuring multiple episodes of mania, including depression, though depression isn’t required for diagnosis. Diagnosis means a duration of seven days and hospitalization.
- Bipolar II Disorder is where a person experiences depressive events to and from hypomanic episodes, but never falls into total manic depression.
- Cyclothymia or Cyclothymic Disorder is a chronic mood state characterized by mild depression and hypomania for up to two years. This can be accompanied by times of regular behavior, which usually last fewer than eight weeks.
- If a person doesn’t meet the criteria for the above, his condition may be diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder, “other specified” and “unspecified” if he’s experienced episodes of clinically substantial irregular mood elevation.
Are There Signs of Manic Depression?
People with bipolar disorder experience changes in sleeping habits and activity, times of uncommonly strong emotion, and atypical behaviors — all without acknowledging their potential harm or adverse consequences. These are described as “mood episodes” and may be preceded by:
- Feelings of irritability, touchiness, “up,” “high,” elated.
- Feelings of nervousness or being “wired” or “jumpy.”
- Not needing to sleep. A person with bipolar disorder may think they don’t need to sleep.
- Reduced appetite or eating less than normal or irregularly.
- Weight loss.
- Speed-talking about many different topics.
- Feeling like their mind is racing.
- Think they can constantly multitask.
- Use poor judgment while partaking in risky or dangerous behavior. Examples include reckless driving, misusing or abusing drugs or alcohol, or unsafe sexual encounters.
- A sense of inflated self-importance, power, or talent.
Sometimes the person may experience depression with sadness or restlessness, trouble sleeping, eating disorders, or poor decision-making or concentrating.
Who is at Risk?
Researchers have said a person may be at risk based on:
- Genetics, if it exists in a sibling and was passed on from a birth parent. But this isn’t definitive. A parent may have it, but not an offspring. A twin may not have it while the others do.
- It may be characterized by subtle variations of some Brain Constructions.
- A stressful event like the death of a family member, illness, tough relationship, divorce or money problems can trigger a depressive or manic incident.
- Extreme use of alcohol or drugs may occur when someone has impaired judgment during manic events.
How is Manic Depression Diagnosed?
Proper diagnosis and treatment can help someone with the disorder live an active and healthy life. Step one – talk to a licensed health professional. Step two – a complete physical exam and medical tests to exclude other conditions. Step three – a mental health screening or referral to a trained mental health specialist like a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker with experience in diagnosing and handling bipolar disorder.
What is a bipolar disorder diagnosis based on? A mental healthcare specialist will arrive at a diagnosis after reviewing the person’s symptoms, experiences, lifetime history, and, in some cases, genetic and family history.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or a loved one requires immediate medical attention. A person suffering from it won’t know that she or he is acting strangely and needs medical care. A physical and psychological evaluation are needed before a treatment plan can be developed.
Is There Medication for Manic Depression?
Lithium and antidepressants aren’t the only medicine that may help manage manic depression. Recent studies have shown results for ketamine to curb the common symptoms of manic depression like weight loss or feelings of irritability. A study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows that ketamine helps the management of anxiety and anxiety spectrum disorders, while another report on neuropsychopharmacology attests to its use for treating social anxiety disorders.
If you are reading this blog post and are suffering from depression or know someone who is we would like to invite you to give us a call today to learn more about Ketamine treatment. This innovative new therapy has shown upwards of a 75% success rate in patients that are good candidates for this treatment.