Manic depression Primer

Manic depression is a term used interchangeably with “bipolar disorder.” It is a mental health illness characterized by sufferers experiencing severe mood swings between strong depression and exaggerated elation. It can be a very debilitating disease that demands appropriate medical intervention.

Everyone experiences “ups and downs” during their life. That is a perfectly normal part of the human condition. Those who suffer from manic depression, however, experiencing “ups and downs” that are often wildly exaggerated and potentially dangerous. The highs are too high and the lows reach the depths of despondency.

There are two primary conditions relevant to a discussion of manic depression. As the name would suggest, those two areas are “mania” and “depression.” An examination of these two elements provides a clearer perspective on the disease.


Manic periods are those in which the manic depressive feels great. In fact, they may feel too great. They experience a sense of disproportionate euphoria and can lose touch with reality completely during these periods. It may seem odd to characterize a feeling of joy as a symptom of a disease, but in this case that is very much the case.

There is a difference between healthy happiness and the euphoria of mania experienced by those with a bipolar disorder. Manic individuals tend to make outlandish plans and decisions. They become unrealistic in their expectations and understanding of the world around them. One reason why a bipolar disorder can be so hard to treat is because those with the disease will deny its presence outright when experiencing a manic period.


Depression is, of course, the other pole in this bipolar disorder. The extreme highs of a manic period are far removed from the severe depression sufferers often experience. Manic depression usually brings with it periods of absolutely profound depression during which the sufferer may be rendered unable to find any enjoyment in life. Other symptoms may also present themselves, including a heightened sense of worry or anxiety and changes in eating or sleeping habits.

The contrast between these severe depressive episodes and the euphoria of manic periods can make the depression even more difficult to handle. Those suffering from a bipolar disorder are disproportionately likely to take their own lives during the midst of a depressive period. Clinical depression, in and of itself, is widely regarded as one of the most devastating diseases. Its horror is intensified in cases where the sufferer occasionally lives in unreal states of over-heightened bliss.

Whether you call it Manic depression or bipolar disorder, it is a serious condition and one that demands professional medical treatment. Although the problem can be quite debilitating for many sufferers, the condition can be manageable. There are thousands upon thousands of diagnosed manic depressives who are able to enjoy life without the dangerously extreme highs and lows they once experienced. Treatment does work and is recommended for anyone who may have manic depression.