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How Manic Depression Is More Than Just Depression (It Could Be Worse.)

How Manic Depression Is More Than Just Depression (It Could Be Worse.)

Your alarm didn’t go off and you’re late for work.

Accounting had a glitch in the system and your check wasn’t deposited.

Your best friend told you at the last minute you’re not invited to her wedding.

Ouch.

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Everyone has bad days. And it’s normal to feel angry, upset and really bummed out for awhile.

Depending on how severe the issue is, such as a death in the family, it’s totally appropriate to go through a grieving period and maybe even a bout with depression.

But what if it’s different? What if what you or a loved one is going through isn’t just depression, but manic depression?

Depression is depression, right? Wrong.

It’s really easy to confuse manic depression with clinical depression — especially since both terms contain the word “depression.”[1]

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Someone suffering with clinical depression experiences really low points, extreme sadness, easily cries, has no interest in fun activities, zero energy and basically just feels hopeless.

However, someone with manic depression not only has to fight clinical depression, they also have times when they’re really happy and feel on top of the world. Yet, they also have racing thoughts, talk too fast, get little sleep and can become easily irritated.

Because manic depression includes clinical depression, it’s easy to see how the two often get mixed up. To minimize confusion, manic depression is now known as bipolar disorder. According to Psych Central:

Bipolar disorder, also known in some parts of the world by its older name of “manic depression,” is a mental disorder that is characterized by serious and significant mood swings. A person with this condition experiences alternating “highs” (what clinicians call “mania“) and “lows” (also known as depression). [2]

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Manic depression affects more people than you may realize.

Before you dismiss manic depression as “another person’s problem,” someone you know could be battling this disorder. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, millions of adult Americans are affected each year, which turns out to be about 2.6% of the population. [3] Because so many people are dealing with it and the numbers continue to grow, it’s important to understand as much as possible about this disorder.

Also, dealing with a friend or family member can be tough if you don’t know what to expect or how to proceed with their highs and lows. Manic depression can cause lots of strain on all relationships. People with this disorder experience such dramatic ups and downs, that it can be a huge shock for someone that’s unfamiliar with manic depression. A manic episode can cause people to behave erratically, act on impulse, be abusive and exercise risky behavior. Even worse, sometimes these people are so overwhelmed that they can lose touch with reality, to the point they show signs of psychotic behavior. [4]

Are you at risk? 3 clues to follow.

While it’s not entirely clear as to why people develop manic depression, there are multiple factors that have been linked to the disorder, including: [5]

  • Genetics – Though not proven, it appears that manic depression can run in families, particularly if there’s a history of mental health issues. Studies also show that a child’s risk of developing manic depression can increase by about 10 to 15 percent if one parent suffers with the disorder. And if both parents are diagnosed, the child’s risk can increase by 30 to 40 percent.
  • Neurochemical Factors – When someone has manic depression, there’s mainly a biological disorder in the brain. This disorder is the result of dysfunctional neurotransmitters. While this biological disorder can remain dormant, sometimes it can activate on its own or by certain triggers, like stress.
  • The Environment – People deal with social situations, life events and stress in different manners. Depending on a person’s genetic disposition, they may be more susceptible to developing manic depression from some form of environmental stress. In addition, drugs and alcohol can also cause a person to demonstrate manic behavior.

Breaking it down further.

Within the manic depression/bipolar disorder diagnosis, there are two types: Type 1 bipolar disorder and Type 2 bipolar disorder. [6]

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When someone has Type 1 bipolar disorder, they have depressive episodes as well as full-on, all-out manic episodes, which last at least a week and can look like this:

  • Over-the-top happiness
  • Uncontrollable thoughts or speech
  • Signs of narcissism
  • Risky behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Bad decision-making with money or relationships

These traits can be so extreme that the person, can end up in the hospital.

Type 2 bipolar disorder is similar to Type 1, but it’s just less severe and people don’t have to be hospitalized.

There are ways to cope.

For people suffering with manic depression, or if you’re trying to help a loved one, there are ways to cope and live a balanced lifestyle. Oftentimes, a combination of psychotherapy and medication can drastically improve a person’s quality of life. In addition, there are other ways to manage this diagnosis, such as: [7]

  • Diet and exercise – Studies show that exercise and a healthy diet can do so much for physical as well as mental health. Carve out some time to take a walk and eat a good meal to help improve your mood.
  • Seek out family and friends – There’s nothing like a good support system, and it’s good to start with those closest to you. Sometimes just having an ear to listen is enough to help brighten your day.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs – If you want to stabilize your mood, don’t alter it with recreational drugs and alcohol. For some people, drugs and alcohol can trigger a manic episode.
  • Minimize stress – If there’s anything you can get out of your life that’s causing you stress, do so immediately. The best way to manage some of your manic episodes is to avoid situations that stress you.
  • Keep learning – Be sure to stay up to date on news in the mental health community. This way, you’ll always be in the know on latest developments that could benefit you.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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