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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 June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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