What Is Mania And How Do I Know If I Have Mania?

February 9, 2007 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Kitty Barker

Mania is the medical condition where patients suffer severely elevated moods at all times. Normally it is associated with mood swings when the patient goes through extremely elevated or happy mood at one time and at the other time may feel depressed. However this is not the only condition and Mania can occur without these cyclical episodes.

How do I know I have Mania?

Although some one who is not suffering from the disease may fail to understand what the big deal is all about since the patient is happy at all times, people afflicted by it lose their judgment as a result of being over powered by feelings of joy at all times and end up taking wrong decisions and keep getting into socially uncomfortable situations as a result of this. Manic patients often get irritable, belligerent and deny there is anything wrong with them when pointed out the obvious disconnect that their behavior shows with the situation prevailing at that particular time.

Some of the prominent symptoms of Mania are given below:

The patients feel decreased need of sleep and will be hyperactive, hypersexual and hyper religious.

The afflicted person has got grandiose ideas and plans and finds himself to be unusually talkative.

There are other behavior that the person suffering from Mania displays like wasteful expenditure, risky liaisons in personal and business life as well as very vocal and violent arguments.

Mania patients fail to recognize signs of sadness in the facial expression of others, while they can easily recognize expressions of happiness the expression of sadness fails to register in their minds.

There is a mnemonic which is used to describe Mania – DIGFAST

D = Distractibility (Difficulty to concentrate on one thing)

I = Indiscretion (indulging in excessive pleasure activities)

G = Grandiosity (having grand notions and making grand plans)

F = Flight of ideas (having a flurry of ideas and feeling the need to slow down)

A = Activity increased (getting hyperactive emotionally and physically)

S = Sleep deficit (not getting enough sleep and continually going through a dazed state)

T = Talkativeness (the pressure and tendency to speak incessantly and needlessly)

Can Mania be treated?

Mania can be treated by medication and talk therapy, however before that it is necessary to diagnose it correctly. This is because most of the symptoms mentioned can occur due to non psychiatric reasons and something known as differential diagnosis needs to be performed. What happens in this type of diagnosis is the various symptoms of the patients are observed and then a list of diseases is mapped according to the symptoms. Then the doctors start off their treatment and analyze which is the treatment that the patient is responding to the best.

In cases of acute mania patient may also have to be admitted for treatment involuntarily and is typically treated with mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medication. But invariably all of these medicines have side effects and the patient has to be carefully observed to avoid any side effects. Even while the symptoms of Mania have subsided long term treatment still continues in a bid to stabilize the patient’s mood through a combination of medicine and talk therapy.

Collective Mania

Collective Mania is a state where a large number of people start behaving irrationally, the numbers can in some cases be as large as an entire country as in the case of Tulip Mania. Such cases can be often witnessed in some of the stock market rallies that happen where the stock prices reach very high levels but despite repeated warnings from analysts people keep on buying without any apparent reason to do so.

Author: Kitty Barker – Kitty often writes for and with Depression-Assistance. You can also see more information on this subject at Mania – should this link be inactive, you can paste this link to your browser – depression-assistance.com

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All About Depression

December 12, 2006 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

By Courtenay Cameron

What is depression?

Many of us say “I’m feeling depressed” when we feel sad or miserable. But usually, these feelings pass after a while. But clinical depression is when these feelings are disabling and interfer with your life. Clinical depression can stop people from leading a normal life, it makes everything harder to do and everything may seem less worthwhile. At its most severe depression can be life-threatening, because it can make people suicidal or simply give up the will to live.

How do I know if I am depressed?

You may be ‘clinically’ depressed if you have most of the following symptoms:

* depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, that may be noticed by others.
* Loss of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
* significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
* insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
* psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
* loss of energy nearly every day
* feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
* diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
* recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

What types of depression are there?

* General Depression
People who suffer from general depression still have most of the major signs and symptoms of depression as discussed above. Depression can very from mild to moderate to sever (which is sometimes called major depression).

* Seasonal affective disorder
This happens when someone becomes depressed only during the autumn and winter, and it is caused by not getting enough daylight.

* Postnatal depression
Also known as “the baby blues”. This is a depression that occurs after the birth of their baby and can appear any time between two weeks and two years after the birth.

* Manic depression
Also known as Bipolar Disorder. Some people have mood swings, with periods of depression that then change into periods of mania. Mania is a state of high excitement, and peope who are manic may plan or believe lofty schemes and ideas.

What causes depression?

There’s no one cause of depression; it varies from person to person and can happen for a combination of factors. Although depression there has been not enough evidence to believe that is is something inherited in the genes, some of us are more prone to depression than others. Some factors that could cause depression include:

* the way we’re made
* our experiences
* family background.
* traumatic life events
* poor coping strategies
* after a loss of some sort (loved one, job, house etc)
* life changes
* inability to adapt
* physical illness
* poor diet and lifestyle
* chemical imbalances

What can you do to help yourself?

Remember that depression can feed on itself. In other words, you get depressed and then you get more depressed about being depressed. An important thing to remember is that there are no instant solutions to problems in life. Solving problems involves time, energy and work. Here are some things you can do to try and break the hold of low moods:

* Make an effort to be more aware of how you talk and think to yourself. Listen to yourself in your head.
* Every time something negative crops up, quickly scrap that thought and think of something kinder, more encouraging things to say to yourself. For instance, when you have to do something, if you always say to yourself, ‘You’re sure to fail. You always make a mess of everything you do’ try to ‘delete’ those thoughts and replace it with something like: ‘You’re going to do the best you possibly can.
* Look for things to do that occupy your mind.
* Although you may not feel like it, it’s very therapeutic to take part in physical activities, for 20 minutes a day. This can stimulate chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which can help you to feel better.
* Try doing things that will improve the way you feel about yourself. Allow yourself treats. Pay attention to your personal appearance. Set yourself daily or weekly goals that you can achieve. Look after yourself by eating healthily.
* Try some alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and herbal medicine. St John’s Wort is one of the herbal remedies that have become very popular, and may help to lift your mood. But if you are already taking other medication, it may not be safe to combine them. Consult your pharmacist or GP for more information.
* It can be a great relief to meet and share experiences with other people who are going through the same thing you are. It can break down isolation and can show you how other people have coped and that is how SpeakOut and support groups can help.
* Remember to try and value and accept yourself. If you’ve spent most of your life believing that you’re unacceptable and of little value, it’s hard to change yourself for the better, because all your ideas and ways of behaving are based on that assumption.
* Question the assumptions on which you base your ideas. Is it really true that everybody in the whole world hates you, or that everything you’ve ever done has turned out badly? Is it really true that you have nothing worthwhile in your life?
* Try to remember how you came to think and feel this way.
* Writing these things down puts what you’re thinking and feeling outside of yourself, and you can see it more clearly. Books can be helpful. Try reading, not just self-help books, but well-written novels, poetry and biography.
* Talk about these things to other people and find out how they see things. Talk to friends, call at a local drop-in centre, join a self-help group. Talking to a therapist or counsellor can be very helpful.

What can you do if you think you need more help?

If you find your depression is effecting your daily functioning and has been present for a length of time now, it may be worth seeking the advice of your local doctor. Also if you have been going through a lengthy period of consecutive suicidal thoughts then it may be a good idea to seek out some reassuring aid from your local doctor if you haven’t already. 4 out of 10 appointments at G.P. surgery’s are on the concerns of a persons mental and emotional well-being, so there’s no need to feel like your the only one. Here are some of the things the doctor can offer:

* Antidepressants – These are drugs which work on chemical messengers in the brain to lift your mood. It often takes between 2-4 weeks before the drugs take effect. The usual recommendation is that you stay on them for six months.
* Psychological treatments – This is things like therapy and counselling. Many people find it helpful to talk about their difficulties to someone who is trained in listening skills. The therapist or counsellor can also help you to put your problems in perspective and to develop new coping and problem solving strategies.
* Befriending schemes – Your doctor may put you in touch with a local befriending scheme this will lead to trained volunteers visiting you regularly to give you practical advice, support and a sympathetic ear.
* Support groups – This is when you meet up and talk with other people who are feeling the same way as you and share your experiences. This can be helpful to discover what works for other people and how other people cope.

What if the depression gets worse?

If you are severely depressed then you may need more intensive aid. Your doctor may refer you to a psychologist, psychiatrist or mental health nurse. The sort of services that you may be on offer for you include:

* Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) – These are often the most easily accessible service for people with mental health problems. They can provide support for people living in their own homes. The CMHTs include a psychiatrist, community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), social workers and support workers etc. These professionals will visit you at your own home or refer you to Day Hospitals or Day centres where you spend the day but return home afterwards.
* Crisis resolution services – These are teams of doctors and nurses who provide support during crisis situations, and will help you to stay at home if you’re in crisis, rather than go into hospital.
* Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – This is a controversial treatment, that is only offered when people who are severely depressed and have not responded to any other treatment. It involves passing an electric current through the brain, while you are under general anaesthetic. I’ve witnessed this being done several times and in my opinion it sounds worse than it really is.
* Hospital admission – If you are severely depressed and are a significant risk to yourself or others you may need the shelter and security of a ward hospital. It also gives a chance for the health professionals to monitor the effects of different treatments. Hospital can provide a safe, supportive environment if you are in a state of distress. Generally however doctors want to avoid placing people in hospital, but some patients are compulsorily detained if they are a dangerous risk to others or themselves.

If you are feeling down, need some one to listen to your problems or just need to chat one2one; then SpeakOut! is here for you. SpeakOut! is a caring community and we’re here to help a broad range of people with a broad range of issues – including but not limited to depression, eating disorders, self injury, low self esteem, suicide, drug abuse, sexuality and relationships. SpeakOut’s online community helps people get through the troubled times and celebrate the good times. You have the ability to post threads anonymously if you feel you have more discreet issues to deal with.

SpeakOut! is full of friendly and welcoming people that are here to help you – whether it is an official helper, a member, a forum moderator or an administrator. If you have a problem you feel that you need specific attention from SpeakOut! staff, you can open a help ticket in the one2one helpdesk and a SpeakOut! staff member will be there to help you, one2one to the best of their abilities.


Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Courtenay_Cameron

Manic Depression

August 26, 2006 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

Manic Depression

By Steve Valentino

Manic depression, or bipolar disorder, is a type of mood disorder that goes beyond the day’s ordinary ups and downs. It is characterized by periodic episodes of extreme elation, elevated mood, or irritability countered by periodic classic depressive symptoms.

It is a condition in which people have mood swings that are far beyond what most people experience in the course of their lives. These mood swings may be low, as in depression, or high, as in periods when one feels very elated. These high periods are known as “manic” phases. Many sufferers have both high and low phases, but some will only experience either depression or mania.

It is not related to substance abuse, and includes a number of disturbances in behavior and thinking that results in significant life adjustment problems. This usually occurs in stages where at one end there is severe depression, which turns into moderate depression; then becomes the mild and brief mood disturbances that many people call “the blues,” then normal mood returns, then hypomania, and then mania.

Along a continuum it can be described as:

Normal state of happiness, pleasure, joy

Moderate elations of hypomanic or Cyclothymic personality, with heightened self-esteem, increased creativity and work ability, decreased need for sleep

Mania stage wherein disturbances in social and physiological functions takes place and

Delirious or psychotic Mania stage consisting of severe overactivity, hostile attitude, destruction of property, violent behavior, paranoid delusions and hallucinations.

These manic episodes are characterized by extreme irritability and distractibility, excessive euphoric feelings, sustained periods of unusual behavior with significant risk-taking, increased energy, activity, rapid talking and thinking, agitation, decreased sleep, poor judgment, increased or decreased sex drive, substance abuse, provocative or obnoxious behavior, and denial of the problem.

The course of the illness varies from patient to patient. Without treatment, the frequency and severity of this recurring illness can increase over the years.

Depression provides detailed information on Depression, Depression Treatment, Manic Depression, Postpartum Depression and more. Depression is affiliated with Signs Of Clinical Depression.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Valentino

What is Manic Depression?

June 14, 2006 by  
Filed under DEPRESSION

What is Manic Depression?

By Kitty Barker

Manic depression is that state of depression in which the patient suffers from mood swings which go between extreme elation and depression. So while one minute the patient may feel on top of the world the other minute there will be feelings of despair and helplessness. Although there are many factors that cause this kind of depression genetic reasons are the most prominent ones. This means that two thirds of the people suffering from manic depression have someone in their family also suffering from the same. It is not only the moods of the person that get affected by this but there are also physiological changes, there will be heightened activity at some time, sleeplessness at another and it also impacts once social rhythms and thinking abilities.

Varying forms of Manic Depression

Bipolar Depression

There are varying degrees of manic depression which means in some cases the ratio of a person being depressed may be 3:1 while in other cases it could be as great as 37:1. What this means is that a person who has a ration of 3:1 will spend three times as much time depressed than elated. Researchers are also if the opinion that the condition of depression that the patients of Manic depression feel is quite more than that of normal depression and indeed the chances of a person committing suicide is twice as much as someone who is suffering from only depression or unipolar depression as it is called.

Mixed Mania

Manic depression is also known to manifest itself in a Mixed state, this means that the people suffering from it will experience mania and depression at the same time. So they may experience agitation, anxiety, fatigue, guilt, impulsiveness, insomnia, irritability, morbid and/or suicidal ideation, panic, paranoia, pressured speech and rage all at the same time. A typical example would be someone tearful or even crying even when seemingly appearing very cheerful or excited. Such states are the most dangerous and are prone to induce the maximum chances of drug abuse and even suicides.

Rapid and utltradian cycles

Rapid cycling means that the individual tends to swing between one mood and the other quite frequently so while you may find them to be in a euphoric state at 10 in the morning as if the world belonged to them you can see them at 11 and feel that they are the most helpless people in this world, although such type of hour cycling is not known to afflict a lot of people there are fairly large number of cases who have greater cycles of a day or a month.

Famous people having manic depression

Although manic depression is a mental disorder and one must take all steps to ensure that one is treated of this condition there are several famous people who have had this kind of illness. And at the same time these people also attribute the reason for their creativity to having some sort of mania which helped them in the creative work they did. Indeed this is not to mean that you should not get yourself treated. If you were suffering from this disorder as it is a dangerous situation and many people like Kurt Cobain who was the lead singer of the rock band Nirvana have ended up committing suicide because they could not control it.

While most such celebrities have had turbulent life they were able to control it and live a more or less normal life. It would surprise most to know that it is thought that a large number of artists, writers and other celebrities like Vincent Van Gogh, Mark Twain, Axl Rose of Guns n Roses, Ozzy Ozbourne, Edgar Allen Poe, Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, Jimmi Hendrix, Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Winston Churchill were suffering from it.

In the end with proper treatment this illness can be controlled and taken care of and the list of successful people who have gone through their lives with this disorder should give the patients comfort that not only are they alone, people suffering from similar disease have lived happy and successful lives as well.

Author: Kitty Barker – Kitty often writes for and with Depression-Assistance. You can also see more information on this subject at Manic Depression – should this link be inactive, you can paste this link to your browser – manic-depression-assistance.com/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kitty_Barker

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.