Bipolar Disorder Was Called Manic Depression

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings from overly high or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Harsh changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression. It may be supportive to think of the various mood states in bipolar disorder as a spectrum or continuous range. At one end is severe despair, above which is modest depression and then mild low mood, which many people call "the blues" when it is short-lived but is termed "dysthymia" when it is chronic. Then there is normal or balanced mood, above which comes hypomania and then severe mania.

In some people symptoms of mania and depression may occur together in what is called a mixed bipolar state. Symptoms of a mixed state often include agitation, trouble sleeping, and significant change in appetite, psychosis, and suicidal thinking. A person may have a very sad, hopeless mood while at the same time feeling extremely energized. Bipolar disorder may appear to be a trouble other than mental illness for example, alcohol or drug abuse, poor school or work performance, or strained interpersonal relationships. Such problems in fact may be signs of an underlying mood disorder.

Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is classified as a type of affective disorder or mood disorder that goes beyond the day's ordinary ups and downs, becoming a serious medical form and important health concern. Manic depression is characterized by periodic episodes of extreme elation, elevated mood, or irritability countered by periodic, classic depressive symptoms.

Depression is a mood disorder that involves a child's body, mood, and thoughts. It can affect and disrupt eating, sleeping, or thinking patterns, and is not the same as being unhappy or in a "blue" mood, nor is it a sign of personal flaw that can be wished away. Children with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. There are three primary types of depression, including major depression, bipolar disorder and dysthymic disorder.

When symptoms are present before the age of 12, they are often confused with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - a syndrome that is usually characterized by serious and persistent difficulties resulting in inattentiveness or distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Affecting men and women equally, manic depression often begins in adolescence or early adulthood. In fact, the average age at onset for a first manic episode is during the early 20s.

Manic depression is likely to run in families and, in some cases, is believed to be hereditary. For a diagnosis of manic depression to be made, an individual must exhibit both depressive and manic symptoms to a varying degree, depending upon the severity of the disorder. The symptoms of manic depression may resemble other psychiatric conditions.

Because depression has shown to often co-exist with other medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, and other psychiatric disorders, such as substance abuse, or anxiety disorders, seeking early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to recovery. A diagnosis is often made after a careful psychiatric examination and medical history performed by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.