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Manic Depression Symptoms

QUESTION: What are manic depression symptoms?


Manic depression symptoms (as found in manic-depressive disorder or bipolar disorder) involve symptom sets that are the opposite of each other. One involves a “high” set and the other a “low” set. These symptoms are found in a continuous range, mild-moderate-severe, in both the manic and depressive aspects.

The National Institute of Mental Health lists many of the following Manic Depression symptoms.1 Manic disorder that characterize the high or ‘manic’ aspect of manic disorder are called episode includes the following:
  • Increased energy, activity, and restlessness
  • Excessively ‘high,’ overly good, euphoric mood
  • Distractibility, can’t concentrate well
  • Racing thoughts and talking very fast
  • Jumping from one idea to another
  • Little sleep needed
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Spending sprees
  • Poor judgment
  • Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
  • Extreme irritability
  • Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior
  • Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications
  • Denial that anything is wrong
  • Lasting period of behavior that is different from usual
Symptoms of manic disorder that characterize the low or ‘depressive’ aspect of manic-depressive disorder are the following:
  • Lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Sleeping too much, or can’t sleep
  • Change in appetite and / or unintended weight loss or gain
  • Chronic pain or persistent bodily symptoms not caused by illness or injury
  • Thoughts of death or suicide / suicide attempts
Hypomania is the ‘mild to moderate’ level of the manic symptoms of manic-depressive disorder. Left untreated, hypomania can progress to severe mania or depression.

In severe episodes of mania or depression, symptoms of psychosis (hallucination and delusion) can occur. These symptoms of hallucination and delusion often result in manic-depressive disorder being misdiagnosed as Schizophrenia, another severe mental illness.

Mixed Manic Depression1
In the mixed manic-depressive state, symptoms of mania and depression occur together. The person may exhibit these symptoms:
  • Agitation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Significant change in appetite
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Having a very sad, hopeless mood while at the same time feeling extremely energized

Learn More About Manic Depression.

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