Burden of manic depressive disorder


Manic depressive disorder, also called bipolar disorder, is one of the oldest disease known to man.

It is a very severe and consumptive disease for patients, but also for their relatives. It is characterized by interspersed, mixed, extreme feelings starting with depression, so overall decline and loss of energy, ending with euphoria, when the patient is filled with excessive energy.

clinical depression

The disease can be diagnosed when a patient is observed with rapidly changing mood (mixed episodes, changing the mood from day to day or from hour to hour), mania (elevated mood or irritable, prone to sudden frustration) or hypomania (less manic symptoms). Unfortunately, often the patients do not report to the doctor, they are seen as a lunatic or people who cannot adapt.

Because of bipolarity, the course can be divided into two stages:

1.Manic stage.

Its symptoms are similar to the symptoms caused by a strong psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine. These include hyperactivity, insomnia, inability to focus, talkativeness, boasting and excessive faith in their skills. The patient generally does not count the money, is very sociable, has a flash in the pan. Joy in the one moment can be turned into anger or aggression. Also persecutory delusions often occur.

Manic stage may appear a few years after the depressive phase. Left untreated can last up to 4 months.

2. Depressive stage.

Patients cease to feel the pleasure, the world seems gray and gloomy. They become dulled, lose all interest, cannot concentrate or show the initiative. They cannot find a place for themselves, often cry, complain about the pain and lack of appetite, sometimes fall into a state of catatonia. This is the phase when patients have strong and frequent thoughts of suicide, and it should not be disregarded. The course of depressive phase in bipolar disease is much more severe than in depression. Usually above mentioned phase appears first, and not treated can last about half a year.

There is also a possibility of occurring hypomania, that milder manic phase state.

How to treat manic depressive disorder?

Treatment of bipolar lasts a lifetime. Usually the patient is undergoing the treatment with drugs called mood stabilizers. Improvement of the patients mood can be observed after a few weeks of the use of such a stabilizer. Unfortunately, those drugs may also have some side effects, like putting on weight or hair loss. It is also worth noting that these drugs should be taken regularly to bring results.

Some of the most effective forms of treatment, and also the most frequent, are the treatments with the use of lithium (lithium carbonate as a drug normothymic), which is the first drug used to treat mental illness. Antiepileptic drugs are also used (carbamazepine and valproic acid), antipsychotics (in the initial stage of the disease), benzodiazepines (which suppresses the excitement).

In addition to pharmacological methods also electroconvulsive therapy can be applied, 80% of the patients noted improvement in mood after this therapy. Patients suffering from manic depressive disorder goes through several phases of the disease during their life. Approximately 15% of them commit suicide, but the rest, being treated regularly, is able to live normally in society.