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What is Manic Depression?

TMS Baltimore Experts Offer an Overview of Manic Depression, Which is More Commonly Known as Bipolar Disorder Nowadays

We all experience negative feelings such as anger and sadness. But for people with manic depression, more commonly known as bipolar disorder, their mood can quickly swing from a positive, upbeat mindset to a period of intense depression. In general, people with bipolar disorder experience one to two cycles of these cycles a year.

Dealing with such a serious disorder can be scary, but it is possible to successfully manage this condition. TMS Baltimore experts, the Psych Associates of Maryland, review everything you need to know about their mental health disorder.  

Manic Depression AKA Bipolar Disorder

A Quick Guide to Manic Depression by TMS Baltimore Therapists

Depressed young girl

Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder, is a serious mental health disorder characterized by intense cycles of mania and depression. These cycles can last anywhere from a couple of days to a few months. They are often so intense that they interfere with a person’s ability to perform well at work or school and can also severely damage their relationships with close friends and family members. 

Causes and Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder

As of now, researchers have not found a singular cause for bipolar disorder. However, people who have relatives with the disorder have a higher chance of developing it themselves than people who don’t. 

Research has also found that people with bipolar disorder have physical variations in their brains. That being said, they are still investigating how significant and impactful these changes are. Other risk factors for developing bipolar disorder include going through a traumatic event and struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. 

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Someone with bipolar disorder experience episodes of intense highs, also known as mania, and lows, or depressive episodes. Their symptoms will vary depending on whether they are experiencing a manic episode versus a depressive episode. 

Manic Symptoms:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased energy despite a decrease in sleep
  • Exaggerated self-confidence and feelings of euphoria
  • High sex drive

Depressive Symptoms:

  • Depression and loss of interest in activities
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Sleeping too little or too much

Co-Occurring Disorders

Bipolar disorder can occur along with other mental health disorders, including depression, ADHD, substance use disorder, or an eating disorder. Some people experience physical health problems, such as heart disease or obesity. These conditions can worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder and make recovery difficult. 

Treatment Options

When it comes to treating bipolar disorder, your doctor might recommend medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Medication will help you balance your moods while psychotherapy can help you manage your symptoms and cope with different life challenges. If you struggle with substance abuse, your doctor might also recommend a substance abuse treatment program for you. Hospitalization is sometimes recommended if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, becoming detached from reality, or are starting to act dangerously. 

FAQ About Manic Depression

TMS Baltimore Experts Answers All of Your Questions About Manic Depression

therapist taking notes

Are people with bipolar disorder a danger to society?

People who struggle with mental illness are often unfairly labeled as being “dangerous.” Patients with bipolar disorder are no exception to this harmful stereotype. Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition. While 11 to 16 percent of people with bipolar disorder have become violent, a great number have people have never posed a danger to others. Violence usually occurs as a result of drug or alcohol abuse and extreme emotional stress.  

How is being “moody” different from bipolar disorder?

Going through emotional cycles of happiness and sadness is part of being human. But for people with bipolar disorder, these moods shift between extreme feelings of joy and depression. During a manic episode, a person may splurge on a bunch of expensive outfits or even quit their job. But during a depressive episode, the same person may struggle to get out of bed and fall into a depression over their new unemployment. 

Is bipolar disorder curable?

While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, it is possible to manage it with medication and therapy. For many patients, this treatment will last their whole lifetime. 

Can people with bipolar disorder form healthy relationships with others?

While forming and cultivating a relationship with someone who has bipolar can be challenging, it is not impossible. That being said, if you feel burned out from the relationship or that you have become your partner’s caretaker, you might be in an unhealthy relationship. People with bipolar disorder can also become victims of an unhealthy relationship if their partner refuses to validate their feelings or starts to act condescending toward them. 

How accurate is the depiction of bipolar disorder in films and TV shows?

Characters struggling with bipolar disorder have made it onto the big screen as well as our own TV’s. While some of these portrayals accurately portray the difficulty and complexity of living with bipolar disorders, others miss the mark entirely. Some of the best films that revolve around characters suffering from bipolar disorder include The Ghost and the Whale, Silver Linings Playbook, and Repentance.


Are you experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder? Help is out there for you. Contact TMS Maryland experts, the Psych Associates of Maryland, to schedule an appointment today.

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