The person suffering from bipolar disorder experience intense ‘highs’ and intense ‘lows’ many times. Some times mixed symptoms are also noticeable in the person suffering from bipolar disorder.
Manic depression, or Bipolar Disorder, is a commonly occurring form of mood disorder. It is similar to major depression but has a ‘manic’ phase associated with it that is different from any of the other major depressive disorders.
Bipolar disorder is treatable – mostly with medication, that must be taken regularly. It is a depressive disorder that can affect a patient’s life dramatically, mainly due to the extreme mood swings that are characteristic of the condition.
Someone suffering from bipolar disorder will experience intense ‘highs’ and intense ‘lows’. When they are on a ‘high’ (or in a manic phase), they will appear to be extremely, even extraordinarily, happy. They are likely to engage in behaviors that are not necessarily sensible and may even be harmful.
Hyperactivity is another problem in the manic state – and will talk a lot and move very fast. If these symptoms are untreated, then they may last for long periods (weeks and months in some cases).
Very often, a patient in a manic phase may have delusions – specifically about their standing in the world. These can be very problematic in the way they relate to others.
These manic periods alternate with times of intense depression.
It is possible for a sufferer from bipolar disorder to experience mixed symptoms. Here, the patient may be mildly depressed and mildly manic. This latter state is less potentially damaging than full-blown mania. This mixed period is sometimes misdiagnosed as being Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is common for a patient experiencing mixed symptoms to suffer from depression immediately afterward.
If a patient experiences repeated cycles of the two stages of depression and mania, they may be described as having a ‘rapid cycle’. There could be as many as four such episodes in one year.
Although mania may include hallucinations, this is not the same as schizophrenia.