Manic depression, which is also known as bipolar disorder, is one of the most diagnosed mental illnesses in people from all over the world. Follow this article to learn more about what is bipolar disorder and manic depression and what are some natural cures for bipolar disorder and manic depression.
Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression, is an illness with which many people live their lives. But unfortunately it is never accurately diagnosed. According to a survey, at least five million to six million people suffer from bipolar disorder and manic depression. It is an illness where a person has to deal with extreme mood swings without any frequency. One minute they will be dealing with high energy and the next moment they will be dealing with low periods of depression.
Dealing with mood swings is very normal but people who have manic depression have to deal with drastic ups and downs. Anyone who is suffering from bipolar disorder and manic depression will go through many low (depression) and high (manic) phases that are going to test the quality of their life. They will not be able to live their lives normally and their relationships, their body, and their work is going to suffer because of this.
Follow this article to explore more about what is bipolar disorder and manic depression and what are some natural cures for bipolar disorder and manic depression.
Table of Contents
Why is manic depression known as bipolar disorder?
The term “manic depression” was not used until the 20th century. It was first used by a German psychiatrist, Emil Kraepelin. He used this term to describe the mental illnesses which include mood swings and emotional disturbance. The mood swings were considered a period of “mania”. According to him, a person who is suffering from bipolar disorder naturally suffers from mood swings and it is a serious mental illness. It can create lapse in a person’s judgment.
He says that there is still a stigma surrounding this illness. This prevents people from having an early understanding of their condition. Most of the time when a person is suffering from bipolar disorder, they do not even know about their manic episodes and ignore the symptoms. The term “manic depression” or “manic depressive” is often used with bipolar disorder because it labels the episodes of mania that a patient has to go through. Also the Romans established that when you look for the meaning of bipolar disorder then, the two words “manic” and “depressive” will come in front of you.
On top of that, when a person is diagnosed with bipolar disorder then, mental health professionals specifically tell them about their manic episodes so they will be able to identify those emotions or mood. This also helps doctors to give their patients more precise diagnosis for their condition. A person who can classify their mania phases are able to fight with this mental illness more accurately.
What manic episodes are present in bipolar disorder?
A person who is suffering from bipolar disorder will go through many manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes. It will be a mixed situation for them because most of the time their mood episodes can be both manic and depressive. The mood swings and emotional episodes can interfere with every aspect of a patient’s lives. According to mental health professionals, following are the episodes that a patient might come across when they are battling with bipolar disorder.
- Manic episodes
- Hypomanic episodes
- Depressive episodes
A person who is suffering from a manic episode will feel every emotion at an extreme level. Whether it is happiness, anger, hurt, irritation, or energy. A manic episode may last for an entire week and in some cases the patient may need to be hospitalized. A person who is suffering from a manic episode may talk very quickly, they are unable to focus on a task, they might have an unusually high self esteem, and they might engage themselves in any risky activity. This is all because of their rapidly changing mood, from happiness to anger, and from sadness to hatred during a manic episode.
A hypomanic episode is much similar to a manic episode. It can last up to four days and the symptoms may be present in a person for a significant amount of the day. According to mental health professionals, a hypomanic episode does not cause too much disruption in a person’s work or relationships than a manic episode.
A depressive episode can last for at least two weeks. The episodes of depression will interfere with the work, relationships, and other aspects of a patient’s life. Anyone who is suffering from depressive episodes is likely to face trouble concentrating on any task, they will feel irritated, their sleeping pattern will be highly disturbed, and in extreme cases a patient may have thoughts of death and suicide.
What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder and manic depression?
A person who is suffering from bipolar disorder will experience depressed or manic episodes. In both cases, the signs and symptoms are very different. A person who is suffering from bipolar disorder will experience extreme mood swings and these mood swings or manic episodes can last for months and sometimes even years. The symptoms are different for everyone, it depends if a person is experiencing mania (highs) or depression (lows).
The symptoms for mania (the highs) are as follows.
- Excessive happiness and excitement.
- Sudden changes in the mood. From being happy to being angry in the next moment.
- Not being able to concentrate.
- Rapid speech.
- A person will have extreme energy levels in them.
- Their need for sleep will be less.
- They will always make grand and unrealistic plans.
- They will have an unusually high sex drive.
- Their appetite will be less.
- Lack of judgment.
- They might start abusing alcohol and drugs.
- Extremely high self confidence.
- They can be easily distracted.
A person who is suffering from the depressive episodes (the lows) will exhibit the following symptoms.
- They will always feel sad.
- Their energy levels will be down.
- They will be surrounded by feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
- They will not be able to enjoy things they once liked.
- They will not be able to concentrate on their tasks.
- They will easily forget things.
- They will have a hard time making decisions.
- Insomnia will be a part of their life.
- There will be days where they might cry uncontrollably.
- The appetite changes will make them lose weight.
- They will have thoughts about suicide.
- In extreme cases a person might try to commit suicide.
What are some of the causes of bipolar disorder or manic depression?
So much time has passed since the origin of this illness but still there are no valid causes of bipolar disorder or manic depression. According to research, there is no single cause behind this illness, in fact there are a variety of different causes that can increase the chances of a person developing this mental condition. Following are some causes of bipolar disorder or manic depression.
- Childhood trauma
- Stressful life events
- Imbalanced brain chemistry
- Family links
- Drugs and alcohol
If a person has been through trauma as a child, they have been neglected, sexually abused, physically abused, or they lost their parents at a very young age then, there is a high chance of them having bipolar disorder or manic depression when they grow up. All of these factors can cause distress to a child and have a big effect on their ability to manage their emotions and feelings.
Stressful life events:
According to research, bipolar disorder or manic depression has a strong link with a person dealing with stressful life events. For example if they have been abused in the past or they lost someone close to them then, any similar location or event can trigger their manic or depressive episode. This will also lead to them feeling lonely and isolated. They will always feel uncertain about different aspects of their life like work, relationship, or studies.
Imbalanced brain chemistry:
According to different researches, bipolar disorder can also develop if a person is dealing with imbalance messenger chemicals that are in your brain. These messenger chemicals are responsible for taking messages from the body to the brain and vice versa. If there is any imbalance in these chemicals then, there will be problems in the neurotransmitters. And any problem with the neurotransmitters can develop bipolar disorder in a person.
Family history plays a huge role in any illness. If you are dealing with bipolar disorder then, there is a high chance someone in your family also experienced the same illness. According to research, a family is a huge part of our social life and mental health professionals say that social factors play a pivotal role as the cause of bipolar disorder and manic depression.
Drugs and alcohol:
A person who is addicted to alcohol and drugs might also experience episodes of mania and depression. When a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs then, they will face extreme mood swings. They can be extremely happy (mania) or extremely sad (depressive). This can negatively affect your mental health and put you at the risk of developing bipolar disorder and manic depression.
What are some natural cures for bipolar disorder and manic depression?
There are so many people who prefer natural cures rather than treating their illness with different medications and most of the time it works well. There is evidence that suggests that treating depression with natural remedies can be beneficial for a person. But when you are dealing with bipolar disorder and manic depression then, you must always check with your doctor first before you use anything else for your treatment. But the majority of people have reported back positively after using natural cures for bipolar disorder and manic depression. Following are some natural remedies that can help you and your loved ones who are dealing with bipolar disorder.
- Fish oil
- Lifestyle changes
- Practicing moderation
- Calming techniques
Fish oil is an excellent source for two main types of omega-3 and fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These acids can help regulate the brain chemicals and they can also help you by improving your mood. According to a survey research, bipolar disorder is less common in countries that consume fish and fish oil. Fish oil can also reduce irritability, it can stabilize your mood, and also improve your brain function.
We all know the importance of a healthy lifestyle. When you are leading a healthy lifestyle, naturally it affects every aspect of your life. Certain changes in your lifestyle can help stabilize your mood. These changes include:
- Practicing moderation
Having a good sleeping schedule can be extremely beneficial for you. When a person is going through manic episodes then, they are most likely to sleep very little and this can lower their energy levels as well. Also if a person is surviving their day on very less sleep then, they will have a hard time managing their mood and emotions. Which is why good sleep is extremely important.
Regular exercise can help you have a balanced mood and it can also prevent you from having a number of health problems. When a person is little to no physical activity then, their mood will be very low and their energy levels will also be very low. Doing exercise can help you improve your mood when you are feeling low.
We all know the importance of having a healthy diet. If you are not eating a healthy diet then, you will be open to certain health problems. Especially if you are dealing with bipolar disorder then, you are most likely to have a low bone density, to avoid any more risk you must consume a healthy diet which can help you reduce being at risk for other health problems.
Anyone who is battling with bipolar disorder is also at risk of engaging in addictive behaviors. According to a survey research, more than 50% of the people who have bipolar disorder are also addicted to alcohol and drugs. So, to avoid that a person must practice moderation and surround themselves with people who encourage them toward their goals and ambitions.
According to healthcare professionals, magnesium can help in the regulation of mood in both manic and depressive episodes. Many doctors also recommended magnesium supplements to their patients so they will be able to gain control over their emotions and feelings.
Many people suggest that vitamin C and folic acid can be beneficial for a person who is suffering from bipolar disorder and manic depression. Vitamin C and folic acid can help in improving your cognitive health. Overall, there is no solid evidence regarding the role of vitamins in dealing with bipolar disorder, but certainly there are benefits of having vitamins as a part of your diet.
When a person is suffering from bipolar disorder and manic depression then, it is only natural for them to feel stressed. To reduce stress and anxiety there are many treatments like massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and meditation. These treatments cannot cure your bipolar disorder but it can help you manage your emotions more and it is a valuable part of your life.
Choline is known as a water soluble vitamin that is beneficial for people who are dealing with episodes of mania and depression. You must consult your doctor first before you add choline in your daily life as a treatment option. It can help you improve the symptoms of mania.
There are many researches that show alternate treatment options for the cure of bipolar disorder and manic depression. But these alternate treatment options should not be replaced with your current treatment or medication. Everything has its own benefit, the natural treatment is beneficial but it is also not a solid way for you to deal with your bipolar disorder and manic depression.
Most of the time people avoid using medications that are prescribed to them by their doctors because of the side effects. They start to rely more on natural cures for their bipolar disorder and manic depression. However these natural cures are not 100% reliable and you must consult your doctor before you make any changes to your medication.