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What is manic depression, what causes the condition and how is it treated?

We often here the term manic depression but what exactly is it and how does it duffer from regular, everyday depression?

Manic Depression is a condition where people swing dramatically between severe depression on the one hand and mania or intense happiness on the other.

The distinction with ordinary depression lies in the manic or up phase of the condition where the individual will be bursting with energy and excitement.

This may seem like quite a favourable state of mind but not when the positivity is at such a high and uncontrollable level and particularly not when it's coupled with the deep depression that is always just around the corner.

The reasons behind manic depression have not yet been fully identified but they clearly involve the area of the brain responsible for controlling mood. Beyond this, the condition is still a mystery.

We do know that an episode of manic depression can often be triggered by a stressful or unhappy event on the individual's life. But many episodes have no such obvious reasons behind them.

Treatment for manic depression is usually through a combination of antidepressants and counseling.

Firstly, antidepressants can effectively prevent the damaging mood wings associated with manic depression but as always with such medication the right balance can be difficult to find.

And secondly, psychiatrists, support groups and friends and family can all play an active role in monitoring a depressive individual and be in a position to initiate help when it's needed.

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