Most people know what madness is. French writer and philosopher Voltaire described it as having erroneous perceptions, and reasoning from them, although he specified that that reasoning does not always have to be incorrect. In more conventional terms, however, madness could be rash or thoughtless behavior, great anger or fury, great enthusiasm or excitement, or merely an offensive term for any number of psychiatric disorders or mental illness. Now these illnesses could be manic or depressive.
When someone is manic, they are in such perpetual elevated irritable characterized by exaggerated self importance racing thoughts and hyperactivity, intoxicated with life and with themselves. They begin to manipulate people in all kinds of ways, and also develop an indiscriminate enthusiasm for voracious spending, sexual exploits, hostility, and abject impatience.
When an individual is depressive, they have this deep and unshakable sorrow, diminished interest in everything, impaired ability to function, despair, misery, sense of self-insignificance, and even get as far as entertaining suicidal thoughts.
Now imagine someone suffering from extremes of both mental illnesses – that certainly is madness. No, they do not have all symptoms of both mania and depression at the same time, but they switch between them every so often. On average, a patient might be manic for several weeks or a few months, and then they’d become depressive for about the same length of time. The funny part – only not so funny, considering – is the fact that in between the two extremes of obsession and despair, they enjoy some periods of serenity and sanity, displaying normal behavior.
What is described above is known as bipolar disorder, or, as some professionals refer to it, bipolar affective disorder. It is a perplexing psychological impairment that causes the patient to interchange sometimes sporadically between two extremes of mind frames. At times when they are actually normal, those who know such patients may believe that they are then in an unstable mind frame because they are used to them being manic or down in the dumps all the time. Neither this over enthusiasm nor the converse melancholy is of much good for the patient, and so they should get treated already.
Bipolar disorder is not considered too common a malady in the United States, or in the nations of the West. As a matter of fact, across the entire world, only about one percent of all humans are expected to develop the condition during the course of their lives.
The causes of manic depressive illness – as it is also called – have strong roots in genetics, although a number of environmental factors are implicated as well. Treatment for the condition may involve some therapy, but mainly medications are administered to sufferers to help quell some of their more extreme quirky and unpredictable activities.