Manic Depression, or Bipolar Disorder as it's medically referred to is a mood disorder that affects approximately 1% of the adult population of the United States (BPI). Manic Depression is an affective disorder, much as clinical depression is, though manic depression is usually more severe and effects equal numbers of men and women, unlike clinical depression which seems to effect more women than men. Mood swings are highly frequent, and feelings of going through various "highs and lows" all coincide with manic depression (BPI).
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about manic depression, and depression in general is that, until it's diagnosed, most people don't know what's wrong with them, and other people don't always readily spot it. People sometimes feel like they should be "snapping out of it" and don't realize that their disorder is a real disease with real symptoms and treatment options, much as a cold has it's symptoms and proper remedies.
Until the disorder is correctly diagnosed, little or no improvement can be made to the person's condition, despite the best efforts to bring them "up".
Reemphasizing the various mood swings that are characteristic of bipolar disorder, often times there are bouts of mania, followed by spirals of depression and sadness, and sometimes anger. Sufferers often cycle through these various states several to many times a day, depending on the degree of the disorder and the degree of treatment, if any, which has been completed.
A person may be suffering from manic depression if they find themselves in a depressed mood nearly everyday for most of the day. Usually they will be remarkably less interested in things that they used to take pleasure in, and no longer feel motivated to do things that will bring them any degree of happiness. Insomnia, dramatic (unexpected) weight...