Manic-depressive psychosis: symptoms and treatment

A person’s psyche is a complex system, and sometimes there may be failures. Sometimes they are insignificant and corrected by several visits to the psychologist, but sometimes the problems can be much more significant. One of the serious psychiatric disorders requiring observation in specialists is manic-depressive psychosis.



A distinctive feature of this disease is the alternating manifestation in a person of certain affective states: manic and depressive. These states can be called opposite, because manic-depressive psychosis is also called bipolar affective disorder.

Why do people have bipolar disorder

It is believed that manic-depressive psychosis (MDP) is due to heredity: this is due to some impairments in the transmission of nerve impulses in the hypothalamus. But, of course, it is rather difficult to determine in advance, especially if the disease was transmitted not from the previous generation, but from more distant relatives. Therefore, the risk groups were identified, among which the cases of the onset of the disease are especially frequent. Among them:


  • Constant stress on the psyche. It can be work associated with negative emotions, or a difficult situation in the family — in short, everything that a day brings the person out of balance.
  • Hormonal failures.
  • Adolescence.
  • The survivors of violence are moral or physical.
  • The presence of other mental illnesses.

Another characteristic feature of the disease is that, despite the woman’s predilection for emotionality and nervousness, it occurs in the female.

Symptoms of bipolar affective disorder

As already mentioned, for such a disease as manic-depressive psychosis, there are two «poles», two states — manic and depressive. Therefore, the symptoms of each phase are worth describing separately.

Manic stage

During this phase of bipolar disorder, the patient feels a sense of recovery, joy, memory improves, a desire to interact with the surrounding world. It would seem, and where are the symptoms of the disease? But nevertheless, there is a manic phase of such a disease as a manic-depressive psychosis, some signs that make it possible to distinguish a morbid state of the psyche from ordinary cheerfulness.


  1. Increased desire for risk, adrenaline. This includes gambling, extreme sports, the use of alcohol, psychoactive substances, etc.
  2. Worry, agitation, impulsiveness
  3. Fast, confusing speech
  4. A prolonged, unconditioned sense of euphoria.
  5. There may be hallucinations — both visual and auditory, tactile
  6. Not quite adequate (or completely inadequate) perception of reality.

One of the main disadvantages of this condition is the commission of ill-considered actions, which in the future can aggravate another stage of the disease — the depressive phase. But it happens that manic syndrome exists in a person in itself, without the onset of depression. This condition is called manic psychosis, and it is a particular case of unipolar disorder (in contrast to the bipolar disorder, in which two syndromes are combined). Another name for this syndrome is hypomanic psychosis.

Depressive phase

Following the manic stage of psychosis, during which the patient shows extreme activity, depression begins. Characteristic for the depressive stage of the disease are the following symptoms:


  • Apathy, delayed reaction to surrounding stimuli
  • Low mood, a desire for self-flagellation and self-abasement
  • The inability to concentrate on anything.
  • Refusing to eat, talking to even close people, unwillingness to continue treatment.
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Delayed, incoherent speech. The person answers questions «on the machine.»
  • Headaches and other symptoms that tell about the effect of depression on physical health: nausea, dizziness, etc.
  • Perception of the world around in gray, boring colors
  • Decreased body weight associated with loss of appetite. Women may have amenorrhoea.

Depressive state is dangerous, first of all, by possible suicidal tendencies, by closing the person in themselves and not being able to carry out further treatment.

How to treat a TIR

Manic-depressive psychosis is a disease requiring very competent and complex treatment. Special medications are prescribed, in addition, psychotherapy is used, as well as conservative therapy.

Drug treatment

If you talk about the treatment of psychosis with medications, then you should distinguish between drugs designed for long-term course and drugs, the main purpose of which is to quickly remove the symptoms of a painful mental condition.

Strong antidepressants are used to relieve acute depressive conditions. However, treatment with antidepressants must be combined with mood stabilizers, because otherwise the patient’s condition can be destabilized. As for the manic phase, we will need drugs that will help normalize sleep, remove overexcitation. You will need neuroleptics, antipsychiotics, and all the same mood stabilizers.

Long-term treatment is designed not only to remove the effects of affective conditions, but also to stabilize the patient’s condition during periods of «calm». And in the long run, and at all minimize the manifestations of the disease. This, again, sedatives, neuroleptics, tranquilizers. Treatment of manic-depressive psychosis also often involves the use of lithium carbonate: it has a pronounced antimanic effect, removes the excited state.




Psychotherapeutic treatments

Although medications play a huge role in the recovery of a person with bipolar disorder, another therapy is needed. Including the need for a man and psychological help. Widely used in this regard are:


  1. Cognitive therapy. At this stage, a person needs to find out what in his behavior aggravates his condition. This will help to avoid such models of thinking in the future.
  2. Family therapy. Helps in establishing contacts with surrounding people, especially with relatives and friends.
  3. Social therapy. It presupposes, first of all, the creation of a clear schedule of the day, which will allow to regulate the time of work and rest, without giving too much overexertion or in any way worsen the patient’s condition.

General therapy

In the intervals between depressive and manic phases conservative methods of treatment are applied that promote relaxation, stabilization of mood and overall strengthening of mental and physical health. Electrosleep, physiotherapy, massage, hydro massage, etc.




In conclusion, it should be noted that even though manic-depressive psychosis is quite a dangerous disease for a person, but if in time to begin treatment in the hospital, the patient may well return to normal life. And of course, besides medicines and procedures, support of relatives is very important in this situation. The same applies to diseases such as depression or hypomanic psychosis.