Before any individual or family can battle manic depression, they have to fully understand the symptoms of the disease. But beyond that, there's a comfort and a confidence knowing that other families have developed manic depression, dealt with the symptoms and have come out stronger.

More important than just having an intellectual understanding of the symptoms of manic depression, is having another person's emotional and first hand account of the symptoms themselves.

Family and friends who try to understand the symptoms of manic depression will undoubtedly improve their ability to understand the person's struggle with this often debilitating form of mental illness. But far more than that, you'll be able to recognize the onset of symptoms much faster. Quicker recognition of the symptoms of manic depression means a much swifter response time to seeking treatment.

But there's still another aspect that creates untold benefits when you begin to fully understand the symptoms of manic depression. Family members and friends will undoubtedly possess more sympathy for the person affected with this problem. When you fully understand the course manic depression plays out then you can readily see that the manic depression is not the person.

What happens when the symptoms of manic depression grips a person is the interlocking of the symptoms and the individual's personality, according to E. Fuller Torrey and Michael B. Knable, authors of Surviving Manic Depresion: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients (Basic Books)

This creates what the authors call a 'unique medley' that gives manic depression its characteristic difference not only from one individual to the next, but also from one day to the next in the same person. It is precisely this intertwining of the various and fluctuating symptoms of manic depression with the core personality of the individual that makes manic depression so difficult for many to grasp.

Manic depression is also known more widely today as bipolar disorder. This mental illness is characterized by wild and wide fluctuations in emotions and feelings. The person affected with manic depressiondepression, but will also experience a mania episode which includes extreme self confidence, thoughts that won't quit racing, rapid speech and very little inclination to sleep. experiences extreme