If you know anyone who suffers the terrible mood swings of manic depression, then you're all too familiar with how devastating the disorder can be. It takes the individual suffering with manic depression from a feeling of utter elation and feeling of such self confidence that he can do anything and drops him to a severely low depth of depression.

These are the extremes from which a person with manic depression swings. That's why manic depressionbipolar disorder. Manic depression literally takes you from one 'pole' to another in terms of emotions. is more commonly referred to as

While not as common as other types of depressive disorders, manic depression reveals itself in a set of symptoms that really do reflect a sometimes very wild ride between two poles of emotional existence.

The manic in the disorder description referred to the periods of grand elation, called mania by health care organizations. Symptoms of this mania include an elation that is inappropriate to the circumstances as well as a related irritability that is also inappropriate for the situation.

Those with manic depression who experience an episode of mania find it difficult to sleep (sometimes for days at a time) due to the elevated energy level, and thoughts of grandiose, extravagant accomplishments. These symptoms of manic depression could also be linked to an increased rate of speech or even a raised volume. You may also notice that those with manic depression in the midst of a mania phase possess thoughts that are not only going at full tilt - much faster than most people can keep up with - but they are also disconnected and very random.

Other symptoms of the mania episode of manic depression are displays of poor judgment, inappropriate social behavior and an increased sexual desire.

Contrast this with the depressive symptoms of the manic depression and it's easy to understand why the medical community now refers to manic depression as bipolar disorder. Depressive symptoms include a persistent sad or empty mood, feelings of hopeless and pessimism as well as an enveloping air of guild, worthlessness and helplessness.

Other symptoms which may occur in manic depression include a general malaise and apathy with a loss of interest in any hobbies or activities the individual was enjoyed. The depressive state, like the manic state of manic depression, also carries with it sleep disturbances. The loss of sleep is not due to an increased energy and staying up late to work on projects or develop ideas, though, as you find with the mania state of manic depression. This insomnia is due to an innate restlessness, a feeling of being dissatisfied. Or the person with manic depression may sleep more than usual.

It's easy to see the stunning contrast between one set of symptoms and the other. It's also easy to see why the term manic depression is slowly being replaced with the name bipolar disorder.