3 Ways to Manage Manic Depression

1. Take the Right Medications

Most cases of manic depression require some kind of medication. The medication helps keep manic episodes under control and prevents depressive episodes from getting out of hand. Your psychiatrist or personal physician will be able to prescribe the medication that is best for you, although you may have to try several different medications and dosages before you hit on the right one. Some of the more common medications used to treat manic depression are fluoxetine, quetiapine, olanzapine and chlorpromazine. These medications are antidepressants and antipsychotics that can help keep your moods even and keep the recurrence of symptoms to a minimum.

2. Get Enough Exercise

Exercising releases feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine into your system. These chemicals can alleviate the symptoms of manic depression and keep major recurrences of it at bay. In fact, many psychiatrists advise patients with mild to moderate manic depression to exercise for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day to treat their symptoms. Some studies have shown that exercise is just as effective as medication for cases of manic depression that are not severe. Any kind of activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time is good, such as walking, dancing, lifting weights and swimming.

3. Keep a Mood Journal

Some people with manic depression find that their symptoms come in cycles. This is especially true in women who are still menstruating. Even with medication and exercise, mild symptoms may sometimes recur at certain times of the day, week or month. By keeping a mood journal for several months, writing down how you feel each day, you can begin to see whether your manic depression symptoms seem to have a pattern associated with them. Not everyone has a pattern, but if you do, you’ll be able to anticipate a recurrence of symptoms and plan for it better in the future.

About this Author

Stephanie Varney is a former professor at Marist College with more than a decade of freelance writing experience. Her areas of interest include autoimmune diseases, reproductive and mental health, alternative health therapies, allergies and environmental issues. She has been a committed vegetarian for 14 years and a vegan for 5.