What is Manic Depression? Symptoms, Test for Manic Depression

Manic depression is now known as bipolar disorder. Read more about manic depression, symptoms of manic depression plus take test for manic depression.

Manic depression is the term once used to refer to the mental illness we now know as bipolar disorder. The term "manic depressive psychosis" was coined by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in the early 20h century. Kraepelin studied untreated manic depression patients and noted the periods of "mania" and "depression" were separated by periods of normalcy.

"Manic-depressive reaction" first appeared in the psychiatric diagnostic manual in 1952 and was replaced by the term bipolar in 1957. "Bipolar" referred to those who suffered mania as in manic depression, and the term "unipolar" referred to those suffering from depression only.1

What are the Symptoms of Manic Depression?

Manic depression is an illness that cycles between elevated and depressed moods. Symptoms of manic depression include periods of either mania or hypomania as well as periods of depression. Manic depression / bipolar requires the presence of both types of episodes.

(Learn more about symptoms of bipolar disorder.)

Test for Manic Depression

Bipolar, or manic depression, requires the illness to conform to the diagnostic criteria found in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The test for manic depression requires testing for manic episodes or hypomania episodes alongside depression episodes. Episodes must last a minimum amount of time in order to meet the diagnostic criteria. In the case of mania, seven days, hypomania, four days and depression, two weeks.

More information on bipolar including:

article references

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2021, December 28). What is Manic Depression? Symptoms, Test for Manic Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Last Updated: January 7, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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