We’ve seen many a movie where the main character goes through a drinking binge or some sort of ego trip where he commits a sequence of events that s/he regrets for the remainder of the film. Depending on how the story unravels s/he either sinks or swims, s/he drags or is supported by the auxiliary characters in some shape or form.
Many times we have an affinity for the film and can relate to the situations aroused- either ourselves or someone we know has done such a thing. We whole heartedly feel for that person.
Variations in moods and energy levels have been observed as part of the human experience throughout history. “Melancholia” has been a part of our human sentiment for centuries. It is considered one of the 4 temperaments caused by the imbalance of humours in our body according Hippocratic times. Black bile offset the body’s temperament and left a person to withdrawal, despondency, and depression.
In the Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton, author of one of the first books dedicated to the condition, writes
Melancholy, the subject of our present discourse, is either in disposition or in habit. In disposition, is that transitory Melancholy which goes and comes upon every small occasion of sorrow, need, sickness, trouble, fear, grief, passion, or perturbation of the mind, any manner of care, discontent, or thought, which causes anguish, dullness, heaviness and vexation of spirit, any ways opposite to pleasure, mirth, joy, delight, causing forwardness in us, or a dislike. In which equivocal and improper sense, we call him melancholy, that is dull, sad, sour, lumpish, ill-disposed, solitary, any way moved, or displeased. And from these melancholy dispositions no man living is free, no Stoick, none so wise, none so happy, none so patient, so generous, so godly, so divine, that can vindicate himself; so well-composed, but more or less, some time or other, he feels the smart of it. Melancholy in this sense is the character of Mortality… This Melancholy of which we are to treat, is a habit, a serious ailment, a settled humour, as Aurelianus and others call it, not errant, but fixed: and as it was long increasing, so, now being (pleasant or painful) grown to a habit, it will hardly be removed.
It is funny to note that Burton states also that the best treatment for Melancholia is music and dancing. In one of my favorite movies on the subject, I am pretty sure it comes to mind, The Silver Linings Playbook, music and dance ultimately became the solution to the ailment.
Modern Medicine categorizes the Bi-polar disorders in degrees of severity, whether the mood of the episodes experienced are more manic or depressive. There is a whole spectrum of the disorder where the changes of the mood are more frequent to moments of hypomania, and that of such severe intensity where concentration on daily life maybe too difficult.
If anyone experiences these swings of hypo or hyper excessive restlessness, to intense depressions with lack of concentration, please seek professional medical help.
Part 2. Treatment of Bi-Polar disorders