I hadn’t heard of the “manic defense.” Would this defense possibly apply to someone who suffered physical/sexual abuse; or does it manifest mostly for single event trauma?
First off, I’d like to point out that manic defense is NOT equal to Bipolar Disorder (which used to be called Manic Depressive Disorder).
The term “manic defense” was coined by psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (around 1940, I understand–please correct me if I’m wrong). She picked up on Freud’s definition of mania and developed it further. She felt the manic defense (defined as elevated/euphoric mood and significantly increased activity) was a means to defend the person from the devastation of depression.
There are several causes for depression, from chemical imbalance in the brain, to overwhelming life stressors, to substance use, to medical conditions, to traumatic events, and loss. (This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the idea.)
Usually, depression is something that knocks the wind out of someone’s sails…like A LOT. The manic defense turns them into someone that’s uber-busy, like they’ve-gotta-do-something-every-second-of-every-day-or-they’ll-have-to-face-their-sadness.
Now, those who have suffered abuse of any kind are more vulnerable to developing mental illness. So, to answer Donna’s question, it could apply to someone who’s gone through physical/sexual abuse as well as someone who underwent a serious single traumatic event.
I encourage you, dear readers, to continue sharing your thoughts. Whether you agree or disagree, let me know–I wanna hear what you’re thinking!
Remember, this is for writing purposes only and is NOT to be construed as medical advice or treatment.