Hendrix is one of the renowned musicians who left a legacy despite the fact that he did not live for long because he was only twenty seven at his death. One of his outstanding songs is titled maniac depression which is also known as bipolar disorder. Critical analysis of the song reveals that there is a high possibility that Hendrix may have been writing about his mood disorder although there is no evidence of the same.

However, even though he was writing about his mood disorder which he described as maniac depression, it is clear that there are some differences between his description of the disorder and the DSM-IV-TR description of the same.

With that background in mind, this essay discusses the difference between Hendrix and DSM-IV-TR description of maniac depression. In addition, the paper shall also focus on the similarity between regular cocaine addiction and maniac depression symptoms.

The whole song by Hendrix discusses all the feelings and emotions that the victim was experiencing. Hendrix begins by illustrating his emotions.

He says that he knows what he ought to do but he does not know how to do it. The song also illustrates a happy mood since he says that he is feeling sweet. However, the feeling is followed by a feeling of frustration as the singer indicates that he cannot be able to make love and ends up being frustrated. The last part indicates a feeling of hopelessness as he says that it is better for him to quit (Hendrix, 2002).

As much as the song is titled maniac depression, the description is limited in describing the same in relation to the description of DSM-IV-TR. To begin with, DSM-IV-TR describes the disorder as a condition characterized by major changes in the mood of a person; characterized by either high or low moods (Durand & Barlow, 2005).

Hendrix song illustrates that the person is aware of the problem but according to the DSM-IV-TR, the victim is usually not aware of the problem and such victims believe that all is well with them. In addition, Hendrix illustrates hopelessness and frustration while DSM-IV-TR indicates that victims of bipolar disorder often believe that they have super power abilities and can do everything (First, Frances, & Pincus, 2004).

Therefore, while the description of Hendrix is more on emotional symptoms, the description of DSM-IV-TR is all inclusive as it illustrates psychological, emotional and physical symptoms of the disorder.

Symptoms of the maniac depression can be similar to the symptoms of other disorders resulting from the addiction of psychoactive substances like cocaine. Most importantly, regular cocaine addiction leads to depression and a number of symptoms associated with the condition are similar to the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

For instance, rapid speech is one of the symptoms that characterize cocaine addiction. Similarly, people suffering from maniac disorder are also rapid speakers as they jump from one topic to another since they usually lack concentration. In addition, some symptoms of regular cocaine addiction such as irritability and disturbed sleep are also present in some forms of the maniac depression (Platt, 2000).

Bipolar disorder is generally a mood disorder characterized by intense changes in the level of energy, behavior as well as mood (Carson, Butcher & Mineka, 1999). It is important to note that it is a complicated disorder as it contains a wide range of symptoms. It is much more than an experience of different emotions as the lyric of Hendrix illustrates.

In addition, the study has also indicated that some symptoms of cocaine addiction mimic some symptoms of maniac depression. The most outstanding feature of the bipolar disorder is the fact that it is characterized by depressive episodes hence why it can be confused with other mood disorders.


Carson, R. C., Butcher, J. N. & Mineka, S. (1999). Abnormal psychology and modern life. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Durand, V. M. & Barlow, D. H. (2005). Essentials Of Abnormal Psychology. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

First, M. B., Frances, A. & Pincus, H. A. (2004). DSM-IV-TR guidebook. Cambridge: Harvard University Press .

Hendrix, J. (2002). Manic Depression Lyrics. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Jimi-Hendrix/Manic-Depression.html

Platt, J. J. (2000). Cocaine Addiction: Theory, Research and Treatment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press .