When someone’s mood in an instant can go from being extremely happy to sad or depressed, we initially think something might be wrong. In fact, this is a sign of a disorder called Bipolar Disorder. This disorder can affect both men and women equally and usually starts between the ages of 15-25. Bipolar disorder is usually a genetic disorder, meaning it does not really have a known cause other then it occurs more often in people who have relatives that have this disorder. Bipolar disorder can be very serious and can cause some risky behaviors, and even suicidal tendencies if left untreated. John Doe (J.D.) is a 38-year old architect. He was admitted to the hospital due to dehydration and lack of rest. J.D. was working on a new project for the past 5 days for his mother that had passed a couple weeks ago. He wanted to build and design her dream house, but when his mother passed he became obsessed with this new project for his mother. His mother’s passing had quite an impact on him resulting in working too much. He repeatedly stated with anger and distress, “I need to get back to work to make my mother proud.” One day at work, he had collapsed during a meeting and was rushed to the ER. J.D’s coworkers reported that he would work long hours and not get enough sleep, which caused him to isolate himself from everyone. They reported that with the little or no sleep he had, he was very energetic and was very active. While having to focus on certain tasks or jobs, he bad been getting distracted easily, jumping from task to task and not feeling accomplished. His coworkers also said that he would become aggressive if things didn’t go the way he wanted. His mood swings were dramatically shifted. He spoke rapidly, as if his mouth cannot keep up with his thoughts. When John was a child, he watched his mother suffer from depression and paranoia. He was the eldest of the two kids. His younger brother was known to be a temperamental child. Growing up, John didn’t have many friends because he always had to look after his ill mother. He isolated himself due to the fact that he didn’t grow up in a mentally stable home. His family was categorized as lower class and lived in poverty. His father never had a stable job forcing John to take on more responsibilities to help out with making money. There was no history of drug use or alcohol abuse. He, however, periodically suffered from mini episodes of mood swings. John was examined and lab results show high levels of norepinephrine, a chemical imbalance. A high level of norepinephrine causes mania to occur, which is one of two bipolar disorders. Mania causes patients to be overly
energetic, frantic, as well as having episodes of happiness, anger, or sadness. J.D was diagnosed with bipolar disease because of the signs and symptoms that he showed. J.D. was assigned to see a therapist as well as take medication that will help stabilize his mood. There are different types of medication that he might have to go through to find the right one that would work. Some medication may be combined to find the most effective one. With the treatment that J.D. has, along with the support of his family and friends, he may be able to live a normal life. He would have his therapist to go to as well as taking the most effective medication. Friends and families can also learn to pay attention to signs and symptoms and help prevent relapse of an episode. To this date, the pathophysiology involved with bipolar disorder remains poorly understood. However, understanding the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder is an ultimate goal for many researchers. “Currently genes predisposing for the disease are not known, in part because bipolar disorders are very heterogeneous” (Leboyer & Henry, 2005). When we talk about the pathophysiology for bipolar disorder, it simply refers to the changes of normal physiological and biochemical functions associated with this disorder. Studies...
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