Introduction to Psychology
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity, and the ability to function on a daily basis. People in general have many different mood swings, but someone who has bipolar disorder has severe mood swings that may cause damage to personal relationships, job performance, and the ability to function in school. Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be difficult and is not easy to spot when it begins (nimh.com, 2009). There are many different symptoms of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder experience “mood episodes”. There are two types of mood episodes. One type is a manic episode which where a person may become extremely happy and excited. The other type is a depressive episode where a person will become extremely sad and feel helpless. There are times where someone may experience symptoms of a manic and depressive episode at the same time (nimh.com, 2009). Extreme changes in energy levels, sleep patterns, and behavior may also be signs of bipolar disorder. Some people with the disorder may experience long periods of unstable moods instead of having mood episodes. Some behavioral changes in a person with bipolar disorder are feeling tired, easily distracted, suicidal thoughts, and impulsive behavior. Some people also may abuse alcohol and drugs, while others may begin having problems in school and work. People may not realize these changes in behavior could be signs of a major mental illness (nimh.com,2009). Someone with bipolar disorder may have periods of time in their life where they may be symptom free in between manic and depressive mood episodes. These episodes will generally continue to come back with time. Some people will have periods where the symptoms are more manageable, but they are constantly there. There are four different types of bipolar disorder. There is bipolar disorder I, bipolar...
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