A look at Bipolar disorder and its many facets
Bipolar disorder has been around for hundreds of years and it has been called many names. Until recently there was not much help for people suffering with bipolar disorder. Biopolar disorder is like riding an emotional rollercoaster for its host. There is a genetic link and a brain malfunction that causes bipolar disorder. Today there are medications and treatment therapies that reduce the symptoms. Bipolar disorder tends to be the same across the borders and does not discriminate with gender. There is no known prevention, however stress plays a factor. In the future we can hope to find a real cure for bipolar disorder. Introduction
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that affects a huge amount of the population. As many as 10 million people are affected in the U.S. alone. There are two phases to the illness, a manic phase and a depressive phase. During the manic phase the individual will experience an unusual elevated mood, energetic feeling, fast speech, and racing thoughts. During a depressive phase the same person may experience extreme sadness, disinterest in activities, and weight loss or gain. The symptoms of mania and depression affect the same areas of functioning; emotional, motivational, behavioral, cognitive, and physical, but they affect them in opposite ways. The DSM-IV-TR distinguishes between two types of this disorder; bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder. In bipolar I disorder both manic and depressive episodes occur and alternate for months or days. Bipolar II disorder has milder manic episodes that alternate with major depressive episodes over the course of time. In both cases the moods swing back and forth and are usually have more depressive episodes than manic ones. The DSM-IV checklist for bipolar disorder defines a manic episode as a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least one week. The manic episode must include at least three of the following characteristics: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, more talkativeness than usual, or pressure to keep talking, flight of ideas or the experience that thoughts are racing, distractibility, increase in activity or psychomotor agitation, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences. Manic episodes also involve significant distress or impairment. The DSM-IV classifies bipolar I disorder as having the presence of a manic, hypomanic or mildly manic , or a major depressive episode. If they are currently in a hypomanic or major depressive episode there must be a history of a manic episode to be diagnosed as bipolar I. Bipolar I also involves significant distress or impairment. The DSM-IV classifies bipolar II as having the presence of a hypomanic, or major depressive episode. If they are currently in a major depressive episode there must be a history of a hypomanic episode and vice versa. There must not have been a previous manic episode. It also includes significant distress or impairment. A person experiencing bipolar symptoms feels like they are on an emotional rollercoaster; experiencing many highs and lows. During a manic episode an individual has " active, powerful emotions in search of an outlet" (Comer,2008). They can exhibit extreme joy or be extremely irritable and angry that is unporportional to their reality. They are seeking friends and excitement. They want constant companionship and may be over bearing. They may talk rapidly and loudly. They may indulge in erratic behavior and exhibit poor judgement. They may hold a grandiose idea about themself. They feel very energetic, get little sleep, but still feel wide awake. Bipolar disorder affects between 1 and 2.6 percent of all adults. It is equally common among men and women and appears...