A Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Childhood Sexual Abuse

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Virginia Quintana
HSM 120 Fall 2, 2013
Research Paper

A Relationship between Bipolar Disorder and Childhood Sexual Abuse

Ever felt extremely happy one day and terribly depressed the next, as if you were on an emotional roller coaster? How about spontaneously spending $5,000 on a shopping spree that you have no use for? Imagine being so depressed that you want to commit suicide because dinner was not the meal you had in mind. Each of these actions may seem completely farfetched to the average person; however, actions similar to these are a reality for nearly 5.8 million adults in the United States that suffer from an illness called bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, historically referred to as manic depressive illness, is an umbrella term used to describe cyclic, recurrent, polarizing mood disturbances that range from euphoria, elation, and mania at one pole to irritability, dysphoria, and depression at the other. This is the case of our client Marya. She suffers from Bipolar 1 which is the worst level of Bipolar disorder. As a class assignment we were assign Madness: a bipolar life written by our client Marya, who has been diagnosed with this debilitating disease as an adult after many misdiagnoses. The focus of this paper will be to understand whether our client Marya was sexually abused as a child. I will be taking the stand of her not being sexually abused as a child and that her symptoms can be explained by her bipolar disorder.

In researching the topic of childhood sexual abused in relation to bipolar disorder there is not enough evidence to support the idea that a child that suffered from sexual abuse will developed bipolar later in life. The symptoms of our client Marya are strictly symptoms of her bipolar 1 disorder. Some symptoms of bipolar 1 include: flying suddenly from one idea to the next, rapid pressured and loud speech, increased energy with hyperactivity, a decreased need for sleep, inflated self-image, excessive spending, hyper...