Ms. Wanda Carter
The following essay will give a detail description of a mental illness. The specific mental illness that this essay will discuss is Bipolar Disorder. This essay will discuss the history or background of Bipolar Disorder as well as the myths, misconceptions, and treatments of the past. This essay will also discuss what the signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are. Throughout this essay, one will be able to identify the neurotransmitters associated with Bipolar Disorder as well as discuss how they are related to the signs and symptoms of the mental illness. This essay will include information regarding how Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed and what tests and professionals are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the mental illness. Throughout this essay there will also be discussion regarding what treatment is available for Bipolar Disorder and how the patient’s environment can promote or detract from a successful treatment. In closing this essay will discuss how the diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder today compares with the diagnosis and treatments of the past. One may ask exactly what Bipolar disorder is. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that can lead to risky behavior, damaged relationships and careers, and even suicidal tendencies if it's not treated. “Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depressive disorder or manic depression” (WebMD, 2010). Manic is described an increasingly restless, energetic, talkative, reckless, powerful, euphoric period. Lavish spending sprees or impulsive risky sex can occur. Then, at some point, this high-flying mood can spiral into something darker such as irritation, confusion, anger, or feeling trapped. Depression is described as the opposite mood involving sadness, crying, sense of worthlessness, loss of energy, loss of pleasure, sleep problems. There are several myths and misconceptions linked to the mental illness of Bipolar disorder. One of the myths is that bipolar disorder is a rare condition. This is not true. Bipolar disorder affects over five million American adults. The mental illness is not rare at all and actually affects almost three percent of the U.S. population. Another myth linked to Bipolar disorder is that Bipolar disorder is just another name for mood swings. This myth is also not true. The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are very different than those of people without the condition. “The mood swings of a person with bipolar disorder, experts agree, are far more severe than, say, a person without bipolar disorder being bummed out because rain spoiled the weekend plans or weight loss efforts aren't showing the desired results” (WebMD, 2010). There are two other myths that are linked to Bipolar disorder, one being that there is a bipolar test and the other being that bipolar disorder cannot be diagnosed till the age of 18. Both of the previous myths are untrue. “A diagnosis of bipolar disorder depends on a doctor taking a careful patient history, asking about symptoms over time. A family history of the disorder increases a person's chances of getting it. There are clearly cases of children who have classic presentation in the early childhood years. But if a child does not have a classic pattern, it's usually more difficult to make the diagnosis” (WebMD, 2010). Bipolar disorder is a very complex mental illness. Bipolar disorder has several different types of symptoms as well as five different types of the disorder. The primary symptoms of Bipolar disorder are dramatic and very unpredictable mood swings. Other symptoms of Bipolar disorder vary between mania symptoms and depression symptoms. “Mania symptoms may include excessive happiness, excitement, irritability, restlessness, increased energy, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, high sex drive, and a tendency to make grand and unattainable plans”. (WebMD, 2010). “Depression symptoms may include...
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