Bipolar Disorder

Topics: Bipolar disorder, Mania, Hypomania Pages: 5 (1678 words) Published: March 11, 2014

Bipolar Disorder

When many hear the words Bipolar disorder, they immediately think someone is borderline psycho. Known originally as manic depression, Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that creates mood swings that affect an individual’s behavior and emotions, which can result in a lot of pain. This disorder has two types: Type I and Type II with both having manic and depressive phases in each. These phases are episodes that have symptoms from one extreme high being mania or an extreme low being depressed. As with any other disorder, there are always threats and risks if one goes undiagnosed or gets misdiagnosed. The biggest risk of having Bipolar disorder is committing suicide. Treatments are accessible for individuals with this disorder, as well as various support groups. Eating healthier, sleeping better, and exercising also are ways to help stabilize the mood swings of an individual diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. While many have learned to cope with the Bipolar disorder, there are plenty more who need assistance to help improve their life, overcome the thoughts of suicide, and learn to manage the mood swings they experience so often.

Bipolar Disorder is a very common medical condition in our society today. About 6 million people are affected nationwide. While most are diagnosed as an adult, it is not uncommon to see children with Bipolar disorder. “A recent study shows that children with even one bipolar parent are 13 times as likely to develop the disease” (Egan, 2008). The causes of Bipolar Disorder are unclear, but the signs, symptoms, and treatments are accessible in helping individuals overcome and learn to cope with this disorder.

Also known as manic depression, Bipolar disorder is a medical condition in which an individual’s emotions change so sporadically, it impairs them to function properly in certain situations. According to the American Psychological Association, “Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness in which common emotions become intensely and often unpredictably magnified” (2007). An individual who have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, not only have emotional mood swings but their energy levels, concentration, and behavior are all affected during an episode. This disorder affects both men and women equally and usually runs among a family. “Approximately 50% have relatives with this disorder; if both parents have it, your chances are 75%” (Science).

There are two types of Bipolar disorder: Type I and Type II. There are two phases within each type: manic and depression. During the manic phase, individuals can experience symptoms such as: poor judgment, distractions, elevated moods, restlessness, hyperactivity, reckless behavior, and irritability. When these symptoms occur, the individual experiences a high so extreme that it influences them to make rational decisions at spur of the moment. The extreme high that many experience during manic episodes, may be referred to as hypomania. They seem to have a better sense of life during hypomania. They also feel like they can make more productive decisions and like they are on top of the world. On the downside, a person experiencing hypomania can progress very rapidly into a manic episode, or progress to full blown depression. During the depression phase the opposite occurs. The symptoms related to the depression phase include: sadness, lack of energy, and sleeping more than usual. Each phase is severe enough to have an individual spinning like they were on a roller coaster. “People with Type I have had at least one manic episode and periods of major depression, whereas, people with Type II have never had full mania” (PubMed Health). If a person experiences both mania and depression, or hypomania and depression, both at the same time, they are experiencing a mixed episode of bipolar disorder. During a mixed episode, one may be depressed and have insomnia and...

References: American Pshychological Association. (2007). Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
Egan, J. (2008, September 12). The Bipolar Puzzle. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved March9, 2013, from
Fleener, P. (2006). Bipolar Disorder Today. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from
Hypomania and Mania in Bipolar Disorder. (2012). Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
PubMed Health. (2012). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from
Science Daily. (2007). Retrieved March10, 2013, from
Smith, M. & Segal, J. (2012). Bipolar Disorder Signs & Symptoms. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
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