A Summary of Bipolar Disorder Essay

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Bipolar Disorder, often called Manic Depression, is a medical condition that
involves severe mood swings in an individual. It is a lifetime condition that needs to be
treated to keep it in remission (APA). It is not just a mental illness, but a medical disease
involving the brain.

The disease progresses as the years pass and the frequency of mood changing
episodes becomes more frequent (MHN). Bipolar Disorder involves depressive and manic
phases. With the symptoms presented, clinicians often misdiagnose patients as
schizophrenics (Shalala).

Bipolar affects an individual’s thoughts, feelings, health, behavior and ability to
function. The disease is not a result of a weak personality, as many people believe.
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In the manic phase, the individual sleeps only a few hours, yet is feels perfectly rested.
They tend to be talkative, distracted and overly goal-oriented. Unfortunately, they seldom
follow through with their goals. Pleasurable activities become very important, particularly
those that involve high risk. The ego becomes inflated beyond reality and their thoughts
and ideas race continuously (Long).

Hypomania is a much milder form of mania. In this phase, the individual can easily
fall into a deep depression or escalate into full-blown mania (APA).

The last phase, mixed episode, is when an individual shows symptoms from both
manic and depressive phases.

There are many different theories on what causes bipolar disorder. There seems to
be a connection with family prevalence. Those with a parent with the disorder have a one
in seven chance of being bipolar themselves. An earlier age of onset is typical in these
cases. the typical age of onset is adolescent and earlier adulthood (Shalala).

Other probable causes are biochemistry, biological clocks and psychological stress.
It is known that those with bipolar disorder are more vulnerable to emotional and physical
stress (APA).

The diagnosis of bipolar disorder typically takes up to eight years. Clinicians
mistakenly diagnose depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or paranoia. Inappropriate
treatments only make the disorder worse. Anti-depressants lift the patient into…

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