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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