Essay on Bi polar disorder

1550 Words 7 Pages
Bipolar affective disorder has been a mystery since the 16th century. History has shown that this disorder can appear in almost anyone. Even the great painter Vincent Van Gogh is believed to have had bipolar disorder. It is clear that in our society many people live with bipolar disorder, however, despite the amount of people suffering from it, we are still waiting for explanations for the causes and cure. The one fact of which we are aware is that bipolar disorder severely undermines its victim's ability to obtain and maintain social and occupational success. Because bipolar disorder has such debilitating symptoms, it is important that we keep looking for explanations of its causes and for more ways to treat this disorder.
Bipolar
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Often bipolar states and psychotic states are misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.
The onset of bipolar disorder usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 30 years of age, with a second peak in the mid-forties for women. A typical bipolar patient may experience eight to ten episodes in their lifetime. However, those who have rapid cycling may experience more episodes of mania and depression that follow each other without a period of remission. (Hollandsworth, 1990)
The three stages of mania begin with hypomania, in which patients report that they are energetic, extroverted and assertive. Hypomania progresses into the transition that is marked by extreme loss of judgment. (Jamison, 1990) Often, euphoric grandiose characteristics are displayed, and paranoid or irritable characteristics begin. The third stage of mania is evident when the patient experiences paranoid delusions. Speech is generally rapid and hyperactive behavior sometimes turns into violence.
Sometimes both manic and depressive symptoms occur at the same time. This is called a mixed episode. Those affected are at special risk because there is a combination of hopelessness, agitation, and anxiety that make them feel like they "could jump out of their skin." Up to fifty percent of all patients with mania have a mixture of depressed moods. Patients' report feeling dysphoric, depressed, and unhappy; yet they have the energy associated with mania.…