Bipolar Disorder : A Brief Overview

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Bipolar Disorder: A Brief Overview of a Serious Illness
Maribel Marquez
San Bernardino Valley College

Bipolar Disorder: A Brief Overview of a Serious Illness
“According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2.6 percent of Americans age eighteen or older (5.7 million Americans) have [this] disorder” (Atkins, 2007, p. 4). This statistic of course does not include children or teens, or the millions of other individuals suffering from it but not knowing it has a name. What disorder might this be? It is called bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, and many people to this day still confuse it with “normal” feelings people go through in life. In this report I will be discussing what bipolar disorder is and its
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2). Depressive episodes also have distinct symptoms: “an overly long period of feeling sad or hopeless, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex, feeling overly tired or “slowed down,” having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions, being restless or irritable, changing eating, sleeping or other habits, thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide” (NIMH, 2012, p. 2). “Episodes of bipolar depression are often misdiagnosed as major depression, and in some cases bipolar disorder is not accurately diagnosed for years” (Pinto & Schub, 2014, para. 2).
As stated in WebMDs Bipolar Disorder Health Center, “there are several types of bipolar disorder; all involve episodes of depression and mania to a degree. They include bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, mixed bipolar, and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder” (Types, 2014, p. 1). I will only describe the difference between the two major types of bipolar disorder found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – bipolar I and bipolar II.
According to bipolar I, also known as “raging bipolar, is characterized by at least one full-blown manic episode lasting at least one week or any duration if hospitalization is required. This may include inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, being more talkative than usual, flight of ideas, distractibility, increase in goal-oriented
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