Bipolar Disorder : A Medical Condition

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BIPOLAR DISORDER 1 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. 2 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). 3 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. Instead, it is a medical condition where there is an instability in the transmission of nerve impulses of the brain (neurotransmitters) that signal appropriate moods (NDMDA). The bipolar patient responds with inappropriate mood swings independent of what is going on around them (APA). Bipolar compromises the judgment of those that suffer from it. Some even experience hallucinations (Shalala). 4 The disease of bipolar itself is classified as Type I and Type II. Type I are those that have had prior episodes of mania. One percent of Americans are diagnosed with this. Type II are those that have hypomania phases only (Shalala). A very small percentage (.6) of Americans have Type II. 5 Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. There is no
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