Bipolar Disorder : A Psychiatric Disorder

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Bipolar disorder, like schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, is a severe psychiatric disorder. The disorder, as presented in Inder et al and Rusner et al, entails so much more than simply the highs (mania) and lows (depression). It is a disorder that causes intra- as well as interpersonal conflicts and difficulties. Some of the intrapersonal issues that arise with having bipolar disorder are the sense of identity confusion, feelings of inadequacy and ineffectiveness, self-esteem and self-worth and a sense of loss. Given that the onset of disorder occurs during the formative teenage years it can lead to a sense of identity confusion, leading individual to question is this who I really am or is this the disorder? The development of one’s self is paramount to how one will present and subsequently interact with others. For some, the disorder becomes their identity and there’s an inability to separate the two. More often than not, the symptoms of the disorder interfere with school and work and people are forced to quit leaving them with a feeling of being unproductive, which in turns affects a person’s sense of self worth and self esteem. It is no wonder then that with all the internal conflicts and struggles going on that an individual dealing with bipolar disorder would have problems with relationships and intimacy. The “Manic Episode” was rather reminiscent of a client I worked with while providing in-home family preservation services. Ms. “H” and her 4 children ages
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