Bipolar Disorder ( Bipolar )

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Introduction/Overview of Condition Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a severe mental illness (SMI) characterized by dramatic mood “swings” between manic and depressed states. In their manic states, individuals experience an abnormally elevated mood characterized by extreme, grandiose gestures and ideas, inflated self-esteem, lack of sleep, constant talking, distractibility, poor judgement, and even aggression (Griggs). Individuals can be characterized as having either a hypomanic episode or a manic episode, the latter being more cognitively impairing, severe, and long lasting (Bipolar disorder). In their depressed states, individuals experience feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, fatigue, and irritability, accompanied by excessive sleeping, weight loss,and decreased somatic and cognitive function which can affect the individual’s capacity to function (Griggs). Individuals with BD can be characterized as either being Type I (Bipolar I) or Type II (Bipolar II). With Bipolar I disorder, individuals have had at least one manic episode, followed or preceded by hypomanic or depressed states, whereas with Bipolar II disorder individuals have had at least one long-lasting depressed state and at least one hypomanic episode, but have never had a manic episode. (Bipolar Disorder). Individuals with BD have a shorter life expectancy and are at greater risk of suicide. Factors affecting suicide trends among individuals with bipolar disorder include gender - women attempt more often

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