Bipolar Disorder: Cause Of Great Madness Or Great Genius? Essay

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Is bipolar disorder the cause of great madness or great genius? The symptoms of this mental illness may also be considered as the driving forces behind some of the most gifted and talented people to grace our society. Although individuals with this illness may have some obstacles to overcome, it can be accomplished. With all of the treatment programs that are widely available, people have many options and methods to turn to for help.

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic depression, is a mood disorder. A person with bipolar disorder will have extreme mood shifts between mania, a state of highly elevated euphoric feelings, and depression, a state of despondency and despair. These shifts can take weeks, days, or even minutes to
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A person experiencing a manic episode may have increased energy and/or racing thoughts. Feelings of euphoria and/or an increased pressure to talk may also be symptoms. A person in this stage of the illness may have uncharacteristically poor judgement and/or may be involved in some type of high-risk behavior, such as uncontrollable spending sprees, habitual reckless driving and/or participating in unusual sexual encounters and behaviors. Usually the individual denies that anything is wrong when in a manic state (Manic-Depressive/Bipolar Disorder, 2000).

A person experiencing the depression state of bipolar disorder may have feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt. Decreased energy and/or loss of interest in once pleasurable activities may also be symptoms of clinical depression. A depressed person may have trouble concentrating and/or have trouble making decisions. Depression may also leave individuals contemplating suicide (Manic-Depressive/Bipolar Disorder, 2000).

There are two classifications for bipolar disorder, bipolar II and bipolar I (Williams & Wilkins, 1999, pp. 5-35). The combination and degree of mania and depression determine the type of bipolar illness. It is also determined by how long each stage lasts and the time frame of euthymia, having normal moods, between stages. The cycling of stages may overlap,

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