Essay Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness affects about 1.2 percent of the U.S. population (8). It is defined by fluctuating states of depression and mania throughout ones life. Those who are depressed may be restless, irritable, have slowed thinking or speech, decreased sexual activity, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, suicidal thoughts as well as other changes. Those in a manic state may have increased activity or energy, more thoughts and faster thinking, grandiose thoughts, decreased sleep and need for sleep, increased sexual activity, elated mood, irritable mood, as well as other symptoms. Mixed state is when both depression and mania are exhibited at the same time in a cycle. Rapid cycling
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The onset of bipolar disorder is usually in late adolescence or early adulthood (7). It is possible for both children and adolescents to develop the disease as well. This usually happens when there is a family history for the disease. Children afflicted by bipolar disorder are usually more irritable and destructive during their manic states and are more prone to mixed states (9). It is even harder to diagnose bipolar disorder in children because it is often confused with other problems that occur at a younger age such as attention deficit disorder, conduct disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia (9).

Where and how bipolar disorder is caused is still a bit of a mystery. Some information is known but nothing concrete, and a lot of dead ends. Genetic predisposition is one possible cause for bipolar disorder. The disease usually can be seen throughout a family tree of an affected individual. Twin studies have been conducted to see if there is a higher chance of identical twins, who have the same genetic make up, both getting the disease. These have shown that there is an increased likely hood of one twin to have bipolar disorder if the other has it, but it is not a certainty. The gene for bipolarity has mainly been traced to chromosome 18 as well as some others. It is uncertain which is responsible because it has been found in some cases that chromosome 18 is unaffected in bipolar patients. It is most likely that bipolar disorder is linked…

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