Bipolar Dissorder: A Brief Summary Essay

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The event of bipolar disorder has been a mystery since the 16th century. Records have shown that this problem can appear in almost anyone. It is clear that in our social world many people live with bipolar disorder. Regardless of the number of people suffering from the disease, we are still waiting for an explanation regarding the causes and cure. One fact of which we are aware, is that bipolar disorder severely undermines its’ victims ability to obtain and maintain social and occupational success. Bipolar disorder has such devastating symptoms, that it is important we remain determined in searching for explanations of its causes and treatment.
Bipolar disorder affects approximately one percent of the population in the United States.
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When both manic and depressive symptoms occur at the same time it is called a mixed episode. Those afflicted are at a special risk because there is a combination of hopelessness, agitation, and anxiety that makes them feel like they "could jump out of their skin"(Hirschfeld, 1995). Up to 50% of all patients with mania have a mixture of depressed moods. Patients report feeling unhappy; yet, they exhibit the energy associated with mania. Rapid cycling mania is also a presentation of bipolar disorder. Mania may be present with four or more distinct episodes within a 12-month period. However, there is now evidence to suggest that sometimes rapid cycling may be a brief demonstration of the bipolar disorder. This form of the disease exhibits more episodes of mania and depression than bipolar.
There are medications that can be prescribed, that can help control the disease, and let people affected lead normal lives. Lithium has been the primary treatment of bipolar disorder since its introduction in the 1960's. Its main function is to stabilize the cycling characteristic of bipolar disorder. In four controlled studies by F. K. Goodwin and K. R. Jamison, the overall response rate for bipolar subjects treated with Lithium was 78% (1990). Lithium is also the primary drug used for long- term maintenance of bipolar disorder. In a majority of bipolar patients, it lessens the duration, frequency, and severity of the episodes of both mania and depression. Unfortunately,

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