Bipolar Essay

2455 Words Oct 10th, 2010 10 Pages
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a common, recurrent, and debilitating mood disorder which causes extreme shifts in energy and mood. The word bipolar indicates the two main polar extremes which a person with the disorder experiences. According to NIMH, a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that oversees neurological and psychological research, this disorder affects about 2.3 million adults in the United States and about 1.2 percent of the population worldwide. The first signs of this disorder usually appear in adolescence and early adulthood, with cases seldom occuring in childhood. No findings have been made to indicate a difference in frequency among those of differing race or ethnicity. Bipolar …show more content…
The two week period during a major depressive episode is arguably the most dangerous time for people who suffer from bipolar disorder because it is the time when the vast majority of them contemplate death. This can range from the idea of suicide without any specific plan to an actual suicide attempt. These episodes are usually not diagnosed when the same symptoms could be connected with the recent loss of a loved one or some other traumatic experience. Usually speaking, people with bipolar will usually be depressed far more often than they are manic.

A mixed episode, also known as a dysphoric manic episode, is a combination of depressive and manic symptoms, such as agitation, change in appetite, difficulty sleeping, and suicidal thinking. Severe depression or agitation in this state can also be accompanied by symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include delusions and hallucinations. Bipolar individuals often describe these episodes as ‘sad mania.' This episode is the one most commonly seen in children. Though not uncommon, mixed episodes are not widely recognized. Studies show that only 40 percent of people who have both manic symptoms and a sufficient number of depressive symptoms are diagnosed as being in a mixed depressive and manic state. Studies have also shown that suicidal thoughts are greatly increased in people while in a mixed state. Its treatment has not been…

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