Diagnosing the Bipolar Disorders Essay

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Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive disorder, is a disorder characterized by extreme mood changes. A person suffering from this disorder can go from being energetic and outgoing to feeling worthless and irritated anywhere between a few days to a couple of months, or even years. Diagnosis, treatment, and the dramatic changes cause a threat to the victim. People with bipolar disorder may try to kill themselves or engage in reckless behaviors depending on which stage they are in (Hassel et al 2009.). The stages a person with bipolar disorder goes through are called episodes.
These episodes are classified into four groups: mania, depression, hypomania, and a mix between different moods. Mania is characterized by a period of increased energy
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Bipolar disorder has been divided into different types depending on the severity of the episodes experiences. Bipolar 1 is when a person suffers from episodes of mania, and sometimes even depression. This type is considered one of the most severe forms of bipolar disorder because during the episode, a patient starts to display psychotic symptoms such as hallucination, delusions, and paranoia. The symptoms of bipolar I can last a few weeks or years.
Bipolar 2 is a little similar to 1, except the person never experiences full-on mania. Instead, a person with bipolar 2 goes through the hypomania episode and depression. Like bipolar 2, cyclothymia also goes through the hypomania episode and depression, except not as severe. Experts believe that cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder (Laurel, 2009.). Some of the symptoms of cyclthymia include poor memory, low self-esteem, fatigue, social withdrawal, and racing thoughts. When detecting bipolar disorder, a psychiatrist uses a patient’s signs, symptoms, family history, and the latest edition of “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder”, a publication by the American Psychiatric Association, to help make a diagnosis.
Usually, during the first assessment, a mental health professional will ask the patient if they are displaying any symptoms of the disorder, how long they have had it for, and whether or not they are severe. Initially, manic-depressive…

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