Managing Bipolar Disorder Essay

1266 Words 6 Pages
All night, Hearing voices telling me that I should get some sleep, because tomorrow might be good for something. Hold on, I'm feeling like I'm headed for a breakdown, I don't know why. I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell. I know, right now you can't tell, but stay awhile and maybe then you'll see a different side of me. –Matchbox 20, Unwell (Thomas, 2003)

Those who suffer from bipolar disorder experience constant ups and downs. The APA defines bipolar disorder as “recurrent episodes of mania alternating with episodes of major depression” (Griswold, 2000). Mania is an overexcited mood, often characterized by an unrealistic, optimistic state, excess energy, and insomnia. (King, 2010) People in states of mania also frequently
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These can be used along side anti-anxiety medications (Kaplan, 1996). Every human being has a certain amount of neurotransmitters that produce different hormones, and send them throughout the body to perform their individual function. Some humans, for one reason or another, do not have enough functioning neurotransmitters for some hormones. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work by preventing the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, and thereby increasing the levels of the transmitter serotonin in the body (King, 2010). According to King (2010), serotonin is responsible for the regulation of sleep, mood, attention, and learning. Patients with bipolar disorder have been found to have irregularly low levels of both serotonin and norepinephine (another neurotransmitter) in their bodies, which has been linked with depressive states. SSRIs must be used concurrently with a mood stabilizer to decrease the chances of hypomania in patients. The most commonly used stabilizers are valproic acid and lithium (MacQueen, 2001). These drugs help to mellow the patient out, and make the “highs” of their swings less high, and the "lows" of their swings less low. In all cases where a patient is taking medications, the drugs must be carefully monitored to assess the patient’s response to the medications and to screen for other concurrent…

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