The Other Day, While Visiting Relatives

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The other day, while visiting relatives, I observed an interesting conversation. Two of my cousins were arguing about the plans for the evening. They could not decide where to go, and, as it seemed, the conversation kept getting more and more emotionally charged. The frustration among my cousins grew, until one accused the other of being “bipolar”. The “accuser” in the conversation said that because his brother was “flaky and could not make up his mind”. When asked, what my cousin meant by saying this, it was explained to us that, because of being indecisive and frequently changing his mind, his brother and his brother’s actions were bipolar. That was the end point of the conversation. Situations like these can be observed pretty…show more content…
These stereotypes on mental illness develop based on the information on mental health that is given to the general public through media and various sources that do not have any scientific basis or background. According to National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, n.d.), bipolar disorder is defined as “a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” This is a simplified definition of a mental disorder that has severe symptoms, and, in many cases, affects the daily life of a person who is diagnosed with it immensely. Bipolar disorder diagnosis means that an individual, who has it, goes back and forth between the phases of really great, elevated mood and depressive, low, irritable mood. A more detailed definition and reliable criteria for bipolar disorder can be drawn from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), which is widely used and accepted by psychologists, researchers and clinicians for diagnosis and classification of various mental disorders. DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) claims that in order to meet the criteria for any diagnosis particular symptoms have to be present for a specified period of time. In case of bipolar disorder, the diagnoses include bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and substance/medication-induced bipolar and related

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