The Social Discourse Of Bipolar Disorder

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The social discourse of bipolar disorder is often punctuated by the classic manic episodes manifesting as symptoms such as distractibility, pressured speech, decreased need for sleep, euphoric mood, grandiosity, and problems with impulse control [17]. These classic periods of high energy are often intertwined in a cyclical fashion with periods of depressive symptoms, much of the time meeting criteria for major depressive disorder, as well as periods with no symptoms [17]. The frequency by which a patient moves through these states varies greatly from weeks to months to as little as a few days, namely “rapid-cycling” [17]. In addition to manic episodes, hypomanic episodes, characterized by similar symptoms but less severe symptoms than manic episodes, qualify the disease as bipolar II disorder instead of bipolar I which needs the criteria of manic episodes alternating with major depressive episodes [17]. Another subtype of bipolar disorder, cyclothymia, is characterized by depressive episodes that do not meet criteria for a major depressive episode but does consist of cycling with previously described hypomanic episodes [11]. While the stigma of manic episodes plagues patients with bipolar disorder, often the depressive episodes are what cause the most distress and impairment in daily functioning of patients with bipolar disorder [12]. The burden of bipolar disorder, which has an estimated prevalence of 4% worldwide, permeates throughout all aspects of society from the
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