Understanding Bipolar Disorder and Evaluating the Possible Causes and Treatments

1261 Words 6 Pages
Author J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “[that] there is some good in this world, and it's [sic] worth fighting for.” But, imagine a world where you cannot see the good one day, but then the next every single detail of life is good. In order to understand what it is like to have your emotions throws around like they are in a hurricane, you must first understand what it is to be bipolar. If a person would like to better understand bipolar disorder, he would have to look at the life of a patient with the disorder, and understand the definition, causes, symptoms, and treatments for the disorder.
Understanding exactly what bipolar disorder is can be difficult, but it is best described as a mental illness that causes severe, unpredictable mood swings
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Bipolar I disorder may be defined as experiencing severe mood swings ranging from extreme happiness to depression, and bipolar II disorder is a milder form of bipolar I disorder. Cyclothymic disorder is the result of hypomania followed by intense phases of depression. Mixed bipolar disorder is one of the most intense forms of bipolar disorder since patients experience signs of hypomania and depression at the same time, but this differs from rapid-cycling disorder because in rapid cycling patients go through four or more phases of mania and depression in the same year (Goldberg, n.d, pp. 1, 5). Bipolar disorder may affect people of all ages, including children, and it affects men and women equally. Finally, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 5.7 million Americans are bipolar, and because of this, bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the United States (Bipolar Disorder Statistics, n.d, p. 1).
In addition to general information on the disorder, the causes should be mentioned as well. According to Christian Nordqvist, “...bipolar disorder has no single cause.” However, it has been determined that genetics, chemicals, and the environment play a role in the development of bipolar disorder. Furthermore, almost half of bipolar patients have a family member with the disorder, and a child is fifteen to twenty percent more likely to develop the disorder if one…