It is generally understood that everyone has good and bad days. A phrase people are familiar with is "everyone has their ups and downs". Most people, to a certain extent, are able to control their moods, whether it is good or bad. However, people who suffer from bipolar disorder sometimes are unable to control their moods. People with bipolar disorder experience sudden and, at times, severe mood swings, shifting from manic to depressive moods. Bipolar disorder is not gender bias; both men and women are equally susceptible to it (3). About 1% of adults and children suffer from bipolar disorder, but this figure is probably not accurate because bipolar disorder is difficult to detect and is often misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis often leads to the mistreatment of the disease (1).
People affected with bipolar disorder suffer from both mania and depression, experiencing manic symptoms, or extreme highs, and then suddenly experience depressive symptoms, or extreme lows. In between these mood swing episodes are periods of normal mood. The depressed mood often lasts longer than the manic mood, however, the duration of episodes vary from person to person. If left untreated, episodes can last from several days to several months. Some symptoms of mania are: increased energy, restlessness, rapid speech, racing thoughts, excessive euphoria, uncharacteristically bad judgment, denial, overspending money, and risky behavior. Some symptoms of depressions are: persistent sadness and anxiety, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and pessimism, increased fatigue, loss of interest and pleasure, difficulty in concentrating and decision making, change in appetite, and thoughts of death and suicide. Sometimes, sufferers experience mixed episodes, when they feel both manic and depressive symptoms simultaneously (1).
Bipolar disorder can be classified into two categories, depending on the severity. Bipolar I disorder is used to classify sufferers who experience at least one mania or mixed episode each episode, and may or may not suffer from depression. Bipolar II disorder is used to classify sufferers who experience at least one depressive episode and at least on hypo mania (less severe than mania) episode. Those classified with bipolar II disorder do not experience a full manic episode or mixed episode. There are also different subtypes of bipolar disorder, depending on the frequency of the episodes. A person suffers from rapid cycling when he/she experiences four or more episodes per year. Ultra rapid cycling is similar to rapid cycling except the episodes occur more often, experiencing four or more episodes per week. Sometimes the occurrence of episodes may be predictable, or exhibit some sort of pattern. One of the patterns observed is the seasonal pattern. Observations show that the season, often spring or summer, affect the onset of episodes (1).
The cause of bipolar disorder is not completely known. Researches agree that there is a...