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Bipolar Disorder: Causes, Contexts, And Treatments

1204 words - 5 pages

Bipolar disorder is a destructive illness that is often difficult to diagnose due to the complicated manner and distinct ways in which it presents itself. Clinicians attempt to decrease the severity, frequency and duration of manic and depressive phases by offering both pharmacotherapy and psychological treatment. Clinicians often have to treat comorbid conditions such as personality disorders, panic disorder, generalized anxiety and substance abuse. The purpose of the article, Bipolar Disorder: Causes, Contexts, and Treatments, is to assist clinicians in diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. The article takes a close look at the vulnerabilities and cognitive styles of those individuals at risk for bipolar disorder. It examines pharmacological treatments along with three forms of psychological treatment including interpersonal social rhythm therapy, family-focused treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. The effectiveness of the treatments used for bipolar disorder is also reviewed.ReviewWhat is bipolar disorder? According to Nevid and Rathus (2007), bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by extremely manic and deeply depressed mood swings. In the manic phase, individuals suffering from the disorder can be overly excited and elated, argumentative, restless, destructive and show poor judgment. They often speak very rapidly with a flight of ideas. In the depressed phase, people who are bipolar can become dejected, lethargic, socially withdrawn and ill-tempered. They usually sleep more often than usual and may even attempt suicide.Bipolar disorder has been found to affect 3 to 5% of the population. Leahy (2007), states that “individuals with bipolar disorder face a lifetime risk for mood variations, often with devastating, even fatal consequences” (p. 417). Some of the consequences of bipolar disorder are missing work, unemployment, divorce, lower education level and hospitalization. Ultimately, people with bipolar disorder live a poorer quality of life. To further complicate things, individuals with bipolar disorder have coping difficulties due to comorbid disorders. For example, Leahy (2007), points out that “bipolar individuals with comorbid alcohol abuse will have higher rates of rapid cycling, symptom severity, suicidality, aggressivity, and impulsivity” (p. 418). The treatment of this serious illness can prove to be very difficult. Clinicians must be able to recognize a multitude of symptoms to render proper diagnosis, pharmacological treatments and psychological treatments to individuals with bipolar disorder and other existing illnesses.To aid clinicians in the treatment of bipolar disorder, Leahy offers eight lessons that the clinician should take into consideration. First, it is important for clinicians to be able to recognize manic, depressive, hypomania, and mixed states. When patients move quickly from hypomanic to mixed states, mania can easily be overlooked and clinicians might not diagnose the...

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