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Bipolar Disorder: Treatments And How To Cope With The Disease

1652 words - 7 pages

Many different illnesses plague the human species; while the severity of some is greater than others many go untreated or un-noticed. Among these illnesses is one of the most prominent, mental illness. Various types of mental illnesses exist; one of the most severe is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, serious mental disease that has two different classifications, is prominent among Americans, despite treatment.Bipolar disorder, often called manic depression, is the most common of the depressions, it is also the "most distinct and dramatic of the mood disorders" (Clergy... 7). Bipolar disorder is defined as "a major mood disorder in which there are episodes of both mania and depression" ...view middle of the document...

"Their lack of insight and their inordinate capacity for activity can lead to a dangerously explosive psychotic state" (Merck 2). In the state extreme, psychomotor activity is so frenzied that any understandable link between mood and behavior is lost; this senseless agitation is known as delirious mania, which is the counterpart of depressive stupor. Rarely seen in psychiatric practice today, delirious mania constitutes a medical emergency, because patients may die from sheer physical exhaustion. Most mania recurs as part of a recurrent bipolar disorder. Educators Metal Illnesses Awareness Guide defines depression:Depression, when used to describe a mood, refers to what may be normal feelings of sadness, despair and discouragement. More serious depression may be a symptom of a variety of physical and mental disorders, a syndrome of associated symptoms secondary to an underlying disorder or it may itself be a specific mental disorder. The disorder known as major depression is characterized by slow thinking, decreased purposeful physical activity, sleep and appetite disturbance, low self-esteem, loss of sex drive and feelings of guilt and hopelessness (Clergy... 4).Some symptoms of the depressive phase are: feelings of sadness and/or irritability, worthlessness, hopelessness helplessness and indifference, withdrawal form formerly enjoyable activity, inability to concentrate, thoughts of death or suicide, noticeable loss or increase of appetite, physical aches and pains.Some bipolar sufferers experience a mixed state, which is "symptoms of mania and depression are present at the same time. The symptom picture frequently includes agitation, trouble sleeping, significant change in appetite, psychosis, and suicidal thinking depressed mood accompanies manic activation (Merck 2). Early in the course of illness, the episodes may be separated by periods of wellness during which a person suffers few or no symptoms. Severe depression or mania may be accompanied by symptoms of psychosis. These symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. When a person experiences depression followed by a state or phase of mania, and vice versa, it is called a cycle. When four or more episodes occur within a twelve-month period, the person is said to have bipolar disorder with rapid cycling. Bipolar disorder is often complicated by co-occurring alcohol or substance abuse."While the exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown it appears that a series of biologically, genetically, and environmentally related factors are involved. These range from changes in brain neurochemistry, current life stresses and challenges and the impact of previous life experiences" (Merck 4). It is suggested that causes include "an irregular production or release of hormones and imbalances in the ways brain cells communicate" (Bipolar...). People with bipolar disorder have a different genetic makeup than those who don't get ill (Bipolar...). It is clear that alternations in certain chemicals in the...

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