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Mental Disorders In America: Bipolarism Essay

2290 words - 10 pages

Mental disorder is an ever-growing problem not only in America, but also around the world. Mental disorders not only effect intrapersonal problems, but also interpersonal relationships. We live in a society where every problem has a proper emotion, but when people stray from the typical emotional reactions, they are outcasted and considered abnormal. Over a hundred years ago, Kraepelin explained a recurrent affective disorder, which is now known as bipolar disorder (Swann, 2006). Bipolar disorder is an ever-growing mental disorder in today’s society that affects 3 percent of the population, and those who do have it feel the extreme highs and lows through daily life. As of now the sixth ranked mental disability in the world is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized as alternating episodes of depression and mania. These episodes can affect a person’s judgment, personality, and overall quality of life. “Bipolar disorder is considered to be a chronic, severe, abnormal, and recurrent mood disorder” (Sajatovic, 2005). Bipolar disorder is also known for being one of the most incapacitating of psychiatric disorders. Even though bipolar disorder is considered an incapacitating disorder, through research and testing, it is now treatable with proper medication and therapy. If treated properly, bipolar patients have been seen to live productive and full lives, but medications do not erase the episodes, but instead they try to prevent them from becoming worse.
People with the disorder tend to experience rare emotional states that reoccur in distinct periods over and over again. These periods are better known as mood episodes. The two distinct episodes are called mania and depression. Patients in a manic episode usually have symptoms such as being overly happy, extremely irritable, being overly restless, behaving impulsively, and participating in high-risk behaviors. Patients in a depressive episode usually feel sad or hopeless for an extended amount of time, loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, suicidal thoughts, different sleeping habits, and problems. It is hard to diagnose bipolar disorder because of the flip-flop of manic to depressive behaviors. There are also two different forms of bipolar disorder, I and II. The major distinction is that bipolar I has manic episodes, while bipolar II has hypomanic episodes. The difference between hypomania and mania is that mania can have psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, while hypomania is not characterized by psychotic symptoms. Also, hypomania will affect daily functioning to a certain extent, while mania significantly affects the day-to-day life. No matter which form of bipolar disorder someone has, it is an extremely debilitating disorder that affects all aspects of a person’s life. Stereotypes are everywhere, but one stereotype about bipolar disorder is that it's an excuse for people who can’t handle daily life and stress. This...

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