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What´S Bipolar Disorder? Essay

894 words - 4 pages

Bipolar disorder is best defined as a mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression. It is also known as Manic-Depressive illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 2.6 percent of American adults have bipolar disorder (Tartakovsky). This illness can be recognized by unusual shifts in mood, and symptoms are severe. There is no single cause for bipolar disorder, but rather multiple contributing factors such as the environment and genetics.
Bipolar disorder reveals mood and behavioral changes such as extreme irritability, being easily distracted, and even suicidal thoughts are common. “Mood episodes” are referred to as the intense ...view middle of the document...

Genetic and environmental factors play an important role in this disorder as well. A person who has one parent with bipolar disorder, has a 15 to 25 percent chance of having the condition themselves. Even a stressful life event can trigger a mood episode in someone who is genetically prone to this illness. People with this disorder often times try to escape their problems by abusing drugs or alcohol.
In addition to bipolar disorder, many children also have other behavioral and developmental issues, such as ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Doctors often even misdiagnose patients with ADHD, but a distinguishing characteristic in patients with bipolar disorder is the presence of manic or hypomanic episodes (Merrill). Manic depressive disorder can occur in children as young as age six. Children tend to have faster mood swings between depression and mania many times during the day whereas adults tend to experience intense mood swings for weeks or months at a time.
Bipolar disorder cannot be cured, but it can be treated. The main goal for treatment is to prevent self-injury, help the patient enjoy their life, and make the mood episodes less frequent and severe. It is also more effective when it’s a continuous process rather than every so often.
Some of the different aids people use for treatment include: mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, anti-depressants, electroconvulsive therapy (shock therapy), sleep medications, and herbal supplements (Worth). The mood stabilizers help to control symptoms of mania and prevent recurrent manic episodes. Some of the side effects to the medications for mood stabilizers are headache, constipation, and mood swings. Atypical antipsychotics are standard drugs for schizophrenia, but are also used with the mood stabilizers to treat mania. These...

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