Bipolar Disorder 3 Essay, Research Paper
Manic-depressive illness, or bipolar disorder, is a psychiatric disorder and brain disease is characterized by severe mood swings, from mania to depression. Bipolar Disorder is a biological disease of the brain. It is caused by a chemical imbalance. It affects more than 2 million Americans and may have a strong genetic link Men and women are equally likely to develop this disabling illness. Bipolar disorder changes lives, affects relationships, and can be deadly. There is no know cure for the bipolar disorder but it can be treatable with medication and therapy.
1% of the population will have a manic depressive illness. Environmental factors such as death, separation and divorce may trigger the disorder. The illness manifests itself with the individual experiencing episodes of mania or elation followed by low mood or depression. The number of manic and depressive episodes varies greatly from person to person and most individuals experience “normal” periods between their manic and depressive episodes.
Manic depression can send a person plunging from a high state, where one may believe one has superhuman energy and abilities, into a pit of despair, where it may seem as if the only way out is suicide.
There are two types of bipolar, bipolar 1 and bipolar 2. Bipolar 1 is diagnosed differently than bipolar 2. Bipolar I is diagnosed when person has a manic episode and has had no depressive episodes in the past. However, after the first manic episode occurs, depressive episodes often follow. Most people (over 90%) with Bipolar I experience two or more manic episodes in their lifetimes. (site.health-center.com/brain/bipolar/basics.htm).
People with Bipolar II have depressed mood followed or preceded by a hypomanic episode. People with this type bipolar disorder never have a full-blown manic episode. Because of this, Bipolar II sometimes goes unrecognized or
is misdiagnosed as clinical depression.
Sometimes a person with bipolar disorder can become so depressed or manic that she or he does not recognize the need for help and refuses treatment. For example, when a person has become hopeless and suicidal, delusional, dangerous to others, or has lost the ability to function in everyday life, someone else may have to help him/her get into treatment. Most people with bipolar disorder are admitted to the hospital at some time during the course of their illness. During the course of their illness, it is possible that they may be admitted to the hospital against their wishes. (site.health-center.com/brain/bipolar/basics.htm).
Individuals who have been placed on anti-depressants may exhibit manic symptoms in reaction to their medication. People who have been treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), or who have been treated for other medical conditions (corticosteroids) may exhibit manic symptoms. These disorders caused by medications or other forms of treatment may be temporary conditions resolvable once the medication or treatment is removed.
The article, Going to Extremes, talks about the depression itself, the mania, the treatment, and the psychosis of bipolar. It states that symptoms include a persistent sad mood; loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, significant change in appetite or body weight; difficulty sleeping or oversleeping and so on. The mania is not normal and it is caused by at least overly inflated self-esteem; decreased need for sleep; increased talkativeness; racing thoughts, etc. The psychosis symptoms of bipolar are hallucinations and delusions. There are many medicines on the market for this disease, but not all of them work for the same person, some included lithium, valpoate, and carbamazepine. (www.mentalnet.com/disorder/bipolar.htm).
Researchers are finding new data that states that bipolar is heredity; it’s not a fact but still a theory. They are also trying to find the gene that carries the bipolar disease, which this may help in finding a cure for it later in time. (www.mentalnet.com/disorder/bipolar.htm).
Bipolar disease is not a rare disease. Many famous people had it, all the way back to the 1800’s, and still, today, we know little on curing it. “Normal” people have it, handicapped children have it, and even the little strange may have it. But some people still treat it as a disease they will get if they come in contact with it. People are hurt and even abused for being depressed. Bipolar is a series of episodes, that today we know how to deal with. Maybe someday they will find a cure for it.
National Institute of Mental Illness. (2000, April 7). Going to Extremes.
(On-line). Available : http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/manic.cfm
Health-Center.com. (2000, January 6). The Basics. (On-line). Available:
Montery Mental Health Network. (1999). Bipolar Disorder. (On-line). Available: