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Term Paper On Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder was called as “manic depression” due to the extreme changes an individual shows in terms of physical and emotional behavior. This disorder is a certain mental health condition wherein the victim suffers from severe changes in emotions commonly called as “mood swings” from depression to hypomania – the condition of being severely elated. Depression and Hypomania characterizes this mental disorder most of the time because these are the most common moods one experiences which means that a person suffering from this disorder may feel extreme euphoria for one second, then severely depressed the next. The mood shifts are referred to as “manic episodes” or simply “episodes” and this condition is more likely to be lifelong, however, medications and psychotherapies.

Signs and Symptoms

Aside from experiencing the shifting from one extreme mood to another, victims of this disorder may also go through disorientation, changing sleep patterns, and changing energy levels. Other symptoms, although rarer, include:

  • Unusual verbosity
  • Thought process disorientation
  • Being distracted
  • Weak decision-making and reasoning skills
  • Agitation
  • Excessive confidence
  • Tends to engage to risky things
  • Anxiety

Note that these symptoms are categorized between two categories – the hypomanic and depressive episodes:

MANIC

DEPRESSIVE

  1. Elation
  2. Energetic
  3. Jumpy
  4. Restless
  5. Unusually physically active
  6. Talks fast
  7. Irritable
  8. Multi-tasks without finishing one activity
  1. Empty
  2. Worried
  3. Tired
  4. Slow
  5. Eats too much or does not eat at all
  6. Forgetful
  7. Suicidal thoughts
  8. Low energy

Types of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder has three known types, and the other categorization is for those that match the symptoms, but not any of the specific descriptions for the other three types.

  • Bipolar I Disorder
    Can be a combination of both manic and depressive episodes or just one more than the other that last for at least seven days; it can also focus on the depressive symptoms that can last up to two weeks rendering the person to require immediate hospital care or intervention (for dehydration caused by hunger or lack of sleep)
  • Bipolar II Disorder
    Patterned or triggered depressive and hypomanic episodes, but usually last for shorter duration
  • Cyclothymic Disorder or Cyclothymia
    Described by long-term (can be up to two years) periods of numerous hypomanic and/or depressive episodes which may be less severe than actual depression
  • Others
    Symptoms are influenced by other complications – disease or other medical conditions, and/or drugs or other substances

It is important to remember, however, that being diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder does not mean that the condition is milder than Bipolar I Disorder because severe depression or euphoria can cause serious impairment to the patient. Bipolar disorder is more prevalent to teenage years to mid-20s, and symptoms can vary from one patient to another, in fact it can even change over time considering the ever-changing culture across the world.

Risk Factors

This condition, like all the other medical conditions, has factors that can greatly increase the risk of an individual acquiring any type of the bipolar disorder.

  • Genetics
    Individuals who have a first-degree relative suffering from bipolar disorder may get the condition through genetic passing, however, this theory is still a little rocky since even in the case of identical twins having the same exact genes, one may acquire the condition while the other does not.
  • Brain Structure
     There are studies that show that those suffering from bipolar disorder have a different brain structure from those who are not. These differences are leading the researchers to determine the possible cure for bipolar disorder.
  • Substance Abuse
     
    Drugs and alcohol abuse can cause serious impairment to any person, and this includes impairment to the person’s mental condition and possible changes to the individual’s brain structure and functioning, consequently various mental conditions including bipolar disorder.

Prevention

As mentioned, there is no known cure for bipolar disorder and although there are people who are more prone to suffer from the condition, it is possible that a normal person can acquire one due to various reasons. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • Do not ignore the signs and symptoms
     Keep track of your moods – can you control them? Is something triggering them? Do they prevent you from doing your daily activities? Allow yourself to notice the changes in you and do not ignore them. Do not be afraid to have yourself checked.
  • Avoid drugs and control your alcohol consumption
     
    Everything that is used excessively often ends up as a problem. It is no surprise that drugs and alcohol can cause serious complications to a man’s body, and avoiding them will not only prevent one from getting bipolar disorder, but also all the other diseases associated with them.
  • Take your medications seriously
    There is no known cure, but bipolar disorder can worsen if medications are not taken exactly as directed.

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