Bipolar Disorder Term Paper

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bipolar depression, the causes, symptoms, effects on brain and the various forms of treatment available for the disorder. Bipolar depression is an extreme disorder condition in which various situations from high to low, euphoria to depression and recklessness to listlessness occur and this situation can be serious produce the effects of a disabling mental disorder. The transformation of their loved ones into someone else they do not know and cannot communicate to, is watched in disbelief, by the members of the family and friends of the person concerned during occurrences of manic phases. Bipolar disorder consists of four different kinds of mood, which may be distinguished as Mania, Hypomania, Depression and Mixed Mood. Sleep and appetite disturbance, ongoing sad or blue mood, lack of interest or pleasure, trouble concentrating, withdrawal from family and friends, low energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness and thoughts of death or suicide are some of the warning sign of turmoil. There are numerous reasons that are stated that may be responsible for causing this particular disorder. They may be hereditary, or because of brain chemicals, personality factors, reactions to medication, drugs, stress, and mental disorders. Bipolar disorder is a treatable and controllable illness even though there is no cure for it. Most people can be cured after a proper examination. People with bipolar disorder can be cured efficiently but under proper medication. There are certain psychosocial treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, family therapy and psychoeducation, which help people to know the disease, and to develop skills to manage the strain that can cause severity.

Introduction:

Bipolar depression is an extreme disorder condition in which various situations from high to low, euphoria to depression and recklessness to listlessness occur and this situation can be serious produce the effects of a disabling mental disorder. Another well-known term for this disorder is also Manic-depressive illness. Bipolar depression affects nearly two million American adults, which is nearly like one percent of the population of the age 18 or older. It begins in early adulthood and may often continue into adult life and most of the time would stay the affected individuals through out their lives.

The kind of mania being encountered with, the time period it may last cannot be predicted and depends on the particular situation. A few persons may experience a preponderance of mania or depression, while at the same time some others may have feelings of both at the same time. If not treated well and at the right time their phases can last for a number of days or even months, but it has been noticed that the depressive periods last longer than the manic periods. An individual who has bipolar disorder may experience at least ten episodes of the disorder in his life but there are some other unfortunate ones who experience more frequent mood swings. It has been noticed that as time passes the frequency of these episodes increases and moreover people who have more than four episodes in a span of year are said to have rapid cycling. (Copeland, 34)

The American Physiatrist Association, has stated that bipolar disorder consists of four different kinds of mood, which may be distinguished as Mania, Hypo mania, Depression and Mixed Mood. To explain Mania is one in which the individual shows abnormal behavior during a particular period and then expresses constant elevated, expansive or irritable moods that most frequently last for a week or two at the maximum. Hypomania at the same time is a milder form of the mania and lasts for like four to eight days. Depression is a period during which the individual is in a state where he is either in a depressed mood or just does not have enough interest in the his day-to-day activities and usually stays for two or three weeks. The last kind of bipolar disorder, Mixed Episode is one in which the person usually has both feelings of manic and major depressive order symptoms and lasts continuously for a stretch of a week. (Goldberg, 40)

Symptoms and causes of Bipolar Disorder:

Sleep and appetite disturbance, ongoing sad or blue mood, lack of interest or pleasure, trouble concentrating, withdrawal from family and friends, low energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness and thoughts of death or suicide are some of the warning sign of turmoil. It is common for an individual to feel rapid mood swings, he/she may be happy on one day or sad on another due to circumstances but when an individual is in the pangs of bipolar disorder, circumstance around him are not responsible for his moods. The individual tends to have major mood swings and may be very happy or very sad whether or not there is anything for him to be worried about. When an individual has rapid mood swings and most of which are grave and have no apparent reason, it may be considered that the individual has bipolar disorder. The individual may face the prospect of being at a loss of energy and interest in life. These periods of depression are not continuous a person may feel absolutely fine but may have a relapse of it after a few days or months or years. (Swartz; Frank, 18)

But what is the source and what causes the bipolar disorder? To say that X or Y as the cause would be superb. But it is not so simple an answer. An approach to the study of psychopathology, which makes psychological disorders resulting from several causal factors, which are interacting, is the belief most scientists have according to Durand and Barlow. These underlying factors are usually separated into biological and psychological explanations as it relates to bipolar disorder. How to put it simple words? The study of significant causes and processes in the development of mental illness is psychopathology. In overall terms, environmental causes, physical and mental and emotional causes are believed to be the reasons for the mental illnesses. (Coryell; Keller, Endicott; Maser; Klerman, 726)

There are numerous reasons that are stated that may be responsible for causing this particular disorder. They may be hereditary, or because of brain chemicals, personality factors, reactions to medication, drugs, stress, and mental disorders. An important cause of the disorder could be because of the fact that the individual in question is leading a very stressful life. The person may have experienced a stressful event in his recent past and this could be the reason behind him having to develop this disorder. The stressful event makes it easier for the individual to get sucked up into depression and then into further phases of mania. But actually considering facts, stress cannot be fully responsible for causing this disorder among the various individuals. (Berk; Segal; Janet, 1410) It has been found out by research that stressful life events can lead to the onset of symptoms in bipolar disorder. The disorder seems to develop a life of its own once it is activated and expanded. A psychological or pathophysiological process takes over after the beginning of the cycle and makes certain the continuation of disorder

Some Psychiatrists felt that the reason behind mental illnesses could also be because of early-childhood encounters. Another cause for this disorder could be the fact that the individual's personality may be responsible for the triggering the disorder. A positive family history for mood disorders, suicide, and/or alcohol and drug abuse is observed in most of the people suffering from bipolar disorder; hence researchers search for particular genes that might be concerned with the augmentation of the disorder. The genes concerned with bipolar disorder are at present being intensively identified. Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter, is one candidate gene, which might cause bipolar codes for the serotonin transporter, is involved in a variety of behaviors including sleep, moods, and activity, all of which are affected to some degree in bipolar disorder. Both the genes, in identical twins that share all the same genes, and other aspects play a part in bipolar disorder according to studies. Research has failed to show that the identical twin of someone suffering from bipolar would always develop the illness; hence we can't say that bipolar disorder was caused entirely by genes. Hence, the cause for depression or the cause that affects the treatment for the disorder is believed to be social and developmental factors. (Weissman; Bruce; Leaf; Florio; Holzer, 35)

There is a possibility that an individual may have gained the gene from his family member or relative and he could possibly be of the moody kind, and may not be able to cope with stress very easily. As known, a lot of disorders can be inherited from family members and there are certain findings that go to state that the disorder may be due to a gene found in the body and also the fact that if some other individual has the disorder in the family there are chances that another develops and it is a commonly believed thought. But this does not go to state that…[continue]

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