Bipolar Disorder Is Described as a Condition Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
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  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #44030740

Excerpt from Essay :

Bipolar disorder is described as a condition in which individuals oscillate between periods of good or irritable mood and depression. The condition is basically characterized with very quick mood swings between mania and depression. Since the disorder equally affects men and women alike, it always starts between 15-25 years (Rogge & Zieve, 2012). While the actual cause for disorder remains unknown or unclear, it tends to develop in relatives of individuals with the illness. However, the manic or depressive incidents in people with the disorder can be attributed to various factors such as life changes like childbirth, periods of insomnia, medications like antidepressants, and recreational drug use. The major risk of the disorder is that patients are susceptible to suicide to an extent that they are likely to abuse alcohol or other substances. Such abuse enhances the risk of suicide and the symptoms of the disorder become worse.

Relationship between Brain Function and neurodevelopment disorders:

Bipolar disorder is a long-term and disruptive illness that can keep the patient in changing mood patterns or mood swings. The disease shows the relationship between brain function and neurodevelopment disorders since it's a condition associated with highs of mania or lows of depression. Notably, there are three types of bipolar disorder i.e. bipolar type I, bipolar type II, and cyclothymia with no clear cause for the manic or depressive incidents (Rogge & Zieve, 2010). Patients with type I of the disorder tend to have at least one manic incident and major depression periods. Actually, bipolar disorder type I was previously known as manic depression because of these incidents.

Patient with type II bipolar disorder don't have full mania but experience times of high energy levels and impulsiveness. While these incidents alternate with episodes of depression, they are not as severe as mania and are commonly known as hypomania. The third type of bipolar disease, cyclothymia, is characterized with periods of less severe mood swings. Patients with this type of bipolar disorder tend to oscillate between hypomania and mild depression and may be wrongly diagnosed with depression.

The link between brain function and neurodevelopment disorders is evident in bipolar disorder because patients with the disease have difficulties in telling the doctor about the state o the disease. This is mainly because these patients have difficulties in recognizing their own symptoms of manic condition. Furthermore, changes in mood swings for such patients remain highly unpredictable, which makes it difficult to respond to treatment effectively or overcome the bipolar phase.

According to clinical literature, neurodevelopmental disorders are described as illnesses of the brain function with negative impacts on learning, memory, and emotion. Generally, the disorders take time to develop and are usually attributed to various factors such as physical, emotional, mental, or behavioral features (McCray et. al., 2012). While these disorders differ in terms of severity and level of symptom, they tend to have similar behavioral symptoms and diagnostic measures. However, while the symptoms of the disorder seem to frequently overlap, the best practice intervention measures may vary based on the patient's presentations.

The neurodevelopmental disorders are classified into six major categories i.e. attention deficit hyperactivity, communication, intellectual developmental, learning, autism spectrum, and genetic disorders. The most significant feature of these disorders is that they are characterized with delay or deficits in maturationally-influenced genetic influences, psychological features, and cognitive injury. Regardless of the similarities in the symptoms of the neurodevelopmental disorders, the treatment for individual patients vary significantly based on the symptoms experienced and co morbid diagnoses.

As one of the neurodevelopmental disorders, bipolar disorder exhibits the ideas prevalent in clinical literature regarding the link between the disorders and brain function. Bipolar disorder has some symptoms that are attributed to neurodevelopment disorders like attention deficit, intellectual development, learning, and genetic influences. For instance, the actual cause of the disorder is still unknown though it occurs more often in relatives of patients with the disorder. Moreover, patients with the disease have communication problems since they find it difficult to explain their own symptoms to patients.

Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics:

Pharmacokinetics is basically described as the study of the body's actions on drugs, particularly in relation to absorbing, metabolizing, distributing, and excreting the drugs. In contrast, pharmacodynamics is defined as the study of the actions of drugs on the body, particularly the brain. In the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in the knowledge regarding the process with which antidepressants and mood stabilizers are metabolized and the interactions between drugs with antidepressants and mood stabilizers (Stahl, 2000, p.71).

During the treatment of bipolar disorder, the health care provider begins with identification of the factors that could have triggered the mood swings or episodes. When conducting this process, the physician may examine for any emotional or medical problems that may have negative effects on the treatment process. The main goals of the treatment process including preventing the disease from getting to the next stage, lessening the need for hospital stay, promoting effective patient functioning between the episodes. The other goals are to prevent self-injury and suicide and to lessen the frequency and severity of episodes.

In order to achieve these goals, the identification of the factors contributing to the episodes is followed by prescribing some antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Some of the commonly used mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder include lamotrigine, carbamazepine, lithium, and valproic acid or valproate. The pharmacodynamics of these medications usually differ ssignificantly because of the vital pharmacologic differences among antipsychotic agents. As a simple monovalent action, lithium is used to treat acute bipolar mania and maintenance intervention for patients with bipolar disorder for more than five decades. Valproate as an intervention for acute manic episodes is used to treat patients with complex partial seizures as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy. Carbamazepine is for treatment of patients with complex symptomatology, combined seizure patterns, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures (Keck & McElroy, 2002, p.8). Lamotrigine is an antiepileptic treatment intervention of the phenyltriazine class as a precise mechanism of action.

The pharmacodynamics of lithium is unknown because the actual mechanism of action of the drug in treatment of bipolar disorder is still unknown. However, the therapeutic effects of lithium are attributed to depolarization-provoked and calcium-dependent emission of dopamine and norepinephrine from nerve terminals. In contrast, the pharmacokinetics of lithium is that the drug is nearly and readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract completely. While lithium is not metabolized, overdoses of the drug can be fatal on the patient. For valproate, the pharmacodynamics includes the fact that it has neuroprotective impacts that are akin to lithium and antikindling properties. The pharmacokinetics of the drug is that valproate absorption can be delayed, especially if oral formulations are consumed with food. The drug is metabolized more rapidly when dosage titration increases its plasma concentration resulting in lower total plasma concentrations (Keck & McElroy, 2002, p.4).

Carbamazepine obstructs the channels for voltage-sensitive sodium and may have impact on potassium channels to enhance potassium conductance. The drug also affects various neurotransmitter systems associated with pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, the drug is characterized with slow and inconsistent absorption due to oral administration. While the absorption may be slower in the evening than morning, carbamazepine is rapidly distributed to every tissue and undergoes broad hepatic metabolism. While lamotrigine may be efficient in treating bipolar depression and as a maintenance agent, its actual mechanism in epilepsy is unclear. As compared to the other drugs, lamotrigine is rapidly and totally absorbed after oral administration will relatively minimal first-pass metabolism because the absorption is not affected by food (Keck & McElroy, 2002, p.9).

Common Uses of Psychopharmacological Medications:

Psychopharmacology is basically described as the use and study of medications that effect behavior or thought. This process achieves this effect through minimizing the symptoms of mental disorders despite of whether they are acute or chronic in nature by…

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