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Bipolar Disorder: Definition, Causes and Treatment

Bipolar disorder is one of the most common cognitive-behavioral disorders and it affects people of all ages. The disease has very many names that psychologists and psychotherapists use to describe it. The disease is also called a manic depressive disorder, affective disorder, or manic depression and it is a condition that is characterized by the presence of extraordinary levels of energy in the body of a person, leading to the development of modal episodes that affect behavior (Simon, 2002). The disease creates mood disorders, low-level depressive episodes, and elevated modal episodes that are psychologically referred to as mania. However, in their mild form, they are referred to as hypomania. One characteristic of the modal episodes is depression. Sometimes, mania and depression combine to form a more severe manic episode but there are intervals in the development of this disorder where the victim experiences normal moods (Behrman, 2002). Elevated manic episodes have more serious symptoms such as delusion and hallucination and going by the severity of the modal episodes experienced by a victim, the disorder is divided into three main types. The three main types are bipolar one, bipolar two, and Cyclothymia (Lovelace, 2008).

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The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be addressed by focusing on the various stages of the disease. The least severe form of the disease is called hypomania and one of the major symptoms of this stage is feelings of euphoria because of elevated levels of energy (Earley, 2006). The condition affects mood and can lead to bad decision-making strategies that can be harmful to interpersonal relationships, careers, and one’s reputation.

The other phase of this disease is mania or manic depression. This stage is occasioned by heightened energy levels that create euphoria and some levels of creativity and over productivity. There is loss of sleep, hyperactivity and fast talk in the victims of the manic phase of the bipolar disorder. The victims feel great and their activities normally spiral out of control. At this stage of the disease, it is almost impossible to differentiate it with ADHD (Raeburn, 2004). When hit by a manic episode, the victims become very reckless. They can make foolish investments, gamble away their savings or indulge in risky sexual activities. Their levels of irritability go up and can easily pick a fight in this state of mania. Delusion and hallucinations are other symptom of manic depression.

Analysis of articles on Bipolar disorder

How depression and bipolar disorder are different by Jill Craft

This article focuses on the difference between depression and bipolar disorder. Most people are not able to differentiate these two conditions mainly because depression is the major symptom of the bipolar disorder but the author claims that bipolar disorder has more severe symptoms. The author claims that even some clinicians are not able to identify bipolar disorder and end up treating depression. This leads to the development of the disorder because treating depression only treats part of the disorder. The author asserts that the treatment of bipolar disorder can only be successful if the actual cause of the depression is identified. She advises that medication can only buffer the symptoms of the manic disorder but the best way to treat this disorder is the identification and the treatment of the rot causes of the disorders. One of the root causes is depression but clinicians should not focus on depression alone.

Myths and Facts about Bipolar Disorder by Helpguide.com

This article tries to debunk some commonly held myths about the bipolar disorder by putting down the correct facts. One of the commonly held myths is that the bipolar disorder victims cannot heal or lead ordinary lives. According to the guide, many victims of this disorder are successful in their careers and businesses, lead happy lives and take care of their families’ responsibly. The guide acknowledges that living with this disorder is quite challenging but proper treatment accompanied by proper coping skills can make the lives of the victims more comfortable, helping them to lead ordinary lives and succeed in their undertakings.

The other myth that this article tries to debunk is that bipolar disorder affects mood only. The fact is that the disorder affects other aspects of personality like memory concentration, judgment, patterns of sleeping, self confidence and the sexual ability. The disorder also leads to many other conditions like diabetes, migraines and hypertension. People with this disorder are highly likely to involve themselves in substance abuse and are highly susceptible to anxiety disorders.

The other myth that is commonly held by people is that there is no other thing that can be done to contain the disease apart from medication. The truth is that medication is a very important step in the treatment of the bipolar disorder but it cannot work alone. For full recovery to take place medication must be used alongside physiotherapy and self support strategies. Symptoms of the bipolar disorder can be controlled through regular exercise, eating right and avoiding stressful situations. When a victim of this disorder is surrounded by people who are supportive, the symptoms can easily be controlled because depression is kept at bay.

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Bipolar disorder and suicide by help guide.com

According to this guide, the depressive phase of this disorder usually has severe symptoms and one of the most possible risk factors is suicide. It has documented that there is a high probability of suicide cases from victims of bipolar disorder than from victims of other forms of depression. People with a history of suicide attempts and those who have been abusing drugs are more likely to commit suicide.The article gives several warning signs of suicide. These include frequent talk about self harm, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and helplessness. The other warning is possession of pills or weapons that appear lethal and incessant talk about death.

The stigma of bipolar disorder by Brenda Wager

The article focuses on the stigma that people with bipolar disorder undergo especially when they are living with people who have never lived with victims of the disorder or people who are insensitive about their condition. The article outlines the various forms of sufferings that the victims of bipolar disorder undergo as a result of the high levels of stigmatization in the society. These people are treated as second rate citizens and they are not respected by most people. Due to their extreme behaviors, the victims of the diseases are often isolated by the rest of the society and this has negative ramifications because it usually impacts on their depressive condition

Application

The objective of this study was to understand the nature of bipolar disorder and its social and health ramifications. From the above readings, it is evident that the disorder is a serious social condition that has the ability to wreck the lives of the victims. The readings have also exposed some myths that are commonly held about the disease and the myths are mostly used to stigmatize those people that suffer from the disease. The facts that have been laid out in the readings will help people to understand the victims more and provide the necessary social support because medication without self and social support is not enough to treat this disorder (Behrman, 2002). This study will have a very big impact on social work practice because it will help the social workers to understand the victims and respond to their modal episodes effectively. This study outlines the symptoms of the diseases and can help the general public and the social workers to easily diagnose people who may be suffering from this disorder and respond effectively. This study also obtains standards for human protection. These standards have been outlined in the article that dwells on bipolar disorder and suicide. The understanding of the various behaviors that can signal suicide is one of the best human protection methods because this will help in monitoring the victims to ensure that cases of suicide do not arise. The other human protection method has been outlined in the analysis of the general symptoms of the disease (Raeburn, 2004). The understanding of the symptom of the various phases of the disorder is important because it will help in the administration of protective measures for both the victims and the people living with the victims of this disorder.

References

  1. Behrman, A. (2002). Electro boy: A Memoir of Mania. New York: Random House
  2. Earley, P. (2006). A father’s account of his son’s bipolar disorder. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
  3. Lovelace, D. (2008). Scattershot: My Bipolar Family. New York: Dutton Adult
  4. Raeburn, P. (2004). Acquainted with the Night: A Parent’s Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children. New York: Sage
  5. Simon, L. (2002). Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D. New York: Simon and Schuster.

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StudyCorgi. "Bipolar Disorder: Definition, Causes and Treatment." November 26, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/bipolar-disorder-definition-causes-and-treatment/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Bipolar Disorder: Definition, Causes and Treatment." November 26, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/bipolar-disorder-definition-causes-and-treatment/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Bipolar Disorder: Definition, Causes and Treatment'. 26 November.

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