Bi Polar Disorder Essay

4491 words - 18 pages

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a major affective disorder in where there is alternating periods of mania and depression for a person with this disorder. Both men and women are afflicted with this disorder in approximately equal numbers for which it is a lifelong condition that they must face each and every day. For more than the five million adults in America who have bipolar disorder these alternating periods of mania and depression in where they are also called “mood swings” can be extreme and/or frequent and there are usually more lows than highs experienced. These changes in moods for people with this disorder are not as simple as transitioning from a “happy” to a ...view middle of the document...

In addition, four of the following symptoms must also be present almost every day for at least two weeks:

* Significant weight loss when not dieting or significant weight gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month) or when there is a decrease or increase in appetite
* Insomnia or “hypersomnia” (excessive sleeping) nearly every day
* Feeling restless or sluggish to the point that other people notice
* Fatigue or loss of energy
* Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
* Diminished ability to think or concentrate or when there is indecisiveness
* Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal thoughts without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide

Mixed Episodes:

In mixed episodes, symptoms include both manic and depressive episodes.

Bipolar Disorder has also been broken down into two types:

Bipolar I:

For the diagnosis of the bipolar I disorder a person must have at least one manic episode in where mania is sometimes referred to as the other extreme to depression. Mania is an intense high where the person feels euphoric or almost indestructible in areas such as personal finances, business dealings, or relationships. The person may have an elevated self-esteem, be more talkative than usual, have flight of ideas, a reduced need for sleep and can be easily distracted. The high in where it may sound appealing will often lead to severe difficulties in areas such as spending much more money than intended, making extremely rash business and personal decisions, involvement in dangerous sexual behavior and/or the use of drugs or alcohol. Depression is often experienced as the high quickly fades and as the consequences of their activities becomes apparent in where the depressive episode then can be exacerbated.

Bipolar II:

Similar to the bipolar I disorder there are the same periods of highs as described in the bipolar I disorder and they are also often followed by periods of depression. However bipolar II disorder is different in that the highs are hypo manic, rather than manic in where they have similar symptoms, but they are not severe enough to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning and typically do not require hospitalization in order to assure the safety of the person.

How bipolar disorder is diagnosed:

On average people with bipolar disorder spend ten years seeking treatment before finally getting diagnosed in where one survey found that as many as seventy percent of people with bipolar disorder are initially diagnosed with a different condition and often this is, because people only tend to seek treatment during a depressive episode and neglect to discuss manic symptoms with their healthcare professional. There are no lab tests or other procedures for diagnosing bipolar disorder, but instead a healthcare professional must take a very thorough history of...

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