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Bipolar disorder is a brain or mental condition that causes unexpected and significant mood shifts and fluctuations, energy use during activities, and ability to perform daily duties and tasks. This disorder is also known as manic-depressive sickness (Andrade, 2017). People suffering from this disorder exhibit a variety of signs and symptoms that vary depending on whether they are in a manic or depressive phase. During a manic episode, one may feel happy, become too energetic, irritable, and engage in dangerous actions such as overspending and indulging in random unprotected sex. On the other hand, a person undergoing a depressive episode experiences symptoms like sadness and emptiness, low activity levels, little or lack of sleep, need to take one's life (Frangou, 2005). During some other occasions a victim may feel both manic and depressive at the same time, for example, one may feel empty and hopeless and at the same moment feel abundantly energized.
The bipolar disorder is caused by variable factors ranging from brain functioning and structure, genetic variations, and even historical background of the family. It is very dominant and prevalent among the youth of ages ranging between fifteen and twenty-five years, though it can occur at any age. It is estimated that approximately three percent of Americans have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and eighty percent of this approximated number have been classified as critical and severe (Frances & Jones, 2012). Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition whose symptoms vary alternately. In that case, it may be reasonable to adopt various treatment and medical outline. The most effective treatment design is one which combines both psychotherapy and medication. This paper suggests that bipolar disorder can be controlled before it becomes life-threatening by enhancing awareness programs on its possible signs and symptoms and causes amongst people.
Bipolar disorder is a very tragic condition which encompasses sharp mood swings and abnormalities, in which an individual is subjected to rigorous alternating occurrences of mania and depression which may sometimes lead to psychosis. These interchanging phenomena do happen for a period ranging from a week to several months, with days of stability lying in between the two extremes. The management of this condition is possible but only when the correct measure of medication is undertaken, even though it may be time-consuming to come up with the suitable therapeutic and medical dose (Frangou, Raymont & Bettany, 2002). With proper treatment, people living with the condition can make a productive outcome, through either work or even study. However, lack of medication may cause incapacitation of the victim. This disease composes several symptoms which vary depending on an individual and the mood. The disease proves hard to diagnose unless it has reached its peak. Hence it is constructive to check on the possible warning signs and symptoms that can provide an insight into the matter. It is due to this uncommonness of immediate diagnosis of the disorder that necessitates the paper to propose a need for public education. Awareness will assist many people to address the problem appropriately at early stage
The cautionary signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are categorized into two; for mania and depression. The symptoms of mania include; a person may have the feeling of over happiness; they may lack desire for sleep, sometimes one experiences uncontrollable restlessness and anxiety. In some cases, a victim feels o overconfident in their abilities hence makes them think that they can do anything. A victim can also suffer from racing thoughts and ideas on any subject upon which he or she may act. In some circumstances, they also believe that everything is right as a result of the impaired judgment (Andrade, 2017). Under the manic condition, one may engage in socially risky behaviors like impulsive sex, excessive drug, and substance abuse or high appetite for gambling with savings. They can as well participate in delivering pressurized speeches and rapid talks which do not follow any order or logic.
On the other hand, during a depressive turn of disorder, a victim can express the following signs and symptoms; one experiences a state hopelessness, desperation and despair, a feeling of extreme sadness and physical pain which do not respond to treatment. The victim may suffer from irritation that comes from the surrounding, such as noise or smells around. One may also feel incapacitated to carry out duties and responsibilities like work or school. Thus they underperform (Frances & Jones, 2012). There occurs a condition of unusual tiredness, laziness, and fatigue. There also exists lack of capacity to participate in or even leisure activities that promote pleasure. A person suffering from a depressive bipolar disorder may experience low attention span, inability to remember or retain information. A victim can as well be possessed by a feeling of guilt or may think that any mistake which happens is because of their fault. And in some cases, when the condition becomes too extreme and severe, one may think about taking away their life and end up committing suicide.
It would be importantly interesting to note that other infections are similar to the symptoms of the bipolar disorder. Such occurrences may make it very difficult for doctors to examine and diagnose it, and also people who suffer from the disease carry it along with other ailments such as anxiety disorders, eating disorders or even substance abuse (Frangou et al., 2002). Individuals with this infection are at the same time prone to contacting migraine headaches, thyroid maladies, heart problems, obesity or diabetes.
There are also times when psychosis can exist during both manic and depressive stages. In this state, it becomes too complicated for the person to realize when they live in reality or fantasy. During mania, one may think that they have lots of extraordinary power, possesses a high ranking social status, while during the depressive cycle, one tends to believe that they are ruined and ever committing a crime (Frangou, 2005). The presence of these psychotic symptoms may lead to a scenario where a victim is misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. The victims of bipolar disorder may on some occasions misuse or overuse drugs and substances such as alcohol, yet due lack of awareness, family members or friends and relatives may not be able to detect these complications as possible signs of a very critical mental disease like bipolar disorder.
It is not understood as to what exactly leads to its occurrence, but scholars postulate that there are some factors which operate collectively to cause the problem. Such factors include; disproportion of chemicals within the brain. The chemicals known as neurotransmitters are the ones responsible for the functioning and controlling of the brain (Frangou, 2005). They are composed of noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. It has been proven that an imbalance in any of the neurotransmitters may cause symptoms of the bipolar disorder. For instance, an incidence of mania takes place when there is too much of noradrenaline, and when it gets too low, then depression sets.
It has also been argued that genetics may also play a role in the development of bipolar disorder, even though there is no single gene known to cause it. However, some genes are highly prone to causing the disease. Nonetheless, studies on identical twins have shown that one of the twins may develop the disorder while the other does not regardless of the fact that they possess similar genes (Andrade, 2017). The other factor which is crucial in the development of the disease is the family background. It has been shown that children of parents with bipolar disorder have a high probability of developing the problem too, but that does not necessarily mean that everybody of family history of the disease would eventually suffer from it.
Environmental factors may also trigger the signs and symptoms of the disorder. These factors may include; divorce or a breakdown in a relationship. If one has been abused emotionally, physically or even sexually, this situation may cause a lot of anxiety and withdrawal syndromes (Frances & Jones, 2012). Death of a relative or family member may also lead to extreme depression. It can also be prompted by unending problems in one's daily life, physical illnesses, and torture. Since it is challenging to express which specific factor may lead to the occurrence of the disorder, it is then advisable as the paper intends, to observe the possible outward signs and symptoms which do arise as a result of the presence of any of these factors. It will be beneficial in the sense that it would help to ensure early diagnosis and treatment is done appropriately.
The bipolar disorder is rampant among the youths and young adults. It majorly begins to appear at adolescence or slightly at early adulthood, though it affects children and the elderly as well. Records of the National Institute of Mental Health indicate that about 2.6% of the United States’ adult population is affected by the bipolar disorder, this is nearly five million citizens living with the condition. Out of this population; approximately 83% has been classified as severe. The community studies assessment advance that the range of bipolar disorder among adolescents alone is about 3% (Frangou et al., 2002). However, the prevalence of the disease among children has not been fully understood due to the ongoing discussions and debates on the suitable diagnosis mechanisms to be utilized among preadolescents.
Testing for bipolar disorder is not a simple task. Even though it can show several symptoms, no single test has been universally agreed upon for diagnosis purposes, but preferably various approaches are being applied to ascertain the condition. Before diagnosis is carried out, it is advisable to recognize the presence of the symptoms in an individual and then consult the therapist. The victim will then be undertaken through a mental health evaluation by the psychiatrist. It is done through asking questions concerning the symptoms experienced and assessment of risk factors as well (Andrade, 2017). For purposes of exactness, a doctor uses the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM kit describes the condition in details through analysis of the terms and symptoms of both mania and depression distinctively. It is, however, important to remember that consideration of the occurring symptoms is an essential step in diagnosis that is relied upon by doctors as well. It is as a result of that primary reason why the concern of this paper is to ensure that awareness message is widespread.
This disorder is frequently misdiagnosed during its early stages of appearance, especially during teenage. When this occurs, the symptoms of the disease may worsen and pose a danger especially when a wrong treatment has been administered. A study conducted in 2006, widely published in Psychiatry portray that nearly 69% of all the bipolar disorder cases are misdiagnosed, and about a third of such cases take up to ten years before correctly diagnosed (Frances & Jones, 2012). Misdiagnosis is possibly extreme due to the inconsistency in the manner in which the bipolar episodes occur.
The treatments for the disorder is aimed to restore normal brain functioning or instead reduce the severity of the problem (Frangou, 2005). These treatment methods include; medication process, a victim may be served with mood stabilizers to assist in restoring mood swings. They may consist of lithium carbonate, anticonvulsant medicine, and antipsychotic medicines. Antidepressants may also be used together with these mood stabilizers when cases of depression arise. When one is experiencing rapid cycling, that is a situation where a person faces mania and low without a regular period in between, a combination of medication may be appropriate. Recognizing bipolar disorder triggers may be the best mode since one can quickly realize occurrence of warning signs (Frangou et al., 2002). Even though this way does not prevent the episode from taking place, it undoubtedly enables the victim to get medical assistance on time. Psychological treatment is also another way. It encompasses psychoeducation where one is taught more about bipolar disorder, a cognitive behavioral therapy which is meant for depression and family therapy which deals with issues of marriage, family relations to enhance mental health.
Scientific research and clinical trials are underway to try to penetrate into new ways and methods to detect, prevent and treat the conditions bipolar disorder and other related ailments (Andrade, 2017). New drugs, new surgical procedures, and combinations of various drugs and techniques are put to the test during these sessions to come up with a better treatment or an improvement on the existing one. The primary purpose of this is to generate new scientific knowledge and ideas so that the cases of bipolar disorder are addressed adequately in future using advanced methods.
In conclusion, bipolar disorder is a manic-depressive illness that causes exceptionally unusual shifts in mood, activity levels and capacity to carry out duties. There are mainly four types of the disease; Bipolar I disorder, characterized by manic episodes which may take at least seven days. Bipolar II disorder; which is indicated by signs of a depressive condition. A cyclothymic disorder which is defined by frequent periods of hypomanic and depressive symptoms and lastly other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders, which is usually characterized by symptoms which do not resemble the different classifications. This condition is highly prevalent among the youth though it affects every age bracket in the society. The primary causes of this illness include brain malfunction, genetics, family history and external risk factors (Frangou, 2005). A proper diagnosis and treatment can offer assistance to the victims to lead a healthy and better way of life. More research is done on possible efficient diagnosis and treatment techniques for the disorder. It will assist in addressing the problems of misdiagnosis which lead to administering wrong treatments. Throughout the study, it has become vividly apparent that observation of the appearance of signs and symptoms of the disorder is fundamental in preventing the problem. This knowledge would be helpful to the society, hence need for public education is vital in this matter.
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Frangou, Sophia. "The Maudsley Bipolar Disorder Project." Epilepsia, vol 46, 2005, pp. 19-25. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2005.463005.x.
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