Bipolar Disorder

Perhaps no other psychological disorder, or brain disease, has developed such a skewed social stigma than bipolar disorder. The Mental Health Matters organization has set out to organize and distinguish bipolar disorder in an attempt to foster a progressive and helpful dialogue concerning this disease that affects over 2. 3 million adult Americans. This brief essay will outline their research and summarize the major developments that it presents with the hopes of synthesizing its major arguments towards clarity and transparency.

It begins with an overall outline of the research. Bipolar disorder has been popularly misunderstood due to many factors. In the early stages of development, bipolar disorder looks a lot like basic depression. In fact, many medical authority figures have a hard time distinguishing between depression and manic behavior in the context of bipolar patients. Many of the significant symptoms overlap making it difficult to determine what the patient is in fact suffering from.

With this in mind, the research marks the key differences between straightforward depression against the most likely symptoms of depression. What they find is that the two brain diseases may not be mutually exclusive which creates a ‘mixed state’ limbo that makes effective treatment a difficult task. There are a variety of treatments that can be used to help alleviate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. The research cautions against too much optimism on this front because even the most intensive and effective treatments do not completely cure the patient.

In fact, it is quite common that bipolar patients will continue to have residual complications no matter the type of treatment being utilized. The best treatment for bipolar disorder is actually mix of complementary treatments. These can include psychotherapy and psychosocial interventions in addition to medication. The research states in this section that the benefits of effective treatments ‘often can provide additional benefit.

These include cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, family therapy, and psychoeducation. This section goes on to discuss particular medications that are used, such as Lithium, as well as previous studies concerning the effectiveness of these medications. The following sections go on to discuss the behavior of bipolar patients. They are characterized on the one hand by extreme mood swings, lack of appetite, insomnia, energetic outbursts, and hypersexual desire, etc.

while on the other end of the spectrum the depressive manic behavior will include feelings of worthlessness, not being able to leave bed, and no desire for sexual activity. The pendulum can shift at any moment and treatment is used to help to balance manic bipolar episodes. This manic behavior and the resulting different treatment in fact is the major difference between depression and bipolar disorder. Overall the research presented offers a detailed glimpse into a mental illness that affects millions of Americans.

The treatment methods are constantly trying to adapt to shifting conceptions of bipolar disorder against the simplified diagnosis of depression. The most recent research has identified three types of bipolar disorder and has sought to identify the key treatments unique to each. Other research is aimed at finding the links between mental illness and genetics as well as the connection between obsessive compulsive tendencies as they relate to bipolar disorder. Much is still left to be researched, but the misconception of bipolar disorder is beginning to disappear.