Bipolar Disorder

In the modern world and especially in the developed countries, the problem of depression and maniac disorder have become very prevalent. There are many types of this kind of disorder and bipolar is one of them. Bipolar disorder is also commonly referred to as the maniac depression. In America, it is estimated that 5.

7million individuals have this condition.This condition can occur during the early stages of adulthood or late stages of puberty though in some cases it has occurred in pre pubertal stages of growth and development while for others it has manifested at old age. In many occasions, it is not easily diagnosed and it may continue for long until manifests fully. Bipolar disorder manifests mainly by episodes of changing of moods from depression into euphoric states from time to time.

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This condition normally affects the daily performance of an individual and also how he/she relates with the other people. It is a mental disorder which is commonly marked by abnormal shift of a persons emotional status. This disorder is very different from the usual states of an individual being high and low sometimes. It is known to be a chronic illness that need continuous management all along ones life once affected (Isaac, 1995, p. 45).The symptoms of bipolar disorders can be categorized into two groups: those associated with maniac moods and those for the depression moods.

During the maniac moods, the person is characterized by signs and symptoms such high levels of energy activity, restlessness which are marked by increased urge to do some things and high spirits with some cases of being irritable. The persons have very competing thoughts and tend to talk very fast while skipping one issue to another.They cannot concentrate and have low capability to make judgments and suffer from cases of insomnia. Moreover, they develop some excess confidence in their capabilities and powers. Increased sexual desire and drive coupled with provocative and aggressive behaviors are also common among the people suffering from this disorder. Maniac status is detected when episodes of elevated moods combined with any other at least three or more signs for better part of the day and continued for a week or more (Sonne, Brady, 2002, p.25). On the other side of the problem, depression moods present with low moods, disappointment and anxiety that last for very long time.

They are commonly characterized by a state of hopelessness and being pessimistic nearly in every activity that they undertake. Also, they may have a feeling of being valueless, not innocents and uncomfortable in most of the times. Their interest dramatically declines in most of the activities that they used to enjoy before and this include sexual desire.Most of the time they complain of being fatigued and lacking energy. At such situations, they may become very sleepy or lack sleep. Moreover, their concentration levels significantly go down, their memory gets poor and cannot make decision.

In some cases, depression may lead to increased levels of appetite and this makes the person affected to gain unnecessary weight, and if the person lacks appetite, this leads to severe weight loss.Additionally, depressed people may have chronic pain combined with other persistent body symptoms which are as result of physical injuries. Finally, when the condition becomes very severe the patients develop thoughts of committing suicide and even make some attempts of suicide.

Normally, depressive disorder is detected or confirmed if more than five symptoms last for most of the day for a continued period of more than two weeks.In other cases, bipolar disorder can assume the symptoms of psychosis which may include hallucinations and delusions. In most cases, bipolar disorder has been mistaken for other severe mental disorders and schizophrenia (Shattell, Keltner, 2004, p. 97). Experts argue that bipolar disorder is a spectrum of two continuous extremes where at one end there is severe depression above which an average depression follows and then low mood which may be short or long lived.Above this, it is believed that there is a balanced mood which is a mild and moderate mania and then on the other extreme is the severe mania. Though these have been the two extreme different cases of bipolar disorder, in some rare cases the two key symptoms have occurred concurrently in a condition that is referred to as mixed bipolar disorder.

In this case, the person have characteristic symptoms of being agitated, change in appetite , suicidal thoughts and state of hopelessness combined with feeling of being super energized.Bipolar disorder so far has not been associated with any particular known cause but there are various studies that are being conducted to find out the real cause of it . Currently, scientists have reached a consensus that it is caused by a pool of factors working together to cause the disorder.

Since it has been noticed that this disorder follow familial lineages, more researchers have engaged in search for the genes responsible for bipolar disorder in affected families.Such researchers have indicated that just like the other mental disorders , bipolar is not as a result of a specific gene but rather due to a group of genes that seems to be responsible for it. A good number of people with this disorder can have their alternating moods changes normalized through proper treatment.

This involves controlling it in various ways which include aspects like medications by a psychiatrist or physician with specialized skills in diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.Mood stabilizers are used in this case as the medication for bipolar disorders. The mood stabilizers may be combined with typical antipsychotic drugs. In this period, the thyroid hormone levels should be closely monitored by the doctors since it has been discovered that at many times, these patients have malfunctioning of the thyroid glands (Riedel, Heiby, 2001, p.

66). Secondly, the treatment may take psychosocial therapy perspective. This entails psychotherapy which is useful in educating, supporting and guiding the individuals and families affected by bipolar disorder.This is normally provided by social worker, psychologists and counselors who have been instrumental in implementation of programs that help to restore and stabilize the lost normal moods of a patients. The most common and recommended methods used include psycho education, cognitive behavioral therapy and the interpersonal and social rhythm therapy. In addition, electroconvulsive therapy can be used if the condition fails to respond to the other medications.Natural supplements and herbal drugs can also be used but before they are used, one should discuss with the with a physician on how to use them. The impacts of bipolar disorder are varied but they seem to mostly affect interpersonal relations greatly either at workplace, community or family level.

Stigma in the work place is one of the effects of bipolar disorders. Studies have show that the cycle of maniac and depression moods affects the constancy and continuity of delivery of work. This leads to loss of working hours, work anticipations, and finances.

As result, most people who are affected by bipolar disorder face discrimination and isolation from their colleagues at the place of work. In some cases, studies have shown that the victims are demoted, fired or denied positions and promotions (Wilkinson, Taylor, 2002, p. 38).

On the side, care givers of those affected by bipolar disorder especially the family members normally have a big burden to carry by managing challenging the conditions like suicidal attempts, aggressiveness, irritability and un-predictability.For the married couples, the condition has led to marriage break ups that are basically associated with decline in sexual drive and desire. Family break ups may occur because of intolerable behaviors like becoming very extravagant during mania episodes which lands the family into financial crisis. At community level, the bipolar patients become antisocial due to their poor concentration, judgment, aggressiveness and irritability which makes them to be in disagreement with the other people most of the times (Issac, 1995, p.51). In conclusion, bipolar disorder is a health problem that develops and progresses gradually with time to be very severe. It is therefore very vital to seek early medical care to rescue the person before he/she adversely affected. It is also important to know how to mage a patient with this disorder at family level so as to prevent the adverse impacts.

ReferenceIsaac George (1995) Is Bipolar Disorder the Most Common Diagnostic Entity in Hospitalized Adolescents and Children? Adolescence, Vol. 30, pp. 45, 51 Riedel Helmut & Heiby Elaine (2001) Psychological Behaviorism Theory of Bipolar Disorder. The Psychological Record, Vol. 51, 2001, pp. 66 Shattell Mona & Keltner Norman (2004) Biological Perspectives: The Case for Atypical Antipsychotics in Bipolar Disorder.

Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, Vol. 40, pp. 97 Sonne Susan & Brady Kathleen (2002) Bipolar Disorder