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Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that needs medical attention. The struggle of those people with this kind of disorder is tremendous to the point of affecting their career, relationship. Also known as manic depression, it is also considered as fatal for it can cause morbid thoughts to the victims that usually lead to suicide attempts. Newberg described the seriousness of this disorder as this: “It can lead to significant suffering for patients and their families, limit functioning workplace productivity, and with at risk of increased morbidity and mortality”. (Newberg, 2008)
What is bipolar disorder? It is considered as mood disorder characterized by rollercoaster emotion. A person with bipolar disorder tends to experience being on the top of the world (mania) and being down (depression). We cannot say that a person is bipolar if he or she is only experiencing mania or depression.
Psychcentral.com characterized manic episode as a period of time where an elevated expansive or notable irritable mood is present, lasting for at least one week. The first symptom of mania is what we call grandiosity of the feeling of high self esteem. The person may think that he is called for a special mission or he is a very especial person on earth. Another symptom of mania is the display of excessive energy. A person experiencing manic episode wants to do multitasking activities and goal directed activity. Because of this, they need decreased time of sleep or not sleeping at all. The flight of ideas is also a very common symptom of manic episode. This flight of ideas makes them talk faster and be more talkative than usual.
The National Institute of Mental Health website described depressive order as follows: “When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and cause pain for both the person with disorder and those who care about them”. Depressive episode is not just an ordinary feeling of loneliness and sadness that everybody can experience. It is also different with the common depression that everyone can feel during the death of a love one or failing a board exam. To be able to conclude that a person is suffering from depression, the symptoms should be present for a period of time. The most common symptom is the persistent sad, anxious, or empty feeling. The person also experiences feelings o hopelessness or pessimism, guilt, and worthlessness. They can also become irritable, restless and find it difficult to concentrate. Because of lack of energy and the feeling of fatigue, depressed people sleep a lot. And the most tremendous feeling is the lost of interest in everything and loosing joy which can trigger suicidal attempts. In some cases, depressed person may experiences body aches without medical reason.
Causes of bipolar disorder
There are different theories that explain the occurrences of bipolar disorder. For a long time, psychologist and mental health professional believe in the involvement of genes in the development of this illness. According to bipolartreatment.com, the risk of developing this disorder is high if your parents and siblings have been diagnosed. Nowadays, there are modern theories regarding the development of this sickness such as brain chemical imbalances, abnormalities in nerve message transfer system, electrolyte imbalances, and disruption of the body circation rhythm. (bipolartreatment.com)
Treatment for bipolar
Nowadays, there are different mood stabilizers that balance those brain chemicals that are involve in the development of bipolar disorder. Lithium is the most poplar medication which is good for patients who are at risk of committing suicide. Other than lithium, mental health professionals can also prescribe anticonvulsant and anti-psychotic drugs.
Story of Melly
In the website of Bipolar Disorder Today, there is a story of a 25 year old mother of two children. In 1999, Melly was diagnosed with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and periods of psychosis. As part of her period of psychosis, she experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. It means that she is hearing and seeing things that are not part of the reality. She was also scared to take showers and it was hard for her to sleep at night because of her. She even guarded her self with knife. After receiving medications she behaved normally for the span of three years and then experienced symptoms of manic episodes. For days, she was awake all the time even loss her appetite. Because of excessive shopping, she ran out of money and started signing bad checks. Other people started to notice that was talking very fast and felt easily irritated every time she was interrupted. Suddenly, there was a rapid change in mood. She became severely depressed that all she wanted is to sleep and end her life. After that depressive period, she started to have rapid cycling of her manic and depressive mood.
Bipolar disorder is a serious but manageable. With proper medication and counseling of their love ones, a bipolar person can live a normal life. Nowadays, more and more people are getting aware of this disorder and there is a decrease of its stigma in our society. It is because of several information campaigns in the web and celebrities who are now open about their mood disorders.
Bipolar Disorder Today. Bipolar Disorder Stories. Retrieved January 14, 2007, from http://www.mental-health-today.com/bp/story.htm
Bipolar Treatment.com. Causes. Retrieved January 14, 2007, from http://www.bipolartreatment.com/causes.php
Bipolar Treatment.com. Bipolar Disorder Treatment. Retrieved January 14, 2007, from http://www.bipolartreatment.com/medication_treatment.php
National Institute of Mental Health. Depression. Retrieved January 14, 2008, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publication/depression/complete-publication.shtml#pub1
Newberg, Andrew. (2008). Neurobiology of bipolar disorder. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Volume 8, pp. 93 – 110.
Psychcentral.com. Manic Episode Symptoms. Retrieved January 14, 2007, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx9.htm