Essay On Bipolar Disorder
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This is a research paper on bipolar mental disorder. The paper contains a review of bipolar mental disorder, that is, the history of the disorder and the issues that relate to the diagnostic criteria of the disorder. The first section of the paper is the Introduction section. This section includes the definition of the bipolar mental disorder and the overview characteristics of the people with the disorder. The second section includes the history of the bipolar mental disorder. The third section on the other hand of this research paper involves the diagnosis of bipolar mental disorder. It includes biological, environmental and psychological causes of bipolar medical disorders. It also includes the signs and symptoms of bipolar mental disorders. The fourth section of the research paper is the conclusion section. The conclusion summarizes the overall ideas in the research paper and gives personal opinions about the findings of the research. The final section is the work cited section, and it involves the articles and books used in the research, their publication years and names of their authors.
Bipolar Mental Disorder
a. Definition of Bipolar Mental Disorder
The bipolar mental disorder was formally referred to as "maniac depression" and can be defined as a mental illness that controls the high and low moods in a person. It is also responsible for the changes in sleeping habits, changes in energy, changes in behavior and changes in the way that a person ordinarily thinks (WebMD, Bipolar Disorder, 2015).
b. Overview of People with Bipolar Mental Disorder
The people who have bipolar mental disorder have different periods in their lives in which they have different feelings. The feelings keep changing from time to time and affect the moods of these individuals. In certain periods, people with this disorder feel energized and happy while in other periods these same people feel very hopeless, sad and even sluggish. There is also a window period in between the two periods of highs and lows in which these people with this disorder feel perfectly normal. The two periods of highs and the lows can be considered as the two “poles” of the mind that represent the two significant moods. The two states of mind are hence responsible for the name “Bipolar” (WebMD, Bipolar Disorder, 2015).
The term "Maniac" has been in some occasions used to refer to people who have bipolar disorders and who seem overexcited and overconfident as well. The other feelings that are usually involved in the people who suffer from bipolar mental disorder include such feelings such as irritability. The people with this order also can in multiple occasions be seen to make decisions that are impulsive or very reckless. Most people with the Bipolar Mental disorder also in various occasions experience delusions. Almost half of the people with this disorder tend to believe in certain things that are not true. Also, trying to talk them out of these untrue beliefs usually seem impossible. In even worse scenarios, these people hallucinate. They see and hear things that do not really exist in reality (WebMD, Bipolar Disorder, 2015).
II. HISTORY OF BIPOLAR MENTAL DISORDER
The quest of bipolar mental disorder began by a process of detailing the symptoms of the disorder in a medical field. This was as early as in the first century in Greece. Aretaeus of Cappadocia carried out the quest process. For many centuries, the notions by Aretaeus of Cappadocia that there was a link between depression and mania went unnoticed for many centuries. The terms "Mania" and "Melancholia" originated from the Greeks and Romans and are in the current day referred to as Maniac and Depressive in the medical world (Krans, 2012).
The Greeks and the Romans that are related to bipolar mental disorder made various discoveries. There was a discovery of the use of lithium salts in bath water to calm the maniac patients and also to lift the spirits of those who were suffering from depression. In the current medical world, lithium is used as one of the common treatments for patients with bipolar mental disorders (Krans, 2012).
In the ancient world, bipolar mental disorder was misunderstood by the majority. Also, people with bipolar mental disorders on several occasions ended up being executed. This was because as the medical study advanced with time the religious perceptions also changed. The patients who suffered from bipolar mental disorders were considered by the strict religious dogma as people who were controlled by demons, and they were, therefore, to be put to death (Krans, 2012).
However, after several centuries and in the 17th-century people started to understand bipolar mental disorders. Top scientists and researchers wrote books such as Robert Burton's "The Anatomy of Melancholy" and the Theophilus Bonet's "Sepuchretum". These books attempted to explain the issues regarding melancholy and its treatment through the use of music, dance as the forms of treatment. Articles were also published by various scientists all over the world especially in major countries such as France and Germany (Krans, 2012).
A French Psychiatrist, Jean-Pierre Falret, discovered the genetic connection of bipolar mental disorder. This finding is something that is still believed in even in the current century. He published an article in 1851 addressing his findings on bipolar mental disorder, which is still currently used as a major reference material by scientists and doctors who treat bipolar disorder. Several other scientists such as Kraepelin from Germany also added to the development of the study of bipolar mental disorder. The term "bipolar" first appeared in the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. The revised versions changed “manic” to “mania” to avoid calling patients maniacs (Krans, 2012).
III. BIPOLAR MENTAL DISORDER DIAGNOSIS
Diagnosis refers to the process of identifying the nature of an illness through the examination of the symptoms of that particular illness. Bipolar mental disorder shows diverse symptoms with its patients. These symptoms, however, change from time to time and a person may different symptoms during different occasions. Some of the symptoms and signs are also shared with other mental illnesses and, therefore, the disorder can easily be confused with other mental illnesses.
b. Causes of Bipolar Mental Disorder
Bipolar mental disorder is caused by several factors most of which are met in our day-to-day activities. These causes usually work together so as to create the illness and bipolar mental disorder is usually not as a result of one single cause. The causes of the bipolar mental disorders can be biological, psychological or from external environmental factors.
i. Biological Causes
The first significant biological cause of bipolar mental disorder is genetic inheritance. A lot of people with the bipolar mental disorder were predisposed to the illness. Patients inherit the disorder from their parents. These patients similarly also pass the disorder to their children. The other biological cause of bipolar mental disorder is caused by the physical changes in the brain of an individual. These changes usually include abnormal thyroid function, imbalances in the neurotransmitter, high levels of stress hormone cortisol in the brain and finally circadian rhythm disturbances (HelpGuide, 2015).
ii. Environmental and Psychological Factors
Environmental factors and psychological factors are also believed to be involved to contribute majorly to the cause of bipolar mental disorders. The external factors are usually referred to as the triggers of the bipolar mental disorders. The usually set off new mania episodes and depression episodes and also worsen the existing bipolar mental disorder symptoms (HelpGuide, 2015).
The first major environmental and psychological cause of bipolar mental disorder is stress. Stress triggers the illness in people especially who have vulnerable genetics. The changes can be drastic such as going to college or getting married. The second cause is the substance abuse related causes. Substance abuse does not directly cause bipolar mental disorder but can bring an episode or worsen the symptoms of the disorder in patients. The other cause is medication. These include such medication such as antidepressant drugs. These medications usually trigger mania. Drugs such as cold medicine, appetite suppressants, thyroid medication, caffeine, and corticosteroids can also trigger mania. The other triggers of bipolar mental disorders are the changes in seasons. Manic episodes are more often during summer while depression are more common in winter, fall and spring. The final psychological cause of bipolar mental disorders is sleep deprivation, which can also trigger episodes of mania (HelpGuide, 2015).
b. Bipolar Mental Disorder Signs and Symptoms
Bipolar mental disorder has multiple signs and symptoms. The first sign of bipolar mental disorder is a great mood. This could be as a result of a break from the reality and someone experiences hypomania. Usually, the patient shows a high-energy state different from the usual. In this situation, a person may also experience euphoria in which he or she is unusually happy and all for nothing. This is usually the upside of bipolar mental conditional, and most patients tend to enjoy it while it lasts. The other sign and symptom is the inability to complete tasks. Notes to remind someone of unfinished projects usually characterize this. These people are usually in hypomanic states and can feel like they can do a lot of things at the same time. What they lack is the ability to harness their energy into one thing and make it productive. The next sign and symptom that is also common with a lot of patients who suffer from bipolar mental disorder is depression. Depression is usually a low side of the disorder and is experienced in cold seasons such as winter. These patients usually have problems with appetite, sleep and focus (Worth, 2015).
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Bipolar mental disorder is also characterized by irritability. Patients with symptom also usually suffer from mixed mania. They usually experience the symptoms and mania simultaneously. The patients in this stage are often extremely irritable. This is however usually a bit hard to recognize, especially considering that at times people just have bad days. The other symptom is the rapid speech of patients. The patients are generally very talkative. This is even for people who are usually known to be quiet and calm. The kind of speech that they engage in is usually what is known as "pressured speech". They tend to wind up several different topics within a very short time and to not care whether the listeners are talking back to them. They are also likely to talk to the listeners (Worth, 2015).
The other common symptom is trouble at work. This is especially related to the other symptoms that they experience that make them not focused for work. They are usually so hypomanic to settle in one place and do something constructive or are too low and not motivated to do anything. Again, people with bipolar personality disorder are usually involved in alcohol and drug abuse. The manic patients in some occasions tend to drink themselves up so as to calm them down. Those who are low on the other hand also tend to be involved in substance abuse in the attempt to try and lift their spirits up. Also, people with this disorder tend to have erratic behavior, sleep problems, and flight of unaccomplished ideas.
Bipolar mental disorder is a mental disorder in which people show high moods during particular times and low moods during other times. This disorder has been in existence since the first century and was at times misunderstood. However, with the development of medical research people have understood its signs and symptoms better. Treatments have also been developed patients with the disorder such as Lithium treatment (WebMD, Lithium for Bipolar Disorder, 2015).
HelpGuide. (2015, May 27). Bipolar Disorder Signs and Symptoms. Retrieved from helpguide.org:
Krans, B. (2012, May 27). The History of Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved from healthline.com:
WebMD. (2015, May 27). Bipolar Disorder.
WebMD. (2015, May 27). Lithium for Bipolar Disorder.
Worth, T. (2015, May 27). 10 Subtle Signs of Bipolar Disorder.