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Bipolar Disorder

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Essay title: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a confusing and misunderstood illness. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness. It is a brain disorder causing unusual shifts in a person’s mood, attitude, and abilities to function. Despite popular belief, bipolar disorder is not a mental retardation but an imbalance in the brain which causes drastic behavioral and mood swings.

Little is known about the causes of bipolar disorder. A popular belief is that bipolar disorder is biological in origin, and is caused by a change in the way the brain process the chemicals in the body. Most medications are formulated to correct this problem by supplementing these chemicals (neurotransmitters) and helping the brain use these neurotransmitters more efficiently. Most believe bipolar to be a genetic disorder, passed down through families. However, there are others who have their own beliefs as to the causes of bipolar disorder. It is known, though, that bipolar disorder is related to the central nervous system.

Bipolar disorder consists of four different types of episodes, a period of time in which certain behavioral characteristics are seen. These include mania, depression, hypomania, and mixed episodes. Mania is the abnormal beliefs about ones own abilities and functions. Mania can be described as feeling euphoric, elevated, high, or ecstatic. Some symptoms include restlessness, increased energy, racing thoughts and speech, distractibility, little sleep, and poor judgment. Depression includes feelings of sadness, emptiness, and loneliness, as well as, feeling anxious, tense, and angry. When depressed ones thoughts often are slow, confused, and muddled, as well as, negative, hopeless, self-critical, and paranoid. Symptoms of depression include lasting sad and empty moods, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, a general lost of general interest in everything, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating, thoughts of death or suicide, and chronic pain not caused by injury. Mania and depression also share similar symptoms such as restlessness, sleep changes, and appetite changes. An overall symptom of bipolar disorder is thyroid problems. Both mania and depression can also result in suicidal ideations (feelings/desires). Signs of suicidal ideations are wanting to die, talking about suicide, and organizing possessions and affairs. Hypomania is a milder form of mania in which the patient does not require intense

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