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Bipolar Disorder

Uploaded by Encyclopediax on Feb 11, 2013


The phenomenon of bipolar affective disorder has been a mystery since
the 16th century. History has shown that this affliction can appear in
almost anyone. Even the great painter Vincent Van Gogh is believed to
have had bipolar disorder. It is clear that in our society many people
live with bipolar disorder; however, despite the abundance of people
suffering from the it, we are still waiting for definite explanations
for the causes and cure. The one fact of which we are painfully aware
is that bipolar disorder severely undermines its’ victims ability to
obtain and maintain social and occupational success. Because bipolar
disorder has such debilitating symptoms, it is imperative that we remain
vigilant in the quest for explanations of its causes and treatment.
Affective disorders are characterized by a smorgasbord of symptoms
that can be broken into manic and depressive episodes. The depressive
episodes are characterized by intense feelings of sadness and despair
that can become feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Some of the
symptoms of a depressive episode include anhedonia, disturbances in
sleep and appetite, psycomoter retardation, loss of energy, feelings of
worthlessness, guilt, difficulty thinking, indecision, and recurrent
thoughts of death and suicide (Hollandsworth, Jr. 1990 ). The manic
episodes are characterized by elevated or irritable mood, increased
energy, decreased need for sleep, poor judgment and insight, and often
reckless or irresponsible behavior (Hollandsworth, Jr. 1990 ). Bipolar
affective disorder affects approximately one percent of the population
(approximately three million people) in the United States. It is
presented by both males and females. Bipolar disorder involves episodes
of mania and depression. These episodes may alternate with profound
depressions characterized by a pervasive sadness, almost inability to
move, hopelessness, and disturbances in appetite, sleep, in
concentrations and driving.
Bipolar disorder is diagnosed if an episode of mania occurs whether
depression has been diagnosed or not (Goodwin, Guze, 1989, p 11). Most
commonly, individuals with manic episodes experience a period of
depression. Symptoms include elated, expansive, or irritable mood,
hyperactivity, pressure of speech, flight of ideas, inflated self
esteem, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, and excessive
involvement in reckless activities (Hollandsworth, Jr. 1990 ). Rarest
symptoms were periods of loss of all interest and retardation or
agitation (Weisman, 1991).
As the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (MDMDA)
has demonstrated, bipolar disorder can create substantial developmental
delays, marital and family disruptions, occupational setbacks, and
financial disasters. This devastating disease causes disruptions of
families, loss of jobs and millions...

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Uploaded by:   Encyclopediax

Date:   02/11/2013

Category:   Psychology

Length:   8 pages (1,824 words)

Views:   1809

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