Bipolar Disorder Essay

Bipolar Disorder Essay

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Bipolar is a mental illness, currently in the DSM-IV, and the main thing it affects is the mood. It is known for its range of depressive and manic episodes, like an up and down continuum, or a roller coaster or moods. There are two different categories of Bipolar disorder: Bipolar I, also known as manic-depression, and Bipolar II. It is an extremely common mental illness. According to WebMD, approximately 6 million people in the United States suffer from Bipolar disorder, about 2.5%. With numbers that high, it is likely that all of us has come across someone with Bipolar and may have not even known it. Bipolar does not discriminate against anyone, no matter ones race, gender, religion, sexual preference, weight, height, or socioeconomic status. Many people affected with this illness live normal lives in between their episodes. Despite the fact, according to Calabrese, Macritchie, and Young (2000) “Bipolar affective disorder is a common condition which, among mental illness, ranks second only to unipolar depression as cause of worldwide disability.”


There are four different mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes (Smith, Segal and Segal, 2010). While in the depressed stage of this disorder, one may feel the need to sleep more than normal, and probably seem like a “Debbie Downer” to everyone else. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the manic stage will show a decrease in the need for sleep; the person may now seem more outgoing, and friendly, more fun to be around, they are more like “the life of the party.” Mania can also lead to hallucinations and delusions and the individual can get out of control. Someone who has manic episodes hardly seems like they have a problem. If they a...


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Smith, M., Segal, J., and Segal, R. (2010). “Understanding Bipolar Disorder.” Retrieved from
Helpguide.org: http://helpguide.org/mental/bipolar_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm#authors
Soreff, S. (2011) “Bipolar Affective Disorder.” Retrieved from Medscape Reference:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286342-overview#showall
Taylor, J. “Children Bipolar.” Retrieved from Bipolar Symptoms: Useful informational articles:
http://www.bipolarsymptoms.org/Types/children-disorder.html
Today’s Caregiver. “Bipolar: a Brief History of Bipolar Disorder.” Retrieved from Caregiver.com:
http://www.caregiver.com/channels/bipolar/articles/brief_history.htm
Vaknin, S. (2006) “Misdiagnosing Bipolar: The Bipolar Disorder is often misdiagnosed as a Personality
Disorder.” Retrieved from suite101.com: http://www.suite101.com/content/misdiagnosing-bipolar-a10165

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