Bipolar Disorder in the United States

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Thankfully for people today, western medicine has made numerous discoveries and achievements within the last century. The discovery of penicillin, development of x-ray technology, and completion of the human genome are of the most notable. However, this information raises the following question: if medical technology is more advanced, then why have the number of reported diagnoses of psychological disorders in the U.S. been rapidly climbing? According to an international study conducted by Dr. Kathleen Merikangas for the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 2.4% of the world's population has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, the rate nearly doubles to 4.4% when looking solely at the population in the United States (Gardner, 2011). This drastic increase of bipolar disorder is a serious issue that is relevant to every American. The investigation, through reputable sources, of psychopathology as well as self and societal perspectives can provide a more accurate depiction of bipolar disorder, its effects, and its relevance to every home in America. Before modern medicine, bipolar disorder was thought to have been caused by demonic possession. Symptoms included fluctuating mood swings of depression and mania. One day someone would be literally bouncing off the walls and the next, this individual would be expressing suicidal ideation through cutting, self-strangulation, or even self-starvation. Even as late as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, treatment for anyone suffering from mental illness consisted of the individual being thrown into a cell and chained to the wall. Even worse, these people were whipped, beaten, and put on public display. It wasn't until the early nineteenth century when... ... middle of paper ... Kemp, D. R. (2007). Mental Health in America. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. Logan, Linda. (2013, April 26). The Problem With How We Treat Bipolar Disorder. The New York Times. Retrieved from with-how-we-treat-bipolar-disorder.html Marano, H. E. (2008). A Nation of Wimps: The High Costs of Invasive Parenting. New York: Broadway Books. Oliwenstein, L. (2004). Psychology Today: Taming Bipolar Disorder. New York: Alpha. Simon, Gregory E., Von Korff, Michael, Saunders, Kathleen, Miglioretti, Diana L., Crane, Paul K., van Belle, Gerald, Kessler, Ronald C. (2006). Association Between Obesity and Psychiatric Disorders in the U.S. Adult Population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63. Retrieved from articleid=209790

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