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Managing Bipolar Disorder

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All night, Hearing voices telling me that I should get some sleep, because tomorrow might be good for something. Hold on, I'm feeling like I'm headed for a breakdown, I don't know why. I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell. I know, right now you can't tell, but stay awhile and maybe then you'll see a different side of me. –Matchbox 20, Unwell (Thomas, 2003) Those who suffer from bipolar disorder experience constant ups and downs. The APA defines bipolar disorder as “recurrent episodes of mania alternating with episodes of major depression” (Griswold, 2000). Mania is an overexcited mood, often characterized by an unrealistic, optimistic state, excess energy, and insomnia. (King, 2010) People in states of mania also frequently experience uncontrollable impulses such as sex, gambling, and alcohol abuse. (Das, 2005). Oppositely, depression is marked by periods of extreme sadness, crying and irritability, inactivity and disinterest, and feelings of hopelessness (Torpy, 2009). People who suffer from bipolar disorder will cycle between these states; some will cycle rapidly, within several days, and some cycle only a few times per year. After bipolar has been diagnosed, there are several treatment options that are helpful for sufferers, including medication, psychotherapy, and family counseling; all of these need to be utilized to successfully control symptoms and possible harmful behaviors. The first, and arguably most important step to the treatment of bipolar disorder is pharmaceutical intervention. Most patients appear initially with signs and symptoms of depression, often leading to misdiagnosis and treatment. First line treatment for depression includes tricyclic antidepressants, which can actually worsen symptoms in b... ... middle of paper ... ..., Neria, Y., Lantigua, R., Shea, S., & Weissman, M. (2005). Screening for bipolar disorder in a primary care practice. The journal of the American Medical Association, 293, 956- 963. Griswold, K., & Pessar, L. (2000). Management of bipolar disorder. American family physician, 62, 1343- 1353, 1357-1358. King, L. (2010). Experience psychology. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Kaplan, H. & Sadock, B. (1996). Concise textbook of clinical psychiatry. Philadelphia, PN: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. MacQueen, G., & Young, T. (2001). Bipolar II disorder: symptoms, course, and response to treatment. Psychiatric services, 52, 358- 361. Torpy, J. (2009). Bipolar Disorder. The journal of the American Medical Association, 301, 564. Thomas, Rob. (2003). Unwell [Recorded by matchbox 20]. On More than you think you are [CD]. New York City, NY: Atlantic Records. (2002)
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