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manic episodes Bipolar Affective Disorder

Bipolar affective disorder has been a mystery to scientists and physicians since the sixteenth century.  The artist Vincent Van Gogh is the first documented case of the disorder, but since then, we have not learned much more about what causes the disease or even a cure for sufferers.  The biggest hindrance to scientists is that there are so many symptoms, and they aren't sure what the source is.  Right now, approximately one percent of the population (three million people) in the United States is victim of the Bipolar disorder.  "As of now, scientists have learned almost all that they know just from watching and interviewing their patients," and although a cure is needed for sufferers to lead normal lives, no true cure has come along yet (Ramirez. 15).
Bipolar disorder typically most often begins during adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. It is often not recognized as an illness and people who have it may suffer needlessly for years or even decades.  This particular disorder is characterized by a variety of symptoms that can be broken into manic (excessive highs) and depressive (deep hopelessness) episodes with periods of normal mood in between.  The manic episodes are characterized by discrete periods of: increased energy, activity, and restlessness; racing thoughts; rapid talking; excessive “high” or euphoric feelings; extreme irritability and distractibility; decreased need for sleep; unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers; uncharacteristically poor judgment; a
          Hardy 2
sustained period of behavior that is different than usual; increased sexual drive; abuse of drugs (particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications); provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior; and denial that anything is wrong (Griswald 7).
"Bipolar disorder is diagnosed if an episode of mania occurs whether depression has been diagnosed or not, but most commonly, individuals with manic episodes experience a period of depression" (Jamison 14). The depressive episodes are characterized by intense feelings of sadness and despair that can eventually grow into feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Some of the symptoms of a depressive episode include: discrete periods of persistent sad, anxious, or empty feelings; mood swings; feelings of hopelessness or pessimism; feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities; decreased energy; a feeling of fatigue; difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; restlessness or irritability; sleep disturbances; loss of appetite and weight, or weight gain; chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical disease; anhedonia, psycomoter retardation; near inability to move; and thoughts of death or suicide (Griswald 8).
When both manic and depressive symptoms occur at the same time it is called a mixed episode. Those afflicted are at a special risk because there is a combination of hopelessness, agitation, and anxiety that makes them feel as if they “could jump out of their skin"(Ramirez 17).  Up to 50% of all patients with mania have a mixture of depressed moods. Patients report feeling dysphoric, depressed, and unhappy; yet, they exhibit the energy associated with mania. Rapid cycling mania is another presentation of bipolar disorder. Mania may be present with four or more distinct episodes within a 12-month period.  "There is now evidence to suggest that

                      Hardy 3
occasionally, rapid cycling may be a transient manifestation of the bipolar disorder" (Hochman 165).
It may be helpful to think of the various mood states in manic-depressive illness as a spectrum or continuous range. At one end is severe depression, which shades into moderate depression; then come mild and brief mood disturbances that many people call “the blues"; then normal mood; then hypomania (a mild form of mania); and then mania. Some people with untreated bipolar disorder have repeated depressions.  In the other extreme, mania may be the
main problem and depression may occur only infrequently. In fact, symptoms of mania and depression may be mixed together in a single “mixed” bipolar state (Ramirez 17).
Many times bipolar patients report that the depressions are longer and increase in frequency as the individual ages.  The stages of the bipolar disorder most often begin in patients between the ages of 18 and 24 years of age (Griswald 1), with a second peak in the mid-forties of women.  Most individuals with the disorder experience their first mood episode in their 20's. However, manic-depression ... more

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Explaining A Concept

BIPOLAR DISORDER
1
Bipolar Disorder, often called Manic Depression, is a medical condition that
involves severe mood swings in an individual. It is a lifetime condition that needs to be
treated to keep it in remission (APA). It is not just a mental illness, but a medical disease
involving the brain.

2
The disease progresses as the years pass and the frequency of mood changing
episodes becomes more frequent (MHN). Bipolar Disorder involves depressive and manic
phases. With the symptoms presented, clinicians often misdiagnose patients as
schizophrenics (Shalala).

3
Bipolar affects an individual's thoughts, feelings, health, behavior and ability to
function. The disease is not a result of a weak personality, as many people believe.
Instead, it is a medical condition where there is an instability in the transmission of nerve
impulses of the brain (neurotransmitters) that signal appropriate moods (NDMDA). The
bipolar patient responds with inappropriate mood swings independent of what is going on
around them (APA). Bipolar compromises the judgment of those that suffer from it.
Some even experience hallucinations (Shalala).

4
The disease of bipolar itself is classified as Type I and Type II. Type I are those
that have had prior episodes of mania. One percent of Americans are diagnosed with this.
Type II are those that have hypomania phases only (Shalala). A very small percentage (.6)
of Americans have Type II.

5
Bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. There is no discrimination when
it comes to mental illness (MDA). Cycling is defined by the shifts from one phase to
another. Women are more prone to the more rapid cycling. This is due to the different
hormone changes in the female body. A male is apt to cycle every two to four years, while
a female may cycle four or more times annually (Shalala).

6
The best way to understand bipolar is to learn about the different phases that an
individual experiences. There are four different phases: depressive, manic, hypomania
and mixed episode (APA).

7
The depressive phase can last for several months. The patient will show depressed
behavior daily, weight loss, diminished pleasure, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, lack of
concentration, restlessness, insomnia or hypersomnia (over sleeping), impaired functioning
and suicidal thoughts. These symptoms are present without any evidence of drug or
alcohol abuse (Long). Any thoughts of death or suicide should be taken seriously.

8
The word mania comes from the French and means crazed or frenzied (Shalala).
In the manic phase, the individual sleeps only a few hours, yet is feels perfectly rested.
They tend to be talkative, distracted and overly goal-oriented. Unfortunately, they seldom
follow through with their goals. Pleasurable activities become very important, particularly
those that involve high risk. The ego becomes inflated beyond reality and their thoughts
and ideas race continuously (Long).

9
Hypomania is a much milder form of mania. In this phase, the individual can easily
fall into a deep depression or escalate into full-blown mania (APA).

10
The last phase, mixed episode, is when an individual shows symptoms from both
manic and depressive phases.

11
There are many different theories on what causes bipolar disorder. There seems to
be a connection with family prevalence. Those with a parent with the disorder have a one
in seven chance of being bipolar themselves. An earlier age of onset is typical in these
cases. the typical age of onset is adolescent and earlier adulthood (Shalala).

12
Other probable causes are biochemistry, biological clocks and psychological stress.
It is known that those with bipolar disorder are more vulnerable to emotional and physical
stress (APA).

13
The diagnosis of bipolar disorder typically takes up to eight years. Clinicians
mistakenly diagnose depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or paranoia. Inappropriate
treatments only make the disorder worse. Anti-depressants lift the patient into the manic
phase and anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium or Xanax depress the patient. Psychotherapy
alone does not help (Shalala).

14
There are solutions for the bipolar patient. Education is the most important. Not
only the patient needs to be educated, but also those close to them. Understanding why
someone is bipolar and what symptoms to watch for is the first step in helping the
individual get better and maintain a healthy balance (Francell).

15
Medications are prescribed to the patients to balance the chemicals in the brain.
The most prescribed drug is Lithium. It acts as a mood stabilizer and is often used in
conjunction with an anti-depressant such as Paxil or Zoloft. Other mood Stabilizers are
Tegretol and Depakote. These medications require close monitoring of the levels in the
blood to prevent toxicity (Parikh). Medications are most likely needed for a lifetime ... more

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  • A: Bipolar Affective Disorder A: Bipolar Affective Disorder Bipolar Affective Disorder Bipolar affective disorder has been a mystery to scientists and physicians since the sixteenth century. The artist Vincent Van Gogh is the first documented case of the disorder, but since then, we have not learned much more about what causes the disease or even a cure for sufferers. The biggest hindrance to scientists is that there are so many symptoms, and they arent sure what the source is. Right now, approximately one percent of the population (three million peop...
  • N: Explaining A Concept N: Explaining A Concept Explaining A Concept BIPOLAR DISORDER 1 Bipolar Disorder, often called Manic Depression, is a medical condition that involves severe mood swings in an individual. It is a lifetime condition that needs to be treated to keep it in remission (APA). It is not just a mental illness, but a medical disease involving the brain. 2 The disease progresses as the years pass and the frequency of mood changing episodes becomes more frequent (MHN). Bipolar Disorder involves depressive and manic phases. With th...
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  • Bipolar Disorder 4 Bipolar Disorder 4 Bipolar Disorder 4 Bipolar Disorder: Its Causes and Effects At least 2 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder, more commonly known as manic-depression. This illness usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood and continues throughout life. Although it may come into affect at any time, most individuals with the disorder experience their first mood episode in their 20\'s. However, manic-depression quite often strike teenagers and has been diagnosed in children under 12. The risk of su...
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