Free «Bipolar disorder» Essay Sample

Bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes serious shifts in mood, behavior, thinking and energy. Besides fleeting bad or good temper, bipolar disorder cycles can last for longer period. Unlike normal frame of mind swings, the bipolar disorder moods changes so strong that they impede with personal aptitude to function. In times of manic episode, someone can impulsively refrain from a job, over charge credit cards and even feel agitated after sleeping for two hours (Lovelace, 45-78). Within these depressive episodes, the same individual could be very weary to wake up and filled with self-loathing due to unemployment. The backgrounds of bipolar disorder are not totally acknowledged, but it frequently runs through families. The primary manic phase of bipolar disorder normally takes place in the adolescent years though it is also noticeable in adulthood. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be restrained and perplexing; therefore many people with this disorder go unnoticed, resulting to needless suffering. However, with correct care and support, a satisfying life can be attained.

Facts and myths concerning bipolar disorder

The fact that many people suffering from bipolar disorder have got good careers, satisfying relationships and enjoys their family lives surpasses an old belief that with bipolar disorder one can acquire more or lead an ordinary life. Though an ailing form of bipolar disorder is difficult, a successful life while managing these symptoms can be realized through proper treatment, a firm support system and healthy skills for coping with depressive episodes. Although it was believed that people with bipolar disorders sway backward and forward between obsession and depression, researches have affirmed that some individuals swap between the stern episodes of obsession and gloominess, but a good number are gloomy more frequently than they can be said to be manic. For this reason, mania may be so meek that it goes unnoticed. Therefore, people with bipolar disorder can live without showing any symptoms for a long time. Researchers disagree with ancient sayings that bipolar disorder affects only the person`s moods. They insist that bipolar disorder also affects the level of energy, memory, judgment, appetite, concentration, self esteem, sleep patters and drive for sex. Moreover, bipolar disorder is associated with anxiety, abuse of substances, problems of wellbeing like diabetes, high blood pressure, migraines and heart diseases. Myths argued that there was no alternative way to treat bipolar disorders other than taking medication. As a matter of fact, self-help strategies and therapy are as more important as medication in treatment of bipolar disorders. These symptoms can be controlled through exercising frequently, having enough time to sleep, avoiding stress, watching personal moods and having supportive people around.

Bipolar disorder signs and symptoms

Bipolar disorder signs and symptoms differ widely from one person to another. These symptoms vary broadly in terms of severity, frequency and pattern. Several individuals easily succumb to obsession and gloominess, while others vary uniformly between both kinds of episodes. Some people have mood disturbances very often, whereas others encounter only a few of them throughout their life. Bipolar disorder has four types of mood episodes: depression, hypomania, mania and diverse episodes. Each type has a unique set of symptoms. Each kind of episodes has its own list of symptoms.

Mania signs and symptoms

Heightened energy feelings, euphoria and creativity are ordinary for bipolar disorders in manic phase. People experiencing a manic episode frequently talk a lot, sleep for a short time and are agitated. Moreover, they can feel like they were omnipotent, unbeatable or heading for greatness. Though mania seems good initially, it has a propensity to get out of control. Individuals have frequently behaved recklessly in times of manic episode: betting away savings, taking part in sexual immoralities or making ridiculous business enterprises. For instance, they become very angry, bad-tempered and aggressive, and even start fights, if others disagree with their decisions and they blame everyone who condemns their behavior (Raeburn, 11-35). Others even end up being delusional or begin to hear voices.

Sings and symptoms of hypomania

Hypomania is a type of mania which is less severe. People in a hypomanic state feel overjoyed, full of energy and fruitful but they can still carry on their daily lives and they don’t miss out with the reality (Raeburn, 11-35). Others can see individuals having hypomania as those who have an unusual good mood. All the same, hypomania may lead to harmful decision making that can spoil relationships, reputations and careers. Moreover, hypomania frequently escalates to mature mania or is followed by main depressive episode. General mania symptoms include:

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  • Feeling extraordinarily optimistic and high or extremely bad-tempered
  • Unrealistic, ostentatious beliefs concerning one’s aptitude or powers.
  • Having little time to sleep but feeling very energetic.
  • Racing judgments quickly; changing ideas repeatedly.
  • Extremely distractible, not capable to concentrate.
  • Impulsiveness and impaired judgment.
  • Recklessly acting without giving thought to the repucations.
  • Hallucinations and delusions (for severe cases)

Bipolar Depression signs and symptoms

Bipolar depression in the ancient days was described as habitual depression. However, researchers assert that there are major disparities between the two, particularly in matters concerning treatments. Antidepressants are of no help to most people suffering from bipolar depression. In fact, antidepressants may worsen the state of bipolar disorder or activate mania leading to swift cycling between the states of mood, or stabilizing drugs abuse and conflicting with others moods. In spite of several similarities, some symptoms are more ordinary in bipolar depression than in ordinary depression. For instance, bipolar depression is possibly to involve guilt, bad temper, restlessness feelings and mood swings which can not be predicted. Individuals having bipolar depression also tend to speak and move slowly, sleep a lot as well as gain weight  (Papolos and Papolos, 23-67). Moreover, people with bipolar depression are more likely to build up psychotic depression - a state in which they have lost contact with veracity- and to encounter main disability in social and work performance. The general bipolar depression symptoms include: having hopeless feelings; bad temper; incapability to experience pleasure; lack of energy or fatigue; mental physical lethargy; changes in weight or gaining appetite; sleeplessness; memory problems or lack of concentration; feeling guilt; thoughts about death or suicide.

Mixed episode signs and symptoms

A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. The common symptoms of a mixed episode are the following: together with depression, irritability, sleeplessness, nervousness, distractibility and rapid decision making. This mixture of low mood and high energy creates great risks particularly for suicide.

Various stages of bipolar disorder

  • Bipolar disorder I – the classic depressive form of the illness, characterized by an episode of mixed or manic episodes. Sometimes, the first phase of bipolar disorder might involve a phase of depression.
  • Bipolar disorder II –the person does not experience mature manic phases. On the other hand, the sickness involves severe and hypomanic episodes.
  • Cyclothymia (mild depression and hypomania) – cyclothymia is considered as a mild state of bipolar disorder. It comprises of recurring swings of mood. However, the signs are less harsh than mature depression or mania.

Bipolar disorder treatment

When the bipolar disorder symptoms are identified, don’t wait to receive help. Overlooking the problem will not make it quit, but will definitely make it worse. Living with bipolar disorder without medical attention could lead to health issues and it can influence all sectors of a person’s live, including career, health or even relationships. Getting treatment or diagnosis for the setback early enough can assist in addressing these complications. If a person is not ready to seek treatment since he/she enjoys how they feel when they are manic, it is important to remember that euphoria and energy come with a cost (Raeburn, 11-35). Hypomania and mania frequently turn to be destructive, hurting a person and the ones who are next to him/her.

Bipolar disorder management basics

  • Lasting treatment needed. Because bipolar disorder is a persistent, relapsing sickness, it is therefore vital to carry on treatment even when a patient is feeling better. A number of people with bipolar disorder acquire medication to avoid new episodes and stay without symptoms of the disorder.
  • Medication and treatment. It is not enough to use medication only to fully control the bipolar disorder symptoms. The most effective treatment policy for bipolar disorder includes a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, therapy and social support as well.
  • Working with an experience psychiatrist. This disorder is a multifaceted circumstance. Diagnosis can be complicated and a disease is hard to cure. For protection reasons, medication must be monitored closely. An experienced psychiatrist in bipolar disorder can help a person navigate these turns and twists.

Self-assist for bipolar disorder

It is not always easy while dealing with bipolar disorder, but so as to manage successfully bipolar disorder, smart choices should be made. The day-to-day habits and lifestyle have major impacts on individual`s moods. It is important to study things that can be helpful:

  • Acquire education. Studying on the subject of bipolar disorder. The more people understand, the more useful they will be in recovery.
  • Monitor stress. Shun stressful situations, sustain vigorous work-life equilibrium and strive to use relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga and breathing deep.
  • Search for support. It is vital to have individuals to consult for assistance and motivation. Keep talking to a person that can be trusted or become a member of a supportive group.
  • Choose to live healthily. Regular exercises and getting adequate sleep can help stabilize mood. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is specifically vital.
  • Keep a close eye on moods. Examine symptoms and observe for signs, so, if moods swing beyond control, it is important for a person to end the problem even before it begins.    

Suicide and bipolar disorder

The depressive stage of bipolar is frequently very serious, thus suicide becomes a main risk factor. As a matter of fact, people with bipolar disorder have been found more likely to commit suicide than those with regular depression. The suicidal risk is even higher for individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder and have depressive tendencies, and those who abuse drugs or alcohol, or who have suicidal history in the family or heritage of the ailment (Greenberg, 23-45). Suicidal warning signs include: a person is often talking about topics concerning death, he/she is thinking negatively or talking about suicide; feeling helpless or hopeless; acting recklessly, in a manner wishing to die, feeling like being a trouble to others or worthless; putting associations in an orderly way or keep saying goodbye and looking for pills or weapons to commit suicide.

Causes and prompts of bipolar disorder

There are particular causes of bipolar disorder. It is certain that many individuals are genetically inclined to develop bipolar disorder. However, not all people with inherited susceptibility develop the illness suggesting that genes are not only the cause. Some brain imaging studies show physical alterations in the brains of individuals with bipolar disorder. Additionally, research reveals that neurotransmitter imbalances, unusual thyroid operation, disturbances of circadian rhythm and greater degrees of the stress cortisol hormone maybe contributing factors. Extrinsic environmental and emotional factors are also said to be part of the growth of bipolar disorder (Raeburn, 11-35). These extrinsic factors are referred to as triggers. Such triggers can lead to new types of depression or mania or even make the present symptoms worse. All the same, several bipolar disorder occur without been triggered. Some of these triggers include:

  • Stress - Genetic vulnerability of bipolar disorders in someone can be triggered by stressful life events. These events mostly involve drastic changes regardless of being bad or good like being married, going-off to college or losing a beloved.
  • Substance Abuse - Substance abuse of does not lead to bipolar disorder but it triggers the episode or increases the intensity of the illness. Drugs like cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy can prompt mania, where as tranquilizers and alcohol trigger depression.
  • Medication- Some medications, specifically antidepressant medicine, can prompt mania. Drugs like appetite suppressants, caffeine, over-the-counter cold medicine, corticosteroids and thyroid medication can also trigger a manic episode.
  • Nonpermanent changes – Episodes of mania and hopelessness frequently follow a cyclic prototype. Manic episodes occur more often throughout the summer where as depressive episodes are commonly seen in the spring and winter seasons.
  • Deprivation of sleep- Sleep loss or inadequate rest can generate mania episode.


Bipolar disorder is generally a psychiatric diagnosis concerning human moods where people encounter troublesome mood swings that include a frenzied condition referred to as mania and normally accompanied by symptoms of depression. Bipolar disorder is described through the presence of one or several episodes of strangely elevated energy, mood and cognition factors regardless of the depressive episode.


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