Bipolar disorder refers to a cyclic mental illness in which people subject to mood, energy, and ability to perform change episodes. The illness identification process presents a lot of problems owing to its complex nature. Past research of unearthing the causes of bipolar disorder has not been successful, even though its course comes out clear in families thanks to genetics. Bipolar disorder is more prevalent in the late stages of adolescence and early adulthood, although there are reports on late life manifestation. Patients with this disorder should be better under psychiatrists’ supervision, in order to find a mechanism how to make them become more positive towards life (Sandholtz & Sweet, 2011). With proper treatment, psychiatrists obtain a good understanding of their condition and can help, when following doctors’ prescriptions and taking their medications, to live a normal life.
Recent studies have shown that Bipolar disorder affects about 2% of the American population. Children make about 0.4% to 1.2% of the said percentage. The biggest group affected is that comprising individuals of ages ranging between 18 to 24 years. This disorder affect the young generation adversely owing to their aggressive behaviors and disposition towards retaliation. Adolescents face rapid mood swing cycles all through the day with frequency depending on the stage of the bout. Further studies have revealed women as having a higher risk to develop the disorder when compared to their male counterparts. However, this suggestion does not clear the probability of men to develop the disorder. As a matter of fact, the disorder development comes from genetic factors (Griller & Ziller, 2011). For example, if someone one or both parents’ families of an individual suffered from the disorder, then the likelihood of that individual experience the same is remarkably high. Also, the probability of a child to suffer from bipolar disorder or depression owing to the condition of the parent is 70%. The important fact to grasp here is that bipolar disorder can affect anyone irrespective of their culture, ethnicity, religion, or race.
Bipolar disorders come in a myriad of forms, each showing distinct patterns of symptoms. This incorporates bipolar I, bipolar II, mixed bipolar, cyclothymia, and rapid cyclic (Tallberg, 2008). Among these, the most severe is bipolar I. Individuals diagnosed with bipolar I variant suffer from longer ‘high’ and portray psychotic symptoms. On the contrary, those deemed to have bipolar II variant experience symptoms with less severity. Such is the case that individuals with type I suffer from episodes that can last from several hours to few days. Additionally, the effects of ‘highs’ have lower chances of hospitalization of the patient. Cyclothymia, on the other side, presents a mild type of disorder. Individuals with this bipolar disorder type show milder symptoms as compared to those suffering from a developed disorder. Past studies have indicated that close to 10% of individual diagnosed with bipolar disorder symptoms suffer from rapid cycling. Patients, in this case, experience four or even more depression episodes during a year. Majority of these bipolar conditions shows varying mood that ranges from an elevated to depressed form, but it is not a case with mixed bipolar type, where an individual undergoes both depression and mania simultaneously (Mondimore,1999).
The different types of bipolar disorders affect different individuals in varied symptomatic severity and pattern. During early stages of its discovery, bipolar disorder was considered as some kind of depression. This has changed later when experts suggested the existence of substantial differences between bipolar symptoms and depression. Symptoms ensuing from these disorders can substantially affect ones job and school performance, spoil relationships, and interrupt daily life. Despite the disorder treatability, the majority of the individuals suffering from it fails to identify the symptoms, a case that makes it more badly. For this reason, knowledge of the symptoms is vital, and proper treatment should be provided on a regular basis. Here, the first recommended step involves learning on how to diagnose the illness among individuals. Recommendations from medical experts suggest medication as one of the effective ways to avert episodes. But, as this illness carries a chronic character, taking only medication is often not enough in curing it, and varied treatment is considered to be a better way of healing (Griller & Ziller, 2011).
Bipolar disorders comprise the manic phase, a period where an individual shows elevated mood that shows up as reckless behaviors, rapid thought processes, and irritability. These maniac symptoms occur frequently and present hard time for the person and his/her relationship. Individuals in this phase will show symptoms of accelerated states and high energy (Tallberg, 2008).
Bipolar Depressive Episodes
Depressive sensations during bipolar episode may involve feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, thoughts of suicide or death, inability to concentrate, loss of energy or fatigue, and change of appetite and weight. The associated symptoms manifest in complaints on tiredness, headaches, social isolation, and loss of interest in activities. These depressive episodes take from six to twelve months in the absence of proper treatment. In addition, the depression episodes occur during the fall and winter while manic episodes mostly occur in spring and summer. Another significant fact regarding bipolar disorder is the accelerated rate of misdiagnosis. Majority of people, including doctors, make the mistake when they confuse bipolar disorder for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This can bring to serious consequences when a person experiencing maniac episodes follows prescription that lead to the wrong type of treatment (Mondimore,1999).
In many cases, a delayed diagnosis of this disorder or resistance of a diseased to undergo analysis may result in a wrong self-treatment. This is where individuals turn to acts leading to, for example, drug abuse. Such is the case that this self-treatment acts as solace and a way of controlling the disorder, and, in so doing, subjects worsen the situation themselves. Here, a serious problem is raising to the society as such individuals present a risk of harming themselves or other people. The good news for individuals with this disorder is that they stand a better chance of living a happy life once again when treated (Tallberg, 2008). However, commitment from both the patient and the physician becomes vital in realizing a fast and complete relief from the disorder.
Hypomania refers to a moderate stage of elevated mood that comes with some form of optimism, pressure of activity and speech, and lessens the need for sleep. Typically, hypomania effects on functioning are minor when compared to mania. Such is the case that individuals at this level will always maintain their productivity and even would at time display increased creativity (Mondimore, 1999). In addition, hypomanic individuals show an increased energy and activity level, and they do not experience hallucinations or delusions.
Hypomania level seems harmless to the affected person, a factor that usually contributes to the friends and family denial of the dangers posed by the change in the mood. When left untreated, a hypomania episode lasts for a period between few weeks to a number of years. In most cases, the symptoms continue for months.
People suffering from bipolar disorder can live normally if treated accordingly and on a regular basis. The healing process effectiveness highly depends on the phase of the disorder. Highly developed phases present difficulty on matters of control compared to early stages of the disorder. The process of treatment involves both psychosocial therapies and medication. Such is the case that there is no proper medication in existence, and the treatment here puts its focus on controlling symptoms and stabilizing the mood. During mania episode, medication manages the symptoms and ensures the safety of patients. On the other hand, antidepressant serves as the best option during bipolar depression phase (Griller & Ziller, 2011).
Revelation from past research shows that if an individual stay free from stress and keeps a proper work-life balance, he/she is less expected to suffer. A key aspect is to enclose oneself with acquaintances that one can turn to when in need of help and encouragement. A psychiatrist will also do everything to help work out things when faced with twists and turns associated to this disorder. As it was mentioned earlier, suicidal feelings and deeds are common among individuals suffering from bipolar disorder. To mitigate these feelings, an individual ought to get in touch with someone close before seeking a doctor’s assistance. In this regard, a combination of medication, lifestyle change, and therapy makes the most efficient treatment strategy for bipolar disorders. The treatment mainly focuses on recovering from the long-term disruptions of life (Tallberg, 2008).
In conclusion, bipolar disorder presents a serious mental disorder. Referred as a psychiatric condition, this disorder comprises recurrent episodes that cause serious disturbance in mood. Typically, treatment of bipolar disorder follows medications and/or counseling or therapy. An individual afflicted with this disorder experiences rapid mood swings. For this reason, it is vital for individuals to be armed with knowledge on the various types of bipolar disorder. This will serve to allow early detection of the disorder and further pave way for treatment. Sadly, bipolar disorder goes unnoticed by the patient, friends, and relatives, and, in worst cases, even by physicians.