Bipolar disorder informative essay

Subject: Mental Health
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Word count: 1942
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Abstract

Bipolar disorder, which was also referred to manic depression, is a condition that brings about intense or severe forms of mood swings, which entail high and low emotional moments. People with bipolar disorder may develop sadness whenever they become stressed or even feel helpless. They may have a tendency of losing attention or awareness of activities taking place around them. Bipolar disorder can affect the relationship of people diagnosed with the condition with their friends or family and may need a special attention at some point in life. This research paper defines bipolar disorder and presents the early signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder. It further postulates the various types of bipolar disorders. Moreover, it puts forward the causes of bipolar disorder and the diagnosis and medications for people with the condition. It presents the future research for the subject, which includes the recommendations. Finally, it presents a summary of the findings in the conclusion section.

Annotated bibliography

Hirschfeld, R. M., Bowden, C. L., Gitlin, M. J., Keck, P. E., Suppes, T., Thase, M. E., … & Perlis, R. H. (2010). Treatment of patients with bipolar disorder. Virginia: American Psychiatric Association (APA) Practice Guidelines 2002.

The authors present a practice guideline that can be used by clinical professionals in the treatment and care for patients with bipolar disorder. The authors outline the treatment plan, including an evidence-based practice that can be used to justify the modes of treatment. This source is useful in the research paper as it helps understand the condition and its treatment process. It helps in creating an insight into the future clinical practice and treatment of bipolar disorder.

Jesus, J., Campos, B., Galazzi, R., Martinez, J., & Arruda, M. (2015). Bipolar disorder: Recent advances and future trends in bioanalytical developments for biomarker discovery. Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407(3), 661-667. doi:10.1007/s00216-014-8341-3

The source outlines a description and discussion of bipolar disorder, which entails how it is classified and how the society views people with the condition, such as issues of stigma. The authors conduct research on the bipolar disorder with the aim of expounding on the future patterns for bioanalytical discoveries. They outline the modern day bioanalytical advances in diagnosing and treating the condition. The source helps understand more about the correct treatment alternatives available for the condition. It also presents how clinical practitioners can make an accurate diagnosis of the condition.

Mason, B. L., Brown, E. S., & Croarkin, P. E. (2016). Historical underpinnings of bipolar disorder diagnostic criteria. Behavioral Sciences (2076-328X), 6(3), 1-19. doi:10.3390/bs6030014

The source makes a tremendous study of the historical foundation of bipolar disorder and their relationship to the changing trends of the condition. The source outlines how factors, such as mood swings and depression were documented in human history, especially in the nineteenth century. The source is useful in the research paper as it presents how the condition can be viewed historically and its connection with the present day. The historical significance helps understand the definition of bipolar disorder, its effect on children and how it can be diagnosed and set apart from other mental conditions today.

McCormick, U., Murray, B., & McNew, B. (2015). Diagnosis and treatment of patients with bipolar disorder: A review for advanced practice nurses. Journal of The American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 27(9), 530-542. doi:10.1002/2327-6924.12275

The source tackles the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Mainly, it looks into advancing the professional skills of nurses on account of bipolar disorder cases, such as developing accurate ways of diagnosing the condition. This source is helpful in the research paper as it helps understand the challenges that both the person with bipolar disorder and nurses go through while addressing the condition. It helps understand the available treatment approaches and much more outlines the implications for future practice.

Patel, R., Shetty, H., Jackson, R., Broadbent, M., Stewart, R., Boydell, J., & … Taylor, M. (2015). Delays before diagnosis and initiation of treatment in patients presenting to mental health services with bipolar disorder. PLoS ONE, 10(5), 1-17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126530

The source by Patel et al. (2015) presents the problem of diagnosing bipolar disorder in patients and the delays that occur before accurate diagnosis takes place. It presents the treatment process of a patient with the condition and some of the available mental health care services. This source is crucial in the research paper as it helps understand the condition, including the challenges that prevent accurate diagnosis and proper treatment and care. It helps understand the relationship of factors, such as alcohol and drug abuse with bipolar disorder and their impact in diagnosing and treating people with the condition.

Introduction

Bipolar disorder is a condition known as manic depression. It is a psychiatric disorder in the category of mood disorders defined by episodes of hypomania or mania. It is a serious condition that results in severe mood shifts. The condition affects approximately five million Americans. It is found in 3 of every 100 adults and is equally found in men and women (Mason, Brown & Croarkin, 2016). The duration of low and high mood swings varies from each person. It is a condition that can result in inadequate professional performance, can wreck relationships and also lead to suicide. On a positive note, the disorder is manageable, and persons with the illness can lead successful personal as well as professional lives.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Bipolar include feelings of guilt, sadness, isolation, anger, shyness, social anxiety, irritability, hopelessness, and lack of motivation (Mason, et al., 2016). The victim may also lack appetite and have disturbances in sleep. Fatigue and losing interest in daily activities, problems of concentration, lose interest in sexual activity and suicidal thoughts.  In instances of severe cases, the patient may become psychotic. Irritable, expansive and elevated mood state characterizes the manic episodes (McCormick Murray & McNew, 2015). Individuals experience an energy increase that results in decreased need for sleep. The person has a low attention span and may be easily distracted; thus their judgment is impaired. Moreover, they may have an aggressive, intrusive and intolerant behavior.

There are four episodes of mood swings in persons with bipolar. They are mania, depression, hypomania, and mixed episodes. Each episode has a distinctive set of symptoms. The manic phase has feelings of increased creativity, energy and euphoria. Persons experiencing the mania feel powerful, destined for greatness and invincible. Therefore, they become hyperactive and sleep very little. On the contrary, the hypomania phase is characterized by a less severe form of mania. Persons with this state feel energetic, euphoric and productive. They can carry their daily activities with a touch of reality. As for the depression phase, the person experiences irritability, unpredictable swings, guilt and feelings of restlessness. Also, they speak in low tones, gain weight and sleep a lot. They tend to develop psychotic depression where they experience disability in social ordeals as well as work (Mason, et al., 2016). As for the mixed episode, the person experiences the symptoms of mania, hypomania, and depression. The signs of mixed episodes are depression that combines with anxiety, irritation, insomnia, agitation, racing thoughts, and distractibility. The phase has a combination of high and low moods, making the condition a high risk of suicide or personal harm.

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Types of Bipolar

The Bipolar 1 is a disorder has manic and mixed episodes and lasts for seven days. In some instances, the manic symptoms are severe, thus needing immediate medical care. In most cases, the patient gets depressive episodes that last two weeks leading to a change in their behavior. The Bipolar 2 is characterized by major depressive episodes, but with less mania (Hirschfeld et al., 2010).

Causes of Bipolar

Medical doctors do not know the exact cause of the disorder. There is a leading theory that the chemicals in the brain fluctuate abnormally. The levels of some chemicals become too high leading to mania. Similarly, when the levels drop it result in depression (Hirschfeld et al., 2010). Persons who are considered to be at higher risk are the ones with family members with the disorder. However, doctors do not believe that genetics are the only cause, but also stressful events or drug abuse. Researchers are seeking to find the causes of bipolar in a biological aspect to try to prevent a recurrence through medication. Many pharmacologic studies show that neurotransmitters, serotonin, and catecholamine are contributing factors to the disorder. For decades, researchers have known that there is a link between mood disorders, neurotransmitters, and even medication. Besides, when a drug is given to the brain’s neurotransmitters, it triggers mood swings (McCormick, et al., 2015).

Diagnosis and Medications

A vital step in diagnosis is to rule out the possible causes of mood swings. They may include HIV, diabetes, head injury, or schizophrenia. There are no lab tests that can determine the onset of bipolar disorder (Hirschfeld et al., 2010). Therefore, an individual has to visit a psychiatrist to get a proper diagnosis. The medications are crucial in helping the person live a stable life. Some mood stabilizers, such as lithium are essential in contributing to regulate the wild cycle of mood swings. Some People with manic episodes benefit from antipsychotic drugs. Equally, the antidepressants help people stuck in a low mood phase. The psychiatrist can also use talk therapy to assist the patients to cope with the aspect of having bipolar (Patel, et al., 2015). Talk therapy is important as the doctor can control the patient before the condition gets out of control. If they find the patient to be suicidal, they recommend electroconvulsive therapy to relieve depression or mania. It is a technique using electric current to cause seizures in the brain.

The most effective mood stabilizers according to John Mcmanamy are Lithium, Depakote, Carbamazepine, Neurontin, Lamictal, and Topamax (Patel, et al., 2015). Lithium is the most preferred treatment choice due to its long research that shows it is relatively safe and also inexpensive. The doctor can also recommend nutritional help, especially, foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids (Hirschfeld, et al., 2010). The Western diet has fewer omega-3 affecting the cell membrane as well as physiology, thus the link to psychiatric disorders. Additionally, psychotherapy also supplements the medications and assists the person to stabilize their moods.

Future Research

There are no scientific prove on alternative treatments for bipolar disorder, such as herbal supplements and special diets. It is, therefore, important for doctors to inquire if the patient is using alternative therapies to prevent interactions with prescribed medications. It is noted that many parents use unproven treatments of special diets, homeopathic treatments, vision therapy, herbal supplements, megavitamins, just to mention a few. Research has no evidence that megavitamin works (Jesus, Campos, Galazzi, Martinez & Arruda, 2015). Therefore, in the case of children diagnosed with bipolar disorder, parents must be cautious when placing them on megavitamin. It is worth noting that giving children large doses of vitamins can be fatal and dangerous. It is essential if these treatments are based on rigorous scientific research because there is no known cure for bipolar disorder.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Bipolar disorder is a condition of mental impairment. An individual with the condition requires long-term support and medication. The disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings that begin from mania to depression. It is hard for a patient to control impulses that are caused by neurological dysfunctions. There is no definite cause of the condition, but there is evidence that changes to brain chemicals are a cause. It is, therefore, essential for the patient to seek medical attention to get medication and management therapies.

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  1. Hirschfeld, R. M., Bowden, C. L., Gitlin, M. J., Keck, P. E., Suppes, T., Thase, M. E., … & Perlis, R. H. (2010). Treatment of patients with bipolar disorder. Virginia: American Psychiatric Association (APA) Practice Guidelines 2002.
  2. Jesus, J., Campos, B., Galazzi, R., Martinez, J., & Arruda, M. (2015). Bipolar disorder: Recent advances and future trends in bioanalytical developments for biomarker discovery. Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407(3), 661-667. doi:10.1007/s00216-014-8341-3
  3. Mason, B. L., Brown, E. S., & Croarkin, P. E. (2016). Historical underpinnings of bipolar disorder diagnostic criteria. Behavioral Sciences (2076-328X), 6(3), 1-19. doi:10.3390/bs6030014
  4. McCormick, U., Murray, B., & McNew, B. (2015). Diagnosis and treatment of patients with bipolar disorder: A review for advanced practice nurses. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 27(9), 530-542. doi:10.1002/2327-6924.12275
  5. Patel, R., Shetty, H., Jackson, R., Broadbent, M., Stewart, R., Boydell, J., & … Taylor, M. (2015). Delays before diagnosis and initiation of treatment in patients presenting to mental health services with bipolar disorder. PLoS ONE, 10(5), 1-17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126530
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