Bipolar: Bipolar Disorder and Experiences Mild Mood Essay

Submitted By jacobdobler
Words: 1115
Pages: 5

Mental Illness – Bipolar Disorder Mental illness is factor that affects the lives of millions of people world-wide. In America alone, one in four people suffer from some sort of mental ailment. Doctors and scientists are trying to cure this issue with medications, therapies, etc. with no success of truly curing people completely. My family has been affected by bipolar disease, with one of my distant cousins being diagnosed shortly after graduating college, about eighteen years ago. Bipolar disease is defined as: “a mental disease characterized by shifts between episodes of mania and depression.” Being bipolar, in my opinion, is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Bipolar disorder can also be referred to as manic-depressive illness. It’s a brain disorder that causes a person to have extreme shifts in mood, energy, and have a hard time completing regular day-to-day tasks. Everyone experiences mild mood swings every once and a while, bipolar disorder is nothing like this. A person with this disability can have ruined relationships or marriages, can struggle at a job, can loose a job, and can have often thoughts of suicide. Most patients are diagnosed between the ages of eighteen and twenty-eight. Bipolar is disorder is not easy to spot when it beings because people pass it off as other false things, but can be treated once recognized. Realizing the symptoms and taking the correct action is one of the most important parts. Individuals suffering with this illness experience overexcited and overjoyed states, manic episodes, and extremely hopeless and sad states, depressive episodes. Along with going through these roller coaster moods, patients have changes in their patterns of sleep, energy, physical activity, and behavior. A person that may be having an episode of bipolar disorder would have these episodes everyday for at least a couple weeks, without breaks. The symptoms cause a person to not function as they normally would through their daily activities. There are other illnesses that are common with people that have bipolar disorder. Substance abuse is very common; many people that suffer with bipolar have substance abuse involved as well. Many try to deal with the depressive or manic episodes with substances, while others were already addicted, and with continuing their habits, they prolong their symptoms. To name a few, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, often overlap and occur in bipolar patients. When a person already has one of these issues, it makes diagnosing bipolar disorder even more difficult for doctors. There are also other causes of bipolar disorder besides substance abuse, as stated above. Scientists are now beginning to study how this disease may be linked to genetics. These researchers have found that a person with a parent or sibling with bipolar disorder is four to six times more likely to contract the illness than those who do not have a family history of bipolar. New advances in technology have allowed scientists to study the causes of this disease even more in-depth than they ever have before. Now they are taking photos of the brains of people with bipolar disorder, without bipolar, and people with other illnesses to try and analyze parts that may be missing. People do not always develop bipolar disorder when it’s in their genes, but it’s definitely a large factor. Only after a very close analysis of a patient is a doctor able to diagnose that person as being bipolar. To date there are no complete cures to this issue. Only with medications and psychotherapy are people able to gain back a somewhat stable life. There are many different mixtures of medications that doctors are able to prescribe to patients; doctors have to continue to work and tweak this formula to get the person balanced, no one person is the same. Psychotherapy is a good treatment as well because people are able to release all