Bipolar Disorder Essay

Submitted By ETTENIOTNAmaI
Words: 1021
Pages: 5

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental disease that causes severe high and low moods. It’s called bipolar because the individual with this disease switches between two emotions or “poles”. The person will experience normal moods when not on one of these poles. The period when the person feel too excited or confident is called “mania”. The period when the person is depressed is called “depressive”. These mood swings could happen a few times a week or many times a day.

Some people become psychotic. They would have hallucinations, think they have superpowers, or that they are
God­like. During the mania period the individual will experience: excessive happiness, restlessness, rapid speech, increased energy, high sex drive, poor judgement, drug/alcohol abuse, making very high goals, changes from joyful to angry, etc. During the depressive period the individual will experience: sadness, attempting suicide, need for sleep, loss of energy, always crying, feeling hopeless/worthless, difficulty concentrating, etc.

Right now there is no way to prevent bipolar disorder. This is because no one has found the cause of this disease.

Common side effects of lithium include:

Frequent need to urinate

Blurred vision

Weight gain
Increased thirst
Slight trembling of the hands

Thyroid and kidney problems are a concern in people taking lithium, so your doctor will monitor the function of your thyroid and kidneys as well as monitor the levels of lithium in your blood since levels can easily become too high. Anything that lowers the level of sodium in the body, such as switching to a low­sodium diet , heavy sweating, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea may cause a buildup of lithium in the body and toxicity. Be aware of these conditions and alert your doctor if you are on lithium and experience them.
The following are signs of a lithium overdose. Call your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience:
Irregular pulse
Extremely fast or slow heartbeat
Difficulty breathing
Severe trembling
Need to pass large amounts of urine
Uncontrolled eye movements
Double vision
Unusual bruising or bleeding

Common side effects of Depakote include:

● Sedation
● Stomach cramps

Weight gain

Slight trembling of hands
Other antiseizure drugs often used to treat bipolar disorder include Tegretol, Lamictal, Neurontin, Trileptal, and Topamax.
Most people with bipolar disorder take more than one medication. Along with the mood stabilizer ­­ either lithium or an anticonvulsant, they may take a medication for agitation, anxiety , insomnia, or depression.
Many antidepressants can be used with mood stabilizing drugs to manage the depression of bipolar disorder. If used alone, an antidepressant can push a person with the condition into a manic state and new studies suggest that they may make them suicidal.

Treatment & Prognosis
The main treatment of bipolar disorder is medication such as:
Lithium and Depakote.
Depakote is an antiseizure drug that is also effective for controlling mania.
It is highly effective for people with rapid­cycling bipolar disorder
. The drug has some side effects, can cause inflammation of the liver, and can decrease the amount of platelets (blood cells needed for blood to clot) that the body makes, so your doctor will monitor levels of Depakote as well as liver function and platelet counts. Lithium
(brand names Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate), a mood­stabilizing drug, is the most commonly prescribed drug for people with bipolar disorder. It is helpful in controlling mood swings in both directions from mania to depression and from depression to mania. Lithium will reduce symptoms of mania within two weeks of starting therapy, but it may take weeks to months before the condition is