Bipolar Essay

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Pages: 10

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a common, recurrent, and debilitating mood disorder which causes extreme shifts in energy and mood. The word bipolar indicates the two main polar extremes which a person with the disorder experiences. According to NIMH, a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that oversees neurological and psychological research, this disorder affects about 2.3 million adults in the United States and about 1.2 percent of the population worldwide. The first signs of this disorder usually appear in adolescence and early adulthood, with cases seldom occuring in childhood. No findings have been made to indicate a difference in frequency among those of differing race or ethnicity. Bipolar …show more content…
The three main types of bipolar disorder are known as bipolar I, bipolar II, and bipolar III. Bipolar I is characterized by the occurrence of one or more manic or mixed episodes followed by one or more major depressive episodes. Although it is not the most common type of bipolar disorder, it is arguably the most widely known. Bipolar I seems to affect both men and women equally, according to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) Bipolar II consists of one or more major depressive episodes accompanied by at least one hypomanic episode. Between these episodes, there tend to be periods of normal functioning. The DSM indicates that women are more likely than men to suffer from bipolar II. Bipolar III, a fairly recently discovered form, comes about as the result of the medication prescribed to people with depression. Often an individual who suffers from depression will be given drugs such as the steroid cortisone or antidepressants which can actually reverse the depression into mania. The resulting cycle of depression and drug-induced mania manifests into a sort of artificial bipolar disorder. Needless to say, this is often due to negligence on part of the doctor, mistakenly prescribing a dosage which exceeds that which is needed. Thankfully these manic symptoms are usually reported eventually and the perscription is consequently corrected. Another disorder, called cyclothymia, is