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Bipolar disorder, previously known as the manic depression, is a psychiatric diagnosis that causes mood swings, abnormal change in energy and activity levels. The change in the moods is referred to as mania in clinical terms; if the change is mild, it is referred to as hypomania. If the manic occurrences are severe, they can lead to hallucinations, delusions or contemplation of suicide (Marohn, 2011). There are various levels of bipolar disorders based on the seriousness of the mood swings and shift of the energy levels. They are classified as bipolar level one, level two and cyclothymia. The prevalence of maniac disorder is high in the late stages of adolescent and the early period of adulthood. However, bipolar disorder is associated with high levels of creativity, positive achievement and strives to achieve goals. It is difficult to recognize the disorder in its early stages since the symptoms might seem like distinct problem separate from the real problem.
Frequent episodes of the maniacs are referred to as rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This usually affects people severely affected by bipolar disorder. They are more frequent if the patient delays in getting the right diagnosis and treatment. This paper will seek to analyze the causes, symptoms, effects, other disorders that can coexist with the illness, risk factors associated with the disorder and diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
The development of bipolar disorder has no specific single cause; rather scientists have suggested that it develops due to various factors. There are factors that increase the risk of having the disease or can ultimately lead to the disease. However, factors like heredity have been some of the leading cause of bipolar disorder. It tends to run through family lineage, since the genes in the body control the working and development of the brain. The environment is also another major cause of bipolar disorder. The kind of environment that a person is exposed to may cause increased chances of getting affected.
A person suffering bipolar disorder displays various symptoms. They include high mood swings; shifting energy levels and activity level, associated with unusual intense emotions. Overexcitements, extreme sadness or a feeling of hopelessness is a characteristic in these people. During these manic episodes, an individual may display irritability and explosiveness in his/her behaviors and actions. Instability of the moods is a major occurrence to people suffering from bipolar disorder. These changes cause malfunctioning in the day-to-day activities at school, work or home. People suffering from bipolar disorder experience restlessness and are easily distracted. Most of the victims are not decisive and usually jump from one idea to the other; they usually have unrealistic goals and unrealistic belief in their abilities. However, if the patients are depressed they can be easily revoked and irritated.
The chances of engaging in impulsive behaviors among victims of bipolar disorder are usually high and include high-risk behaviors like sex, spending sprees, impulsive projects among others. The mood swing and maniac episodes may cause the loss of interest in day-to-day activities that a person enjoys. They may cause a feeling of exhaustion, irritability and inability to concentrate in anything. This increases chances of insomnia among the victims of bipolar disorder are high. Psychologists have argued that it is because of the high level of brain activity and changes in the moods. People suffering from bipolar disorder experience amnesia in some cases. This may be short-term or long-term depending on the span in which the maniac episodes occur. In addition, it has been associated with the high restlessness and change of the in the level activities.
However, the symptoms vary with the severity of the maniac episodes. The episodes can be classified as low, moderate or high. This leads to the three kinds of bipolar disorders, which are bipolar level one, bipolar level two, and the cyclothymia. At level one, the maniac episodes are low, and the rate of effects is usually low, therefore, at this stage, the patient may not easily understand the condition. At level two, the maniac episodes are usually mild, and the effects are moderate. At this stage, the patients behavior change is moderate, more of the effects are felt, and the patient should seek diagnosis or treatment. Improper diagnosis and treatment may cause severity and severe depression for the patient. Severe maniac episodes may cause severe depression and change of behavior. This may cause the victims to contemplate suicide, the victims are highly affected by insomnia and experience considerable changes in their appetite. In addition, they are extremely emotional with a feeling of hopelessness or extreme sadness. At this stage, the patient may start abusing drugs and extremity of the changes, may make the person have difficulties in his relationship and general poor performance in any duty (Sajatovic & Blow, 2007).
If untreated, it may lead to hallucinations and delusions where the victim may have psychotic symptoms. When a person has severe maniac episodes, he may have thoughts of believing that he possesses a lot of money and that he is famous. However, if the person has depressive occurrences, he may believe that he is hopeless, and a feeling of sadness engulfs the person where he may even contemplate suicide.
There is no complete remedy for bipolar disorder, it usually lasts a lifetime, and the effects of the condition are rare. However, mild episodes keep recurring but not to extremity. The effects of bipolar disorder vary with the severity of the maniac episodes or the depressive episodes. The depression varies from low, moderate and severe. When the patient is suffering from moderate depression, the effects and the symptoms are less, and the people around him may not note the little changes he may have. When the person has persistent low mood, the condition is referred to as dysthymia; this condition is chronic and can persist for a long time. Bipolar disorder victims may experience hypomania where the affected person may have an elevated level of energy and activity. These maniac episodes normally do not last for a long time and are not severe. The person experiencing hypomania may be highly productive with fewer malfunctions the person may not note any changes. However, the people close to him may recognize the mood swings. At this moment, the person should seek diagnosis and ultimate treatment to prevent severity of the maniac episodes or depressive episodes.
When the patient is suffering from hypomania, he/she may have mild insomnia, amnesia and some changes in the eating habits. When the maniac episodes are severe, the person may have persistent insomnia, increased cases of amnesia and abrupt loss of appetite. The person may also have mixed feelings of mania and depression. They may express increased activity levels and extreme energy levels. If left untreated, the patients may also suffer psychotic disorders, which can be confused with other mental disorders like schizophrenia. They are confused with other mental disorders when the patient starts experiencing hallucination and delusions. Such people start impulsive behaviors like drug and substance abuse, their change of moods and activity levels make them perform poorly in any task. They also have trouble in their relationships, and if not treated, it may cause a serious mental disorder.
If a person experiences more than four serious depressions, hypomania or mixed reactions, the condition is referred to as rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This condition usually affects people at their late adolescence or in their early adult life. The condition has also been common in women than in men. If the condition is properly treated, the affected people normally live a normal and productive live. Proper diagnosis and treatment help to reduce the severity of maniac and depressive episodes.
Bipolar disorder victims are characterized with substance and drug abuse. There has been no direct link between bipolar disorder and substance abuse, but it has been a common practice by bipolar disorder patient to abuse drugs and substances. This worsens the maniac episodes and depression episodes prolonging the symptoms and effects of the bipolar disorder. The individuals affected by the condition and are abusing drugs usually results to extreme change of behavior. Victims of bipolar disorder also experience anxiety disorders and social phobia. This is due to the effects on the brain causing restlessness. They also suffer from concentration deficit disorders; this is due to the effects of bipolar like lack of concentration restlessness that people have difficult in concentrating in the end. Prevalence of illness like headaches, migraine, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and other physical illnesses is high among victims of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is hereditary; the children of a person affected by this condition have a high prevalence to be affected. The genetic association of a person with his parent may create high chances of a person being affected by the condition if the parent were affected. Research has shown that children of people affected by bipolar disorder have six times higher prevalence of being affected, compared to children of a parent who have lived a normal live. The disorder has been associated absenteeism at school and work and the influx of other illnesses. However, if timely diagnosis and treatment are taken, the victims live a health, normal and productive live. Research has shown that brain development of children with bipolar disorder genes develops differently from that of normal children. The brain of a child suffering from bipolar disorder is said to have multidimensional impairment, which causes overlapping of symptoms.
To treat bipolar disorder, the patient is advised to visit physicians. The doctors will test other conditions associated with since the condition cannot be identified through any lab scan or any blood test. If other conditions are not contributing to the disease, the doctor will be able to refer the patient to a psychiatrist who is a specialist in treating mental disorders and, specifically, bipolar disorder. A complete diagnosis should go through evaluation of the symptoms that the patient has had. This can be effective if the psychiatrist treating the affected person questions the close relatives, friends and workmates. Previous medical records should be analyzed to ensure that a different illness is treated using bipolar disorder medication.
Bipolar disorder, popularly known as the manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes mood swings, shift of the energy levels and high level of activity. The condition varies with the severity of maniac episodes or depression episodes. At moderate depression or the maniac, the person may not recognize the illness, but the close relatives and workmates can identify the mood swings, the level of energy and activity levels. However, severity can cause harmful effects and the symptoms are clearly seen.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder include restlessness, high impulsive behaviors among others. The condition is more likely to happen in the late stages of adolescence and the early adulthood. The condition increases other diseases prevalence like headaches, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. However, if proper diagnosis and treatment is taken, they can reduce the severity of depression and maniac episodes.