Bipolar Disorder Essay

1215 words - 5 pages

At least two million Americans are living with manic-depression, more commonly known as Bipolar Disorder(Some Facts On Bipolar Disorder). Bipolar disorder is a major mood disorder that causes episodes of mania and depression and is a lifelong psychological disorder. . There are three types of bipolar disorders: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia. They all have similar symptoms but are categorized by manic and depressive episodes of different length and severity.
Bipolar I is categorized by both mixed and manic episodes that last at least a week. Bipolar II is more hypomanic and depressive episodes. The third is cyclothymia, which consists of hypomanic and depressive episodes of less ...view middle of the document...

The first factor is genetics, the National institute of Mental Health(NIMH) states, that “Children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are four to six times more likely to develop the illness” (nimh.nih.com). Scientist have yet to find the genes involved with bipolar disorder but with continued research we will one day know. Studies of identical twins have shown that the twin of a person with bipolar disorder does not always develop the disorder. This is important because identical twins have the same exact genes(nimh.nih.com). Therefore, the second cause, ones environment also plays a role in bipolar disorder. Research has found that external and internal stress plays a role but can be managed by lifestyle changes. Also traumatic events such as death and even obesity has been linked as a environmental factor in bipolar disorder. Physical changes in the brain occur in bipolar cases, the significance of these changes are still uncertain but may help pinpoint causes for this illness(mayoclinic.com).
Not much research has been done on bipolar and the affects it has on the brain. We know that there is an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters in our brain that play a big role in bipolar and other mood disorders. We also know that an imbalance in hormones may also be involved in causing or triggering bipolar episodes(mayoclinic.com) Two strategies have been done to figure out the affects of bipolar disorder on the brain: examination of brain tissue after someone with bipolar disorder has died and MRI's or brain imaging in people with the disorder. Results from these tests have reported changes in the hippocampus with less neurons, decrease size of cerebellum, and reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex during the depressive state(Kuwana, E. Washington.edu).Our motor skills and sensory input do not seem to be effected by bipolar disorder, however, anything could trigger a episode of mania or depression.
Bipolar can have a devastating impact on ones social behavior, it decreases ones social functioning, increases likelihood of divorce or separation, and decreases work status and functioning(Baker, JA p438). People with bipolar disorder must learn the signs and symptoms for there episodes to help function in there everyday life. Stressful situations can trigger bipolar episodes and if your out in public it can be a lot to handle. Bipolar disorder also has a severe impact on ones personal relationships, people may look at you differently or reject you because they don't understand especially after witnessing an episode. Children may be scared or confused it is very important for the whole family of someone with bipolar disorder to fully understand and recognize these episodes.
Although there is no cure for bipolar disorder, long term medication and psychotherapy helps to significantly reduce symptoms. There are many different medications used to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder....

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