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Mental Illness - Bipolar Disorder

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Mental Illness - Bipolar Disorder

Instructor: Dr. Howell

Mental Illness- Bipolar Disorder

In this paper I will discuss the history and effects, treatment of the mental illness, Bipolar disorder, but first, we should understand what the definition of mental illness means. Mental illness as defined by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI, 2013) a mental is a medical conditional that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, or the ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Some of the serious mental illnesses include, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) this is to just to name a few.

The first symptoms of bipolar disorder was discovered by a Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia, he discovered the link between the mood swings and suicide, but because of the era the was no known name for the symptoms, but some of the symptoms he described were "dull or stern, dejected or unreasonably torpid, without any manifest cause, and patients that complained about life and desired to die" (netplaces, Background and History, Bipolar, William Stillman).

What is Bipolar Disorder? It is a serious mental illness, that account for many peoples abnormal mood swings from mania (elevated irritability) or just the opposite severe depression, a person that has bipolar can also experience normal moods as well. Someone that has bipolar disorder and that goes without getting proper treatment often feel as their lives are out of control, the illness can affect every aspect of their daily lives, they often have trouble in their personal relationships, problems in their careers, and some may even contemplate suicide due to the severe depression. A person with bipolar disorder will experience constant patterns of highs and lows, which are not like having a regular bad day, they are extreme moods changes.

There are several types of Bipolar, Bipolar 1, bipolar 2, rapid cycling, mixed bipolar cyclothymic and bipolar spectrum. Each disorder has a different factor associated with how different the mood will be, lengths of depressions, mania, elevations or from mild to severe. Bipolar 1 experiences severe mood swings that fluctuate from mania to depression. Someone that has Bipolar 2 experiences milder mood symptoms involving milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with periods of severe depression (WebMD, Joseph Goldberg, MD, 2012)

Often there are many complications associated with bipolar disorders, sadly most of them self-inflicted, such as cutting, self-mutilation, or other things that are involving wanting to harm themselves. This is often done out of frustration, and extreme anger probably due to the lack of control over their emotions.

What are some of the misconceptions, myths and past treatments of bipolar disorder? One of the myths that were believed was that a persons that had this disorder was demonic and to have an exorcism done, or that this particular disorder is not a real illness and that a diagnoses of being bipolar defines who you are. The way a person was treated was determined by their status, the poor were generally lock away and held along with criminals and treated badly. There were other types of treatments such as talking yourself well, or that people that have bipolar are of below-average Intelligence, which is not true, Bipolar disorder can effect anyone, race or age or socioeconomics does not play a factor in the how the brain may work.

Neurotransmitters are transmitters that send signals to the brain and when the signals are too low or unbalanced is causes the bipolar disorder. There are three brain chemicals that are linked to the illness, noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine they are linked to the moods that we experience. Each one of this brain chemicals perform a body function, such as serotonin it is connected to sleep, eating and sexual activity, and impulsivity but when the serotonin levels are abnormal this causes depression and bipolar. Dopamine is connected to pleasure senses in the brain, when the dopamine is interrupted it disrupts our normal thought patterns and behaviors, this disruption has also been links to psychosis and schizophrenia. Noradrenaline and serotonin can contribute to those that have depression.

In order to diagnosis someone with bipolar disorder the best source of information

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