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Mood, Substance, and Personality Disorders

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Mood, Substance, and Personality Disorders

Do you know a person that has sudden mood swings? Do you wonder why they act like they do? Their actions could be a result of a type of mood disorder. Mood disorders are part of the Axis One disorders that are found in the DSM IV. Axis One is all categories of disorders except for personality disorders. People who have mood disorders are diagnosed to have a pattern of severe depressive and manic episodes.

One major mood disorder that will be discussed is bipolar disorder. People who are bipolar tend to have episodes of both mania and depression, sometime by themselves or sometimes mixed. Some of the symptoms are a very active social life, rapid speech, racing thoughts, lack of sleep and no concern about losing sleep, false belief of having special talents, and the inability to keep one's attention focused. Bipolar is equally as common in men and in women. However, depressive episodes are more common for women with the disorder than for men. Because of the seriousness of this disorder it is important that it is professionally treated. If the disorder is not treated or if treatment is discontinued, a person can become impaired or extremely symptomatic.

Richard Gere plays the main character in the movie Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is a character that has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or as a manic-depressive. The movie begins in one of Jones' highs or manic episode. He is a child in an adult's body; he feels invincible, like he can do anything. The first episode that sends him into the mental hospital is when he walks out on a high beam at a construction site thinking that he can fly. His second episode is at a symphony concert; he jumps on stage and tries to lead the orchestra, feeling he could do a better job then the conductor. His doctor, Dr. Elizabeth Brown, diagnosed Jones with bipolar disorder because he has impaired judgment, he is highly agitated, he has rapid speech, and audio hallucinations. He is unable to fell pleasure, and he has major mood swings. When he was in the hospital he was depressed most of the time; he missed his highs because they were fun. When he had his downs they tended to be destructive; he overreacted when he did not get his way.

The movie seemed to be very accurate to what we learned in class and in the text. The character clearly demonstrated the symptoms that a real person would have if they lived with bipolar disorder. The movie showed just how difficult it is to live with the disorder and how drastic manic and depressive episodes can be. However, in the movie Dr Brown falls in love with the charming and talented Mr. Jones. She then stopped treating him because it was not professional; she later resigned from her job completely. This is the only part of the movie that was not accurate because if that relationship occurred in every day life, Dr. Brown would have been disciplined farther. She probably would have lost her license. Overall, I thought the movie was excellent and it was cast perfectly.

Substance-related disorders include several diagnoses. Substances are used to change a person's mood and consciousness which usually leads to addiction. The main concerns of this disorder are drinking problems, nicotine problems, marijuana problems, stimulants problems, and hallucinogen problems. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug in the United States: 18% of men and 8% of women have alcohol related disorders. There are three different kinds of disorders caused by alcohol: alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, and alcohol induced disorders.

Alcohol dependence occurs when a person loses control of their alcohol consumption. It indicates that there is addiction, high tolerance, and there will be symptoms of withdrawal. People with this disorder feel better when they are wasted than when they are sober. Symptoms of withdrawal include sweating, rapid pulse, hand tremors, insomnia, anxiety, illusions, and physical agitation. The symptoms develop four to twelve hours after the reduction of intake after prolonged alcohol ingestion.

Alcohol abuse is the long-term use of alcohol that causes health issues and impaired psychosocial functioning; it is a disease of denial. Alcoholics tend to use humor to deflect the idea that they have a problem. One out of three adults in the United States is an alcohol abuser or alcoholic at any given time. Nearly five million youths age twelve to twenty engage in binge drinking. Alcohol related disorders often occur co-morbidly. Co-morbidity will worsen existing conditions or induce new problems. Alcohol-related disorders are most commonly co-morbid with severe personality disorders, mood disorders, other drug use (poly-drug abuse), schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. Alcohol-related disorders can be caused by genetics, psychosocial factors, psychological factors, and social factors. Symptoms of these disorders would be failure to meet obligations, poor work performance, social disruption, medical problems, a series of serious injuries or accidents, relationship problems, and lying.

In the movie 28 Days Sandra Bullock plays Gwen, a woman that is sentenced to rehab because of her alcohol dependency. Gwen's life seemed like it was a party; she drank all day and all night and never stopped. Everything she did was a big joke to her, including the horrible things she did to others. Once Gwen was in rehab she began to experience withdrawals, which lead to flashbacks of her childhood. She remembered all the good times that she had with her alcoholic mother; it was always exciting. In the individual meeting with her counselor Gwen denies that she has a problem and insists that she can control her alcohol use if she wanted to. She was very resistant to the rehab idea, she did not want to follow the rules or attend any of the meetings. While in rehab Jasper, Gwen's boyfriend, sneaks her some painkillers to help make the process of sobering up easier. However, she does not take them; she throws them out the window. Later that night she tries to recover the painkillers by climbing out the window but she falls and breaks her leg. This incident just shows that an alcohol dependent person will suffer any consequence in order to use again. When Gwen admitted



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