A bipolar disorder or maniac depression is a term that is used to describe abnormal patterns and extreme mood swings that range from disabling depression to mania. It is a medical and psychological disorder affecting t he victim's emotions, relationships, energy, careers and individual's physical well being. It is usually associated with hyperactive mania and depression. Victims suffering from this condition, needs to recognize and understand the nature of this problem and effective schemes to implement in dealing with the condition. This discussion will provide a deep understanding of this condition from a practical aspect. The discussion will engage observations especially on the psychological dimension of an individual suffering from this condition.
More than seven million of people are diagnosed of bipolar condition in the United States. The condition is not discriminatory; it affects people from all facets of life including children, adults, males and females. From the awareness created about the condition, most people have understood and learned to live with it, reducing the long-lived stigma directed to individuals suffering from the condition. The media has it on prominent numerous individuals who have been tremendously successful in life and suffering from the bipolar condition. From a psychiatrist line of thought, practitioners dealing with this disorder need to promote positive behavior for the people they serve. They need to provide a practical approach for dealing with the condition such that victims can be able to recognize and achieve their full potential and live happily (Burgess, pp.61).
According to disorder Miklowitz (8), bipolar disorder is a nervous system disorder involving action of the brain and body. The abnormality results from changes in the brain cells caused by hereditary, environmental, biological and genetic constructions. As a result, there is an imbalance of biological chemicals composing the sensory system leading to abnormal fluctuations in emotions, metabolic and thinking processes, attention included. Symptoms of bipolar illness vary from one individual to another. Most symptoms are usually psychologically associated. The common symptoms exhibited by most victims includes; feelings of anger, uncontrolled jealousy, fear and the feeling of embarrassments and regrets. From the interaction with the Bipolar victim, it was noted that bipolar victims experiences drastic fluctuations of energy levels and disruption of the wake/ sleep cycle. The patient also acknowledged his high level of stress sensitivity and anxiety making him highly vulnerable to undesirable life changes. It was also evident that, the patient suffered from thinking impairment, exhibiting situations of poor attention and memory. As a result of the impaired thinking, the patient was involved in unnecessary repetitive tasks, poor judgment and obsessive thoughts. These conditions have made the patient indulge in overworking activities and involving in unnecessary risks disorder (Miklowitz, pp. 9).
From the discussion with the patient, it should be obvious that the key control of this condition should major on psychological therapy. This involves counseling activities that encourage patients to maintain and improve their determination through healthy lifestyles and practical medications. The patient claimed to have a lot of difficulties in social activities, in school or working. Bipolar condition is a recycling disorder, meaning that some times its effects are more pronounced than other times. At young stages of the condition, these cycles are more unstable. As the condition matures, most people suffering from it tend to experience two to four episodes within a year. As the disorder worsens, these episodes tend to increase even to eight times in a year. Individuals experiencing more than four episodes a year are termed to be suffering from rapid cycling. Between theses cycle episodes, these patients normally show uncontrolled anger and insomnia.
From the discussion with the patient, it was noted that most patients suffering from this condition practice self cure that at some extent does not provide any treatment for the disease. Research has it that most people will experience symptom free periods, which without treatment does not last. As a result, they assume that they are cured. The patient acknowledged that he had bipolar related symptoms for a month and then disappeared. He then claimed to be cured. Studies show that when a patient stops using the prescribed medication for a certain period of time, then the person is likely to relapse even within three months after the medication stoppage time. According to Kraynak & Fink, (31), untreated bipolar disorder generally will get worse with age. This causes serious deterioration of the brain at older ages leading to uncontrolled bipolar disease. To understand its treatment therapy, a discussion on its causes is essential.
There have been myths that bipolar condition is caused by poverty, hardships and discrimination. Some people also argue that it is caused by stressful life. This is wrong; stress worsens its treatment but does not cause bipolar condition. Scientific studies indicate that bipolar condition is caused by deficiencies in the nervous system namely; physiology and biochemistry deficiencies. As a result, the nervous system is weakened and its ability to control emotions and mind is interfered with. Stress leads to excessive release of natural neural-chemicals which in turn worsens the condition. Bipolar disorder can be inherited. Referring to the patient in discussion, he confirms that his parents suffered from the disease. Scientific studies support this by arguing that one is likely to develop this disease six times if his/her parents are suffering from it. It worsens if brothers, sisters and twins have the disorder (Miklowitz, pp. 12).
Bipolar disorder cannot be treated by just a short term treatment; it requires a long term intervention. This is due to its relapsing and chronic nature making the treatment necessary even when one feels better or cured. Continued medication prevents occurrences of new episodes and reduces effects of its symptoms. Proper medication of the condition should aim at recovery as opposed to short term treatment. Apart from taking prescribed drugs, there is much to be done on social life support and lifestyle management. For an effective medication, a properly selected psychiatrist is necessary. Experienced psychiatrists ensure that there is a close monitoring of patients depending on the symptoms. There are some general mitigation practices that can be practiced by all bipolar patients to reduce effects system (Peacock, pp.40).
Creating awareness and education on the problem is essential. This will make it possible for bipolar patients have some capacity to distinguish between symptoms associated with the disease and one's true identity. Separation of the true identity with symptoms can assist a great deal. Healthier lifestyle selections such as regular and adequate sleep, recommended healthy eating and avoiding risky activities resulting from depression such as drug and alcohol abuse. Depending to symptoms exhibited by each individual, one should discuss with his/her psychiatrist doctor on the best medications to adopt. Diagnostic examination for bipolar condition should include both Psychological evaluation and medical history assessment. Some suggested medications include use of antidepressants, treatment of accompanying ailments such as epilepsy and sclerosis. Anti anxiety drugs should also be administered together with Vitamin B12 supplements that enhance development of the nervous system (Peacock, pp.42).
Burgess, W. (2006). The bipolar handbook: real-life questions with up-to-date answers. New York: Penguin publishers, 2006. Print.
Kraynak, J. & Fink, C. Bipolar Disorder for Dummies. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2005. Print.
Miklowitz, D. The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know. New York: Guilford Press, 2010. Print.
Peacock, J. Bipolar Disorder. Mankato: Capstone Press, 2000. Print.