Bipolar Disorder Essay

1161 WordsJun 20, 20115 Pages
Approximately 8 million American adults within the United States may be affected by a serious mental illness that is characterized by episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, termed Bipolar disorder. The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania. Bipolar disorder, also known as “Manic Depression”, refers to the cycling between depression episodes and mania. The term "manic-depressive illness" was coined by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in the late nineteenth century, although it originally referred to all kinds of mood disorder. German psychiatrist Karl Leonhard pronounced the classification again in 1957, implementing the terms unipolar disorder (major depressive disorder) and bipolar disorder. While bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, and there is no cure, many people can learn to manage their emergent symptoms with treatment. Treatment includes both pharmacological and psychological techniques. Medications called mood stabilizers are used to prevent or mitigate manic or depressive episodes. Mood stabilizing medications with demonstrated efficacy include lithium, and anticonvulsants such as Valproic acid (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol), and lamotrigine (Lamictal). There are 3 categorized stages of Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia. The basis for the diagnosis is on the self-reported experiences of the individual as well as abnormalities in behavior reported by family members, friends or co-workers, followed by secondary signs observed by a psychiatrist, nurse, social worker, or clinical psychologist. There are lists of criteria for someone to be properly diagnosed; although they depend on both the presence and duration of certain signs and symptoms. The indicated begins with the admission of oneself into a facility, for observation within consideration of the potential risk to oneself

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