Mental Illness Essay

1467 Words6 Pages
Assignment: Mental Illness Paper Amie Stewart HCA 240 Health and Diseases Sunday May 3, 2009 Darrel Portis Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive disorder. People as young as preschoolers to adults have shown signs of the disorder. Bipolar disorder is exhibited by extreme mood changes, energy level changes and unusual interactions with people. The mood changes and energy levels can vary from extreme highs or mania to extreme lows or depression. Being bipolar can affect a person’s social life, occupational careers and their overall everyday function. Bipolar disorder was not actually called bipolar at first but was called manic-depressive disorder. It is one of the oldest known mental illnesses. It was first noted as far back as the second century. In 1650 a man named Richard Burton wrote a book called The Anatomy of Melancholia. The book focused on people who were depressed, and the findings written about are still being used today. In 1854 Jules Falret noticed a distinction between depression and heightened moods. The work that Falret did led to the term bipolar disorder being used. His work also described bipolar disorder as being a psychiatric disorder. While continuing his work Falret discovered that the disorder ran in families and could be genetically caused. In the past, people with bipolar disorder were locked up in institutions. Even clear through the 1960’s those people with the disorder were institutionalized and received very little help because Congress refused to recognize the disorder as a legitimate illness. By the 1970’s laws were finally enacted to give people with the disorder legal rights. Throughout the 1960’s up until now one of the main medications to be used was Lithium. Lithium was and still is used as a mood stabilizer. One of the biggest misconceptions about bipolar disorder is

More about Mental Illness Essay

Open Document