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Bipolar Disorder Essay

What is Bipolar Disorder? A Brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in moods Also known as manic-depressive disorder
It consists of manic episodes, depressive episodes, and/or hypomanic episodes People with bipolar disorder are also usually diagnosed with anxiety, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, or physical health problems There are three types of bipolar disorder:

Bipolar I Disorder – diagnostic criteria
At least one manic episode
May or may not have had a depressive episode
There are more specific subcategories because it varies from person to person Bipolar II Disorder – criteria
At least one hypomanic episode (not fully manic)
At least one major depressive episode
There are also more specific subcategories
Cyclothymic Disorder – criteria
Numerous hypomanic episodes
Periods of depression
Never have a full manic or major depressive episode
Symptoms must last 2 yrs. or more and they can’t go away for more than 2 months

What is a manic episode?
A manic episode is a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, irritable, or expansive moods that last at least one week. To be considered a manic episode the mood disturbance must be severe enough to cause noticeable difficulty at work, school, or social activities Symptoms are not due to the direct effects of other things like drug use, other medications, or having a medical condition

What is a hypomanic episode?
A hypomanic episode is a distinct period of elevated, expansive, or irritable mood that lasts at least 4 days. The mood disturbance must be severe enough
to cause a noticeable change in functioning The episode is not severe enough to cause significant difficulty at work, school, or in social activities Symptoms are not due to the effects of something else such as drug use or other medications

What is a depressive episode?
A depressive episode is a period of major depression not caused by grieving Major depressive episode usually occurs directly after the manic episode ends

Bipolar Disorder requires lifelong treatment – even during times when there are no symptoms Treatment is typically guided by a psychiatrist
Primary treatment includes medications, individual counseling, and support groups

Risk Factors
Blood relative with Bipolar Disorder
Periods of high stress
Teens through mid-20s
Drug and alcohol use
Major life changes

Statistics on Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder affects about 5.7 millions adults in America (about 2.6% of the U.S. population) Median age of onset is 25 years old
It is seen almost equally in men and women
More than 2/3 of people with Bipolar Disorder have at least one close relative with the disorder Bipolar is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world
1 in 5 patients with Bipolar Disorder commits suicide
9.2 year reduction in expected life span

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