What is a Bipolar Disorder?

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“Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” There are four types of this disorder but in this research paper, I will be covering over Bipolar I and II. Some of the topics that I will be covering in my paper are the history of Bipolar Disorder.

How does it affect the individual? How does this disorder affect your family and friends? What can happen if it is left untreated? What are the treatments for being Bipolar? In my research paper, I will be covering all these. Plus including my own personal experiences on what it is like to live being bipolar.

History of the Issue

Bipolar Disorder has been around since the beginning of times. As of today, it is one of the most researched neurological disorders (about 3% worldwide). It has been nearly a millennium that the Roman Empire has fallen that the Greek Humoral Hypothesis occurred as the theory of causing mania and depression.

Back then it was proclaimed that melancholia which would be depression, was caused by black bile in the bodies fluid and that mania which was insanity was caused on by a different kind of fluid called yellow bile. This debate between melancholia and mania can be traced back to the second century. A man by the name of Soranus of Ephedrus (98-177 A.D.) gives his thoughts on the matter which was in the 2nd century. He said that mania and melancholia were distinct diseases that had separate origins.

But he did acknowledge that other people considered melancholia a form of mania. Arataeus of Cappadocia who was an eclectic medical philosopher who gave us some of the earliest written descriptions of a bipolar relationship between mania and melancholia.

Sometime between 30 and 150 A.D. a man whose name was Arataeus who lived in Alexandria is well known because he’s the author of most of the remaining texts that survived that refer to a unified concept of the disorder manic-depressive. Alexandria just like the Greek Humoral Hypothesis also viewed melancholia and mania as having a common origin in black bile.

Nothing else is really mentioned of the condition until around the 17 century. It wasn’t until a British physician who by the name of Richard Napier wrote broadly of the following psychiatric mental health conditions and could have possibly described manic-depressive illnesses. He never used the words manic depression or bipolar disorders, but he did mention of a disorder that there were two mood states that happen to have cycling patterns within an individual.

Now it is the middle of the 19th century and Phillipe Pinel’s Treatise on Insanity and a man by the name of John Haslam’s Observations on Madness and Melancholy were reestablished and this put the theory of bipolar disease back into the Western medicine.

Jules Bailarger describes to the French Imperial Academy back in 1854 of January the 31st that a medicine biphasic mental illness that can cause recurrent shifts among mania and depression. Jean-Pierre Falret also presented a comparative study about this two weeks later on February 14, 1854. This disorder was labeled folie circulaire (circular insanity) by Falret and also folie. Baillarger classified it a double forme (dual-form insanity).

When the late 19th century rolls around there are numerous descriptions and case studies on the mental illness of bipolar disorder and were being published all over Europe. In medical textbooks, clinical patterns of manic depression were being described. Emil Kraeplin who was from Germany produces a description in his book.

In his 1896 textbook Emil gives his definitive clinical description for the disorder. He writes “Manic-depressive insanity…includes, on the one hand, the whole domain of so-called periodic and circular insanity, on the other hand, simple mania, [and] the greater part of the morbid states termed melancholia.”

Emil classified and studies untreated bipolar patients that were in their natural manner. Emil makes notes and observations that when a patient is in between phases of mania and depression, that there were comparatively symptom-free periods in which the patient was able to function normally. Because of Emil Kraeplin’s conclusive reliable description, he is known to be the father of the modern conceptualization of the bipolar disorder.

Medical journals were being published in the middle of the 20th century that was informing and concerning the origins of the bipolar illness. One of the subjects it talks about is how it is very possible that the bipolar depression was inherited by families.

A journal that was called Nervous and Mental Disorders that published an article 1952, that analyzed the heritability behind the bipolar disorder. Because of this study, it offered statistical analysis on family generational data, which showed a profound incidence of bipolar symptoms admists biological and also more specifics of a genetic mode of transmission.

Even though both illnesses had been studied, it was in the 1960s that the bipolar disorder got its name and both were combined into one illness.

Symptoms/Examples of the Problem

Individuals that have a bipolar disorder struggle with bouts of different and at times very intense emotions. The person will most likely behave differently, they are likely to see changes in their sleeping patterns. All of these symptoms are defined and are known as “mood episodes.” A mood episode can go from 1-100 and are different from the moods and behaviors of a typical person. Severe alterations in energy, activity, and sleep go along with mood disorders.

Depending on what kind of episode a bipolar person is having like if the person was going through a manic episode. That person would engage in behavior that they normally would not do. For example, engage in risky sex, spend a lot of money, believe they can do a lot of things at once, become irritable, touchy or agitated. The person talks really fast about a lot of different things, having trouble sleeping, feeling jumpy/weird, have an increase of activity levels, feel very up, high or elated and also have an increase of activity levels. Coming down from a manic episode the person will go through a depressive episode. And usually, the person is feeling sad, down, empty, or hopeless. They will have very to little no energy, activity levels will be decreased, their sleeping patterns may be off, like trouble falling asleep, sleeping too much or too little.

This person may feel like they can’t enjoy anything and that can make a person feel even worse. You may be feeling worried and empty, having trouble concentrating, easily forget a lot of things. Some people can’t eat at all or they eat too much. The person may feel tired or slowed down and also may even think about suicide and death.

In some cases, a person can have symptoms of both being manic and depressed, which is known as mixed features. Someone who is going through both with mixed symptoms can feel unhappy, empty, or hopeless and while the whole time also feeling extremely energized. Even if you are having less extreme mood swings bipolar disorder can still be existing.

Hypomania which is less severe of mania, bipolar people can go through this instead of manic. But a person who is bipolar and is experiencing a hypomanic episode could feel that there isn’t anything going wrong, they will feel very good about themselves, could be highly productive, and function very well. Family and friends may see differently if they know your mental illness, they could see the mood swings or your changes in your activity levels. If left untreated and getting the proper treatment, people who suffer from hypomanic episodes could develop severe mania or depression.

The Problems It Might Cause

A person who is bipolar and goes without it being treated can cause not only that person some problems but also friends and family. It can make your symptoms worse, like being manic or depressed. You say or do things out of character and even though you\’re not thinking clearly, what you may be doing could be hurting a loved one or friend. If you are going through a manic episode you may just do things on a whim even though you may have responsibilities that need attending to. But when you are manic you don’t think of those things, you just do it.

Your depression could get way worse and you could start getting suicidal thoughts. Activities you enjoyed you’re not finding the pleasure you used to get. It’s hard to get out of bed when coming down from being manic. Your mind is emotionally and exhausted. And some people may not understand this, they think it is just something that you can snap out of but it is not. If you’re going through a manic episode you may spend the cash that you don’t need to be spending because that money is intended for rent or a bill. You just don’t think clearly when left untreated.

Cite this paper

What is a Bipolar Disorder?. (2020, Sep 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-is-a-bipolar-disorder/

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