Bipolar Disorder

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It is estimated that 5.7 million (2.6%) of North American adults currently experience bipolar disorder in any given year (Kessler, Chiu, Demler, & Walters, 2005). Bipolar disorder is not often recognized by general practitioners as an illness, and many people experiencing the disorder may go undiagnosed for many years (Goodwin, & Jamison, 1990).


Secondly, the social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of bipolar will be described. Next, the interactive effects of class, ethnicity, and gender will be detailed. Following will be an outline of current treatment options and their strengths and weaknesses. Finally a conclusion shall summarize the main points of the paper and provide implications for research into bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness and is a psychological disorder that induces shifts in a person's mood, energy levels and their ability to function optimally in society. Unlike everyday ups-and-downs, the experiences of mood swings with bipolar disorder are much more severe (Kessler et al., 2005). In general, the disorder develops during late adolescence or early adulthood, although some people will have their first symptoms in childhood, or in later adulthood (DSM-IV, 1994). The consequences of bipolar disorder are dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, poor job and academic performance, isolation and at the extreme, suicide. However, the disorder is able to be treated and many people who experience bipolar disorder lead full and productive lives, contributing to the community and building stable support relationships.
The manic episodes are diagnosed by the presence of three or more symptoms of elevated mood occurring for most of the day, nearly e ...
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