Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder. Mood disorders are malfunctions of a person's moods or emotions. Bipolar disorder was formally referred to as manic depression. Mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, are becoming one of the most pressing health issues today (Bell, 2006).

Bipolar disorder is a recurrent mood disorder that causes severe mood swings. The disorder causes the person to have episodes of mania and depression; sometimes that have episodes with mixed symptoms. During the manic phase of the disorder, a person feels increased energy, confidence, irritability, and may be easily distracted. This may cause the person to practice bad judgment or do things that would not normally do. The extreme feeling of elation can cause people to go on excessive shopping sprees or even exhibit out of character extreme sexual behavior. The depression phase of the disorder does the opposite of the manic phase.

In the depression phase, the person feels an extreme sense of hopelessness and sadness. The person may develop insomnia, excessive sleeping, or have trouble concentrating. During this stage, a person with bipolar may become susceptible to dangerous behaviors such as suicide (Murphy, 2006).

Men and women are equally susceptible to bipolar disorder. The exact cause of bipolar disorder is not known, but it is thought to be hereditary. The disorder usually surfaces during the teen and young adult years. The hormonal changes during adolescence can also cause mood swings. Many times, teenagers are misdiagnosed with other disorders such as depression or hyperactivity disorder because their symptoms are so similar (Murphy, 2006).

Though bipolar disorder can not be cured, there have been innovations over the years that have allowed the disorder to be controlled. Psychotherapy is always a role in mental disorders. The patient may have to work with a therapist...