Bipolar disorder: treatments and how to cope with the disease.

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Many different illnesses plague the human species; while the severity of some is greater than others many go untreated or un-noticed. Among these illnesses is one of the most prominent, mental illness. Various types of mental illnesses exist; one of the most severe is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, serious mental disease that has two different classifications, is prominent among Americans, despite treatment.

Bipolar disorder, often called manic depression, is the most common of the depressions, it is also the "most distinct and dramatic of the mood disorders" (Clergy... 7). Bipolar disorder is defined as "a major mood disorder in which there are episodes of both mania and depression" (Clergy... 21). "Mania is an abnormally and persistently elevated (high) mood or irritability accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms: overly-inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, distractibility, increased goal-directed activity such as shopping, physical agitation, and excessive involvement in risky behaviors or activities" (Merck 2).

Some of the symptoms of the manic phase are: "on top of the world" mood that seems euphoric, expansive, or the mood may be irritable, expression of unwarranted optimism and lack of judgment which may reach the point of grandiose delusions of connections with God, celebrities, or political leaders, hyperactivity, excessive plans or participation in numerous activities that have a good chance for painful results, thoughts which race uncontrollably, decreased sleep, attention easily diverted to inconsequential or unimportant details, and/or sudden irritability, rage, or paranoia. In full blown manic psychosis, the mood is usually elations, but irritability and frank hostility with cantankerousness are not uncommon. Typically manic patients are exuberant and flamboyantly or colorfully dressed; they have an authoritative manner with a rapid, unstoppable flow of speech. "Their lack of insight and their inordinate capacity for activity can lead to a...