Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Essay by Patches6351University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2009

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder � PAGE �7�

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are two very serious mental illnesses that affect many people all around the world. While schizophrenia can be marked by a distinct loss of contact with reality, bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is marked by a severe mood disorder in which the subject alternately experiences times of great depression and times of mania or elevated moods. (Kowlaski & Westen 2005) In this paper we will be discussing the similarities and differences between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, how these two mental illnesses and disorders affect those who suffer from them, and how they are treated.

Bipolar Disorder is the most common mental health disorder that many Americans are diagnosed with today. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, according to the author of Mental Health Net, affects at least two million Americans at any given time (2000).

Bipolar disorder is often not recognized by the patient, relatives, friends, or even physicians. Many Americans that are diagnosed with this disorder exhibit abnormal behavior or episodes. Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that is classified into mood disorders such as hypo-mania or mania. Hypo-mania is a state in which the individual shows a high level of energy, excessive moodiness or irritability, and impulsive or reckless behavior. According to healthcare professionals, hypo-mania may actually feel good to the person who experiences it; therefore, even when family and friends learn to recognize the mood swings which are a part of the bipolar disorder, the individual often will deny that anything is wrong. An episode can range from: feeling misunderstood and invisible in the world; attempting to gain control and be safe through various actions and activities; making an ongoing effort to repair injured self-esteem; and using various coping skills. There are...