Essay on Psychological Disorders: Analysis of Bipolar Disorder Causes and Consequences

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Psychology comes from the Greek words “psych” meaning soul and “ology” meaning logic, it translates to “the science of the soul.” It was founded by a man named Wilhelm Wundt, he founded experimental psychology which later led to others discovering more in psychology. Psychology is both a science and a profession, it is counted as a science because it’s about understanding people's behaviour.

The topic I have chosen for this assignment is psychological disorders, more specifically bipolar disorder. I have chosen this topic because I think that this is an issue that relates to many individuals in the world today. The causes of these disorders are unknown, but some factors lead to these disorders, including chemical imbalances in the brain, childhood experiences, stress, heredity, illness, and prenatal exposures. A psychological disorder can affect anyone, at any age or stage in their life, they do not discriminate.

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One of the types of psychological disorders is anxiety disorders. These disorders are broken down into five categories: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these categories describe disorders in which a person displays extreme fear or nervousness. People will become afraid of objects, social situations, animals, reliving traumatic events, or numerous other things. People suffering from these types of disorders will become captives of their own fears inhibiting them from functioning normally in society.

One type of personality disorder is borderline personality disorder when a person is very unstable and frequently lashes out in anger. The person will be impulsive and are prone to self-destructive behaviour. Another is an antisocial personality disorder in which a person is frequently displaying unlawful behaviour such as stealing or causing fights.

When a person complains about physical illnesses that cannot be explained medically and these claims lead to interference in their lives it is known as a somatoform disorder. Hypochondriacs fall into this category of disorders. People may also actually experience loss of motor or sensory functions that cannot be explained by any damage or problems with their bodies.

A dissociative disorder is involved more in the disturbance of identity or memory. People will sometimes forget traumatic events in their lives or forget who they are. Other cases involve the development of multiple personalities where a person assumes the identity of more than one person who is unaware of the other identities. This type of dissociative disorder is often confused with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenic disorders are when a person’s thoughts and perceptions of reality become distorted. Schizophrenics will experience hallucinations and delusions that will make everything seem illogical and unreal. There are different categories of schizophrenia that display different types of behaviours all of which cause a person to experience unrealistic thoughts or behaviours. People may display behaviours of incoherent speech, paranoia, or unresponsiveness to the environment.

Another form of psychological disorder is mood disorders. These disorders are characterized by extreme feelings of mood. A major depressive disorder is when a person becomes extremely depressed. A person will not be capable to lift themselves out of the depression, making simple things seem like impossibilities. When this depression alternates with an extreme sense of elation it is known a bipolar disorder. It is one extreme to the other leaving the person very unstable.

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes irregular stages of happiness and depression. It is characterized as a mood disorder, which is a psychological disorder categorized by the increase or decrease of a person's mood. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depressive illness. Having this disorder will cause you to have emotional highs and lows. When you are at your “low point” you may feel depressed, sad, and desperate. When your mood shifts to your “high point” you may feel joyful and full of energy, this is known as mania or hypomania. These mood shifts can happen as often as numerous times a week or they may only happen a few times a year.

A manic episode is a period of unusual emotion that causes you to be overly joyful, full of energy, and cause you to be excessively confident. To diagnose a manic episode the mood must be severe enough to be causing difficulty at work, school, family, relationships, or societal events. If it requires hospitalization to avoid harm to oneself or anyone else it can also be classified as a manic episode. When someone is having a manic episode, it can be recognized by rapid speech (making it hard for anyone else to get a word in), and very high self-esteem. The person will be very hyperactive and may not get much sleep. He or she may say that they are rich and have lots of money to buy elaborate things when yet they most likely have little to no money at all. A person who is having a manic episode may be willing to just give away valuables or go spend all the money that they have due to poor decisions. A manic episode will last for at least one week and can last up to a few months at a time, ending suddenly.

A hypomanic episode is a milder episode of mania. It is also an unusual short-tempered mood that will last at least four consecutive days. A hypomanic episode can be diagnosed if it isn’t serious enough to interfere with work, school, family, relationships, or societal events. Also, if it doesn’t require hospitalization it can be considered a hypomanic episode.

After the manic episode, the following depression episode usually lasts three times as long. Signs and symptoms of a bipolar depression episode include being sad, empty, and desperate most of the day, almost every day. The individual would be noticeably uninterested in activities, would lose weight even when not dieting, or gain weight when not trying to, increased amount of sleeping, fatigue, looking down upon oneself, lose of ability to concentrate, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide. Having five or more of these symptoms within a two-week period often demonstrates depression.

There are numerous different categories or types of Bipolar disorder, including Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2, and Cyclothymic disorder. Bipolar 1 disorder includes having at least one manic episode followed by a major depressive episode. Often there is a pattern between mania and depression. Typically between the two stages, people can live their normal lives. Bipolar 2 disorders are weaker forms of mood increase, involving weaker episodes of hypomania that alternate with periods of severe depression. However, bipolar 2 never reaches the full-blown mania like in bipolar 1. Most people suffer more from depression from this type of bipolar. Just as in bipolar 1, in between each cycle individuals can live normal lives. Bipolar 2 disorder is not a milder form of Bipolar 1 disorder, the two are both entirely different diagnostics. Cyclothymic disorder is long periods of hypomania following short periods of mild depression. It causes you to have emotional highs and lows, between the two you may feel as if you are back to normal. Cyclothymic disorder is a milder form of bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 and is still important to seek help from someone to manage these symptoms because they do increase your risk of having bipolar 1 or bipolar 2 disorders. Other types of bipolar disorder can be diagnosed due to a medical condition, for example, multiple sclerosis, stroke or Cushing’s disease. Certain types of medication can also lead to this disorder.

Bipolar disorder is often not recognized in women as easily as it is recognized in men. Often doctors are looking for the male versions of the disorder in women and underdiagnosing it. There are biological reasons that women and men have unusual degrees of certain diseases like bipolar disorder. Men will usually have stronger manic episodes and less extreme depressive episodes. As for women, they will typically have shorter and milder manic episodes and longer depressed states. Hormones are also a big factor in the severity that bipolar disorder can have on your body. Thyroid gland problems affect a lot of people with this disorder. The thyroid gland controls hormones in the body and also controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.

Scientists agree that there is not one specific cause of bipolar disorder, although there are numerous things that may act together and produce the illness. This disorder is more commonly seen in an individual that has a relative with bipolar disorder. If the individual has a sibling or parent with the disorder then they are a lot more prone to having it, in other words, it can be hereditary. Scientists are trying to determine exactly what genes are involved in causing bipolar disorder. An imbalance of neurotransmitters is considered to be a primary factor in bipolar disorder and also other mood disorders.

Persons with this disorder appear to have physical variances in their brains. The brains of individuals with bipolar disorder differ from the brains of healthy individuals. An MRI shows that brain developments in both bipolar children and multi-dimensional impairment are very similar. This associates bipolar disorder with a general risk for unstable moods. MRIs also found that the brain's prefrontal cortex is smaller and functions at a lower rate compared to healthy adults. The prefrontal cortex controls functions such as decision-making. Finding brain changes in the early years may help detect bipolar disorder promptly so that medication and therapy can begin at an early age hopefully preventing the disorder to be less serious.

It can often be hard to identify bipolar disorder in a child. Determining whether the mood is just stress and trauma or if it is a mental disorder can be quite difficult. Typically, children who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder usually are diagnosed with other mental conditions. The most obvious signs of bipolar disorder in children are severe mood swings that are unlike their usual mood swings. Children with this disorder have a very hard time in school. The mood swings can become too hard for a child to deal with when at school, because of stress at school. Friends, stressful classwork, noisiness, and bullying are all factors that can make symptoms worsen. Children are commonly prescribed the same medications as an adult would be prescribed. It is hard to say whether or not the effectiveness or safety of the medications for children is okay due to a lack of research. Most children need psychotherapy to assist them to cope with bipolar disorder. The therapy will help the child with solving social problems and reconnecting with family in the time of need.

Bipolar disorder cannot be cured, but numerous things can help treat it over a long period of time. Knowing that the disorder is lifelong, tells you that the medication will be long-term and will not get rid of the disorder, but it will help individuals gain control of the mood swings that their body will have. Even with the proper treatment mood swings will continue to occur, but they should not be as frequent. There is a study for Bipolar disorder (Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program) that shows nearly half of the individuals who recovered still had mild bipolar symptoms.

Treatment for the disorder is best if you meet frequently with a psychotherapist and discuss problems and issues, while still taking the prescribed medication. There are numerous different medications to take and some people have to take several different kinds before finding a type that will work for them. Mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and antidepressants are normally used for this type of mood disorder as well as some other mood disorders. When medication is present, psychotherapy can be a great treatment for this disorder. It can provide support, training, and control to individuals with bipolar disorder and their relatives. Also, some home remedies to help deal with bipolar disorder may include getting plenty of sleep, surrounding yourself with people who care for you and will help you through episodes, not using any drugs, smoking, or drinking alcohol, and getting plenty of exercise throughout the week.

If you have bipolar disorder you may also have another condition that was diagnosed before or after the diagnostics of bipolar disorder. Anxiety disorders, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addiction or substance abuse, and physical health problems, such as heart disease, thyroid problems, or obesity, all of these which are commonly found in individuals who have bipolar disorder. If you have one or more of these conditions, then it is necessary to get medical treatment. Also, having another condition may interfere with treatment for bipolar disorder. There is no guaranteed way to avoid having bipolar disorder. Still, getting treatment for the first symptom of a mental health disorder can help prevent bipolar disorder or other mental health disorders from worsening.

Writing this essay has helped me learn some basic information on the psychological disorder known as bipolar. The more we know about what these people face, the more we can help them. While this was only one of the disorders that I decided to write about, there are many others I haven’t mentioned. This disorder can be difficult to treat, and even more difficult to live with.

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Essay on Psychological Disorders: Analysis of Bipolar Disorder Causes and Consequences. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
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