As a human being

As a human being, it is a natural matter to feel highs and lows as life can come with brilliant elation but also vast amounts of grief. It is perfectly normal and reasonable to experience a shift in moods with changing life events. Not every mood swing is a cause for concern. Emotion is a key function to being alive and in touch with one’s surroundings; however, if emotions begin to sway like a pendulum on a more than frequent basis, this can be a cause for bipolar disorder. “Bipolar disorder refers to a group of affective disorders, which together are characterized by depressive and manic or hypomanic episodes (Phillips & Kupfer, 2013, p.1663). Furthermore, in our world of seven billion people, 10 per 100 adults meet the requirement for this illness (Torrey & Knable, 2005, p. 2).
People with the constant highs and lows of bipolar disorder can exhibit two powerful kinds of sensation, one being mania which feels like euphoria and bliss, while on the other end of the spectrum is depressive which can bring a sweeping feeling of rage and sadness. Manic episodes are just as threatening as depressive episodes because they involve many impulses such as enhanced spontaneous sexual desire, the urge to spend money and make bad judgments overall. In this phase, individuals believe themselves to be invulnerable from harm, and oftentimes take on risky behaviors which may harm themselves or those around them. On the other end of the spectrum is depressive, and that can be dangerous for all of the suicidal and self-harming tendencies people trend towards developing. In this stage, people can have debilitating symptoms of depression, often making it impossible to leave their homes, causing them to suffer with their careers and social relationships. Generally, if a patient has bipolar disorder and does not seek treatment, the illness tends to worsen. By diving deeper into the mood disorders, Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and cyclothymia, it is clear that these are chronic mind disabling illnesses.
Studies and experiments have yet to direct humans to an individual or particular force to cause this illness, but it is concluded that many agents can contribute to it. Some of the leading causes stem from genetics, stress to trigger an episode that is either mania or depressive, or simply the makeup of one’s brain. This illness has four classes, one being Bipolar 1 disorder, which is characterized by a subject having or is experiencing one or more occurrences of mania, such as pure ecstasy or over the top delight. Mania is a mind racing yet physiological thing that increases breathing, thought processes, impulses, and the overall state of mind and mood in a patient. For that of bipolar 2, it is also moderately ordinary, requires attention, a professional examination is needed, and it is also a lifetime illness alike bipolar 1. Essentially, a key difference for bipolar two patients and bipolar one patients is hypomania, which is a milder form of mania. These episodes can be a lesser intensity of ecstatic or depressing. Both bipolar 1 and 2 disorders require medication more than often but also can use psychotherapy, a therapy revolving around talking and interacting to modify behaviors and solve the problem. The third classification of this illness is cyclothymic disorder, also known as cyclothymia. It is a rare disorder. Those who are diagnosed with it tend to experience symptoms of mood fluctuations or annoyance. Rarely does the treatment of this disorder result by medication, treatment is more focused on talk therapy or psychotherapy because it is less aggressive. The last component of this disorder can be identified as someone embodying symptoms of bipolar 1, bipolar 2, or cyclothymia without meeting any of the requirements of the prior classes mentioned.
The two key components to focus on when delegating behavioral treatments to clients with bipolar disorder are communication and psychopharmacological compliance. Displaying emotion versus keeping it self-contained is part of an effective path of treatment. According to a study done with bipolar patients and their families, individual treatment plans were made with medications and behavioral modification through instruction, role-play, problem-solving, and homework. All of the above are quintessential means of therapy. The treatment had three focal points being “Family Education” which served as a basis for families to gain knowledge of the bipolar illness itself. According to the journal “With respect to the three core components of BFM, therapists’ performance ratings were highest for the education segment of treatment” (Weisman, Okazaki, Gregory, Goldstein, Tompson, Rea, & Miklowitz, 1998). This is essential to understand as it means that the treatment plans were delivered properly and the families of bipolar patients in this experiment had gained a well-rounded and positive portion of information on the illness affecting their loved one. Secondly was “Communication Training” which was a means of extinguishing tension among the families while advancing their communication skills. This was a promising approach to treatment as it reduced the opportunities that families had to dispute or have conflict. Lastly, was “Problem-Solving”. Problem-solving consisted of making a course of action to handle sporadic situations such as mania or depressive episodes that are spontaneously recovering from being managed or extinguished, or just creating an open line of communication for anyone to voice concerns, opinions, or simply their emotions. Additionally, adherence to a regimen with medication and a plan to change target behavior is crucial in improving overall functioning in bipolar clients.
Many individuals may experience an early onset of this disorder and “emerging adulthood (usually conceived of as the developmental period between ages 18 and 25; see Arnett, 2000) is another major age of risk for onset of bipolar disorder” (Hamlat, Ogarro-Moore, Alloy, & Nusslock, 2016). In children or teenagers, this could affect their social life, academic work, home life and families, and especially intercommunication with others due to drastic changes in mood and attitude. In children, bipolar disorder can be a very difficult thing to diagnose and distinguish between ADHD and it is still a front that psychologists are learning about. This is a field in which research is currently ongoing, and new discoveries and distinctions are made by the day. Nevertheless, this remains a problem in helping children struggling with this disorder get the help they need and deserve. It can be remarkably critical when this disorder affects a child or a teenager versus in adulthood as their temper can fluctuate more than expected and it can be more difficult to counterbalance or neutralize their behavior. In younger individuals, temper tantrums or episodes can be very prevalent even without this disorder, so distinguishing between the two types of tantrums may be difficult.
Many forms of treatment have been studied in all ages ranging from children to adults though some stand out more than others. “The available literature on psychosocial interventions for children and adolescents with bipolar disorders may be broken down into three categories: a small number of studies on family-focused therapy, a small number of studies on cognitive-behavioral therapy, and one study on dialectical behavior therapy” (Clevenger & Simon, 2018). Treatment for children is significant as symptoms deriving from bipolar disorder such as depression, contemplating suicide, or impulsiveness can become severe if not cared for. Creating a safety net for kids with bipolar disorder by implementing talk therapy, discussing the varying mood swings occurring, and how they affect the client’s daily life are effective forms of therapy. Additionally, school-based intervention options are adequate ways to teach children that seeking treatment is a good thing and the journal expanded that it was based on a token and reinforcement system to award positive behavior and increase psychologically pleasant responses while a response cost for negative behaviors. Treatment also was linked with peer observation and using modeling to promote improved behavior. Furthermore, weekly checkups with guardians of the children were made to detect if their behavior improved or declined with therapy. In a more geriatric view, this illness is late onset and it can come with the same symptoms as someone much younger, however, it is more concerned with breaking daily routines, considering suicide, sleep deprivation, or peevishness. “Many reports say that bipolar disorder in individuals aged 60 years or more represent as much as 25% of the population with Bipolar Disorder” (Dols, Chen, Jurdi, ; Sajatovic, 2017).
In conclusion, bipolar disorder is a chronic and debilitating illness that affects 10 per 100 people in the world with episodes ranging from manic to depressive. Treatment can vary from psychopharmacological treatment, talk therapy, psychotherapy, and in some cases informing the patients and their families about the condition that their loved one has along with enhancing a line of communication and including problem solving challenges in the case of an episode spontaneously returning.
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