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Bipolar Research Paper


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Bipolar Research Paper


Brandon Streicher

English 4

Ms. Brown

10/20/2005


Table of Contents



Title Page

Page 1

Table of Contents

Page 2

History Of Bipolar
Page3

Treatment of Bipolar

Page 4

What To Look For?

Page 5

Work Site Page

Page 6

How many people do you think suffer from Bipolar disorder? According to the NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally) nearly 2.3 Million people suffer from a diagnosed clinical case of bipolar disease. The most generalized field in psychology is ‘Mood Disorders’, and the second most diagnosed case of mood disorders is the Bi-polar disease, next to number one witch is Depression. Bi-polar is a manic-depressive illness, it causes severe mood swings and shifts emotional and physically energy to the high’s and low’s, it becomes a clinical disorder once it interferes with your ability to function ‘normally’.


Credit for the discovery of Bipolar is widely varied, but several sources have given credit to Emil Kraepelin, a German psychologist, in the year 1899. The cause has yet to been proven 100%, but the most accepted theory in the medical and scientific world believe this condition is caused by imbalances in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Bipolar has been found to be a genetically linked mood disorder. Nearly 50percent of all diagnosed people with Bi-polar, half of them have parents who are also diagnosed with the disease. A child with one bipolar parent has a 10% to 30% chance of becoming Bipolar. If both parents are Bipolar, the odds reach 75%! Recently in the past 5 years Bi-polar has been referred to many as the ‘magic disorder’, this is because there is a lot more focus on the illness and more people are seeking counseling or medical help for what may be a mild case of depression. More psychiatrists have been diagnosing and prescribing medication to help these individuals out with their mood swings. The age of when Bipolar set’s in and people are clinically diagnosed ranges from early teenage years to the low 30’s. Diagnosing children is becoming a new and controversial issue. There are believed to be another 1million children who may suffer from bipolar but have yet to be diagnosed (Jeffrey kluger/Time magazine). Victims of Bipolar have a drug and alcohol abuse rate triple the rate of the general population and a suicide rate at 20% more than those who don’t have the illness (Sora Song/Time magazine). The seriousness of this disease is starting to show itself, this is defiantly a disease that should not go untreated.

Treatments for Bipolar victims range from several things. Counseling to medication and even in-patient therapy. Medication proves to be the biggest step in fighting Bipolar. The biggest milestone and major drug for many years to help control bipolar has been Lithium. Lithium was discovered by Johann Arfvedson in 1817 and was not produced and distributed untill 1923 (wikipedia.org). In the past 20 years there has been many more medications that have been introduced to the Bipolar market such as Depacote, Tegretol and Lamictal. All the medication treatments have the same purpose, which is to prevent drastic mood swings and maintain healthy level of neurotransmitters (mood stabilizing brain chemicals). The medications I have listed here all have side effects, from mild cases of nausea to liver failure, never take any of these medications without a licensed physician or doctors approval. Therapy is another powerful option; most patients take medication and attend group or one on one therapy. It is found that several Bipolar victims have some sort of stressors in their lives, that is what typically causes the onset of a drastic mood change. In-patient treatment for bipolar people is a very common and smart choice. People who suffer from Bipolar can be dangerous to others and themselves, in order to maintain a safe environment it is found best to be near professionals such as psychologist and psychiatrist. The judgment becomes impaired frequently if a person is in middle of a drastic mood change. A person with a severe depressed state of mind may wish to cause harm to themselves or others, and others who are in a frantic mania-state of mind may do irrational behaviors that possibly can cause harm to themselves or others.



There are many signs that can hint family and friends of a person suffering from Bipolar. Everybody from the president to a homeless person suffers from mood changes, which are inevitable. What makes Bipolar a diagnosable disease is when the sever mood swings are interfering with a persons daily life or possibly causing thoughts of harm on others or themselves. Some signs of depression are extreme irritability and increased sleeping or else no sleep at all. Abuse of drugs and alcohol is another warning sign but in today’s society don’t judge a person just because they had a few too many drinks. Many people do not know, but a person who is suffering from Bipolar has an increased sexual drive. Many sex offenders and people who commit crime that involving sexual acts show signs of Bipolar. People who suffer with this are not aware of when they are in a Manic or Mania phase. Many times if a person has not been diagnosed, people around the person suffering from mood swings wont take this as seriously as it should be taken.
People who suffer from Bipolar have a difficult journey though life. Those who only know of this illness cant accept it or realize it to its fullest extent. There are treatments
out there to help those, but often, people are reluctant to submit themselves into institutions or take medication that have severe side effects. There are feared to be many more people, possibly another 1million people with Bipolar that are not diagnosed. If you know somebody who you believe might have this disorder, don’t just jump on it, take some time to observe patterns and behaviors mainly the mood swings and how drastic they can be. If you are convinced somebody you know has this confront him or her about it possibly, stay calm and serious about it, and then possibly speak with a school counselor or teacher who you can trust.

Work-Cite Page


  1. Kluger, 2002. “BIPOLAR”. Time Magazine: 2002

  2. Online Posting. 10/12/2005. http://www.bipolar.com

  3. Online Posting. 10/15/2005. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/bipolar.cfm

  4. Online Posting. 10/09/2005. http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/bipolar.html







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