Bipolar affective disorder


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This is a project for a high school AP psychology course. This is a fictionalized account of having a psychological ailment. For questions about this blog project or it’s content please email the teacher Chris Jocham:

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Bipolar affective disorder

  1. 1. Bipolar Affective Disorder
  2. 2. What is Bipolar Disorder? <ul><li>Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Causes <ul><li>To this day, doctors do not completely understand what causes bipolar disorder, although it has been found to be hereditary. Lifestyle and environment have been found to affect the severity of the disorder though. And alcohol or drug abuse can make the disorder more difficult to treat. </li></ul>
  4. 6. Symptoms <ul><li>People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called &quot;mood episodes.&quot; An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Sometimes, a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This is called a mixed state. People with bipolar disorder also may be explosive and irritable during a mood episode. </li></ul><ul><li>Manic Episode </li></ul><ul><li>A long period of feeling &quot;high,&quot; or an overly happy or outgoing mood </li></ul><ul><li>Irritability, agitation, jumpiness </li></ul><ul><li>Racing thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Distractedness </li></ul><ul><li>Restlessness/insomnia </li></ul><ul><li>Participating in impulsive, high-risk behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Depression Episode </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of worry or empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of interest in pleasurable activities </li></ul><ul><li>Tiredness </li></ul><ul><li>Thoughts or attempts of suicide </li></ul><ul><li>Restlessness/irritability </li></ul><ul><li>Problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions </li></ul>
  5. 8. Treatment <ul><li>Mood stabilizing medications are usually the first choice to treat bipolar disorder. In general, people with bipolar disorder continue treatment with mood stabilizers for years </li></ul><ul><li>Lithium-controls symptoms of mania </li></ul><ul><li>Valproic acid or divalproex sodium-popular alternative to lithium </li></ul><ul><li>Anticonvulsant lamotrigine- maitenance treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Other treatment includes: antipsychotic medications for severe cases, antidepressants, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. </li></ul>
  6. 10. Finding Help <ul><li>Bipolar Disorder and other serious brain diseases are an extreme challenge not only for the person afflicted, but for the entire family. It helps a great deal to be able to talk with other people who have, or are, going though the same things that you are- to share experiences and discuss coping techniques and treatment. For this reason, family therapy and support groups for those with bipolar disorder- to help those with the illness understand that they are not alone. </li></ul>
  7. 12. Famous People with Bipolar Disorder <ul><li>Kurt Cobain </li></ul><ul><li>Marilyn Monroe </li></ul><ul><li>Mel Gibson </li></ul><ul><li>Macy Gray </li></ul><ul><li>Ozzy Osbourne </li></ul><ul><li>Demi Lovato </li></ul>
  8. 14. Bipolar Facts <ul><li>20% suicide rate in those with the disorder </li></ul><ul><li>About half of those with the disorder have attempted suicide </li></ul><ul><li>1 in every 100 people are bipolar </li></ul><ul><li>Roughly half of those with the disorder struggle with drug or alcohol abuse </li></ul><ul><li>40% of the children and adolescents in acute psychiatric hospitals suffer from bipolar disorder </li></ul><ul><li>In brain scans of bipolar patients, the left hippocampus is usually significantly larger than the right side </li></ul><ul><li>Only 1/3 of sufferers receive treatment for the disorder </li></ul>
  9. 16. Common Misconceptions about Bipolar Disorder <ul><li>People with bipolar disorder do not have a real illness </li></ul><ul><li>If someone has bipolar disorder, all their moods are a product of the disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Once you’re feeling better, you can stop taking your bipolar disorder medications </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody who has bipolar disorder has wide mood swings, going from very depressed to super manic and out of control </li></ul>
  10. 18. Living with Bipolar Disorder <ul><li>Living with bipolar disorder is stressful for both the sufferer, and their friends and family. It is important to recognize triggers of manic and depressive episodes, and to avoid things such as drugs and alcohol which strengthen the effects of each episode. While medication and therapy is also important, it is most beneficial for those with the disease to have the support of those around them, and to not be treated as if they are the disease, but just as though they are a victim of it. </li></ul>
  11. 20. Bibliography <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>