Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Medical Management, History and Risk Factors

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While studying and researching the progression, signs of symptoms, medical management, history and risk factors, medical interventions, diagnosis, and tests of bipolar disorder, a reader or patient will find some fascinating information about this disorder. This case study will reflect on many factors of bipolarism and will provide great information on prevention and physical therapy for this disease. This study will also address some support resources for this disorder, and talk about coverage of this disease process. Bipolar disorder can start out at early stages of life. A person could spend months or even years with this disorder but never have received a diagnosis, or any treatment for this problem. Progression of this disease can be initiated by many factors in life, and symptoms can be very serious if the patient is not diagnosed early in the stages. There are many symptoms of bipolar disorder, and there is also two different types of this disease. The first type of this disease is bipolar one, this is the serious type of disorder because it is the kind where people can be extraordinarily manic, psychotic, or might even need to be hospitalized. In this type of disease, the patient’s mood will oscillate back and forth from depressions and manias. The second type of bipolarism is bipolar two, also called hypomania.

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This type of disease is far less severe than bipolar one, but still does not need to be left unheard. A person with bipolar two will have a little bit of mania; they might also have increased energy and decreased need for sleep. If these two types of bipolarism are not treated at early stages, it could lead to serious harm to other people of the even to the patient themselves. Bipolar disorder can be caused by many different things. It could be caused by psychosocial stresses from society, or it can be passed down genetically from previous generations. The progression of this disease is severe enough that we the people should be looking for symptoms from people in our family, friends, and community. We must find these symptoms at early stages to prevent people from committing suicide from progressed depression, or prevent people from hurting others through abuse and other actions. Bipolarism can also progress into dysphoric mania, which is when manic patients become very uncomfortable, anxious, or overdriven. It is estimated that two-thirds of women might have dysphoric mania, and if people are using substances or being abused, they are also more likely to become dysphoric over time. Other signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder could be categorized into two different sections of depression, or manic episodes. Symptoms of depression could be diminished interest or pleasure throughout the day, significant weight loss or loss of appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia nearly all day, psychomotor agitation, feeling worthless and always thinking about death.

The other side of bipolarism is the manic episodes. This person would have symptoms like inflated self-esteem, feel persistently elevated in their mood, be easily agitated, become more talkative than usual, or have distractibility. There are ways to coping and treating bipolarism. One way is to first get a psychiatrist and get evaluated. Before tests become available, or for urgent reasons, the patient may be prescribed mood stabilizers or other forms of drugs that would treat bipolarism. Once the patient becomes available for testing he/she would have a CT scan or a MRI done. A patient might also have an EEG done for further evaluation. Since bipolarism not only affects the patient, but the family too, it is important that the family’s physician and psychiatrist creates an effective and collaborative connection with the family and patient. The family and patient will have many meetings together with their family physician and psychiatrist to further cope and overall get the patient well again to be independent and self-driven once again. Once the patient becomes more stable he or she will not need to see the psychiatrist as often, but will still have to meet for follow-ups to view their course of illnesses. In addition, counseling and family therapy are important components of management and may be rendered by the family physician, or psychiatrist.

There are many risk factors when it comes to bipolar disorder. It can depend on your genetics, environment, and also your brain structure. There is no one specific risk factor that will make you have bipolarism, but it is the act of many risk factors working together to give you this disorder. Bipolar disorder tends to run within families. Children with a parent or relative that has bipolar disorder are at a greater chance of getting this disease, rather than a child with no bipolarism throughout their family history. It is likely that your genes and the environment have the biggest factor when it comes to your chance of getting bipolar disorder. Sometimes it is the case that a major life change or a traumatic event can trigger bipolarism within a person. An example could be a loss of a loved one, or an onset medical problem. This could lead to major depression which is one of the categories of bipolarism. Drug abuse could also be the reason that a person has bipolarism. An estimated sixty percent of individuals with bipolar disorder are dependent on drugs or alcohol(Herndon). Aslo people with seasonal depression and anxiety disorders also have an increased risk for bipolarism. These types of risk factors show that the environment can have a huge risk of people getting bipolar disorder. Risk factors do not just come from the environment though, it also can come from your brain structure. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission technology (PET) are types of scans that can be used to detect bipolar disorder. These two types of technology can scan your brain to detect if there are any findings that can relate to bipolarism. More research is still being conducted on this technology to see how these findings can specifically impact bipolarism, and what this means for treatment and diagnosis.

Diagnosing a patient for bipolar disorder can be a hard thing to do. Doctors have come a long way in fully understanding different moods in this disease, and have also improved in making more accurate diagnoses to patients. Unlike the past, doctors can now distinguish bipolarism from many other disorders, such as unipolar depression or schizophrenia. With the greater acknowledgment of many other disorders today, doctors can now identify signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as bipolar depression, hypomania, and mania. Now with most cases too, doctors can now treat the disorder safely and effectively with bipolar medication. In the medical field today, lab tests, also known as blood tests, cannot specifically determine if a patient has bipolarism or not. In fact, the best way to test for bipolar disorder is to sit down with your doctor and talk face to face about your mood swings, behaviors, or lifestyle habits. Then the doctor can start learning about your personality and determine if you could have bipolarism or not. Most of the time the doctor can determine if you have bipolar disorder by knowing what your symptoms might be. Like if your overall state of health is good, if you are on a good sleeping schedule, and your appetite is appropriate. The doctor might also want to know if you have mood swings throughout the day and if you are depressed a substantial amount of time during the day.

In the making of a person’s bipolar diagnosis, the psychiatrist will ask questions about the patient’s family history of bipolarism, mental illnesses, or other mood disorders. Because of the big importance in the genetics of this disease, family history is a huge factor of diagnosing a person with bipolarism. A doctor will put the patient through a couple of tests to see if the patient has bipolar disorder. First, the doctor will ask the patient to fill out a questionnaire or checklist about his or her’s daily lifestyles, to help guide the patient through a clinical review of symptoms the patient may have. In, addition the doctor may schedule a blood or urine test for the patient to rule out certain causes or symptoms. The doctor will also run various test to see if the patient is on drugs or alcohol, because people that abuse substances or alcohol are at a higher risk or bipolar disorder than someone that is not. The blood tests will also check for thyroid issues because depression can be directly correlated to bad thyroid function. Overall, the doctor will put a patient through many tests and screenings to determine if the patient may, or may not have bipolar disorder.

People might be wondering what they can do as a pre-diagnosis prevention. In other words, the patient may want to know what he or she can do before going to see a doctor before screening and tests. First, it is very helpful to write down the symptoms that the patient is having. Such as if you have a loss of appetite or insomnia, if the patient might be easily triggered by certain things, or if the patient has severe depression. Focus on what you have noticed changes in like mood, sleep, appetite, energy, thinking skills, and social behavior. It might also be useful to have an in-depth look at your family history to see if any relatives, or close family members might have had this disorder or anything close to it, such as depression or manic events. This could also help in prescribing appropriate treatments to try to cure or limit your disease. In addition, a patient might want to bring a close friend or family member to the doctor’s appointment with them because they might know some symptoms that the patient is unaware of. Before a patient’s visit to the doctor, he or she will want to make a list symptoms and signs that they are currently having like mental and physical health concerns, unusual behaviors, past illnesses, medications, natural dietary supplements, causes of stress, and sleep and lifestyle habits. These are some things that patient might need or be aware of before an appointment for bipolar disorder diagnosis.

There are many appropriate interventions for people who have bipolar disorder. The number one method for treating this disorder is medications. There are three main classes of medication for this disease, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics. Typically, while taking some forms of these medications, a person will also be receiving psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is for people usually with depression or other forms of mood disorders. Research has shown that when a person is receiving psychotherapy combined with medication, they have a greater ability to cope with there illnesses rather than not using these treatments combined together. The most widely used drugs for the treatment of bipolar disorder include lithium carbonate and valproic acid (also known as Depakote or generally as Divalproex) (Understanding Bipolar Disorder). Lithium has many contributing factors to treat bipolar disorder. It can reduce mania and prevent the recurrence of depression, also it is often given with other medications like mood stabilizers because it is a form of an antidepressant. Overall, medications and psychotherapy are the major factors used to treat people with bipolarism.

Many people with bipolar disorder, or someone who may think they have it, will want to know how to treat it using therapy. The best therapy to treat this disease is psychotherapy. There are many subcategories of psychotherapy, such as behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, interpersonal therapy, and social rhythm therapy. Behavioral therapy mainly focuses on stress. Stress is a big part of bipolar disorder, and with a build up of stress could cause a person to lash out or explode in rage or anger. If a therapist can teach a person with bipolarism on how to control their stress, it could prevent a person from having a manic episode. The point of behavioral therapy is to teach a person how to calm themselves, think about the happy things in their life, and control their anger when they feel themselves lashing out at someone or something. Cognitive therapy focuses on controlling a person’s mood swings and shifts. If the therapist can teach the patient on how to find their thinking patterns and what controls their mood, the patient can pick out the happy things in life and control their own mood in a positive attribute. Interpersonal therapy focuses on relationships in the patient’s life. The therapist will talk to the patient and become familiar with their family members and spouses, and then the therapist can pick out what strains the patient’s life and what could cause stress or hardships to the patient. Once the therapist can pick out the hardships in the patient’s life, they can teach the patient how to control their strains in life and overall decrease what or who makes them stressed or depressed. The final psychotherapy category is social rhythm, this category focuses on the patients daily routine in life, and sleep schedule. If a person with bipolarism can get in a life routine, then he or she can decrease their stresses or strains in life.

Once a patient with bipolar disorder has been diagnosed and treated, the patient needs to know what needs to be done at home to prevent future episodes and potentially physical lash outs. The first post-op prevention the patient should know is not to stop their medications. Sometimes a patient will skip a dosage or just think they are not useful anymore, but they are still very beneficial to the patient’s behavioral and cognitive decisions. Another thing the patient should do after diagnosis is to join a support group. A support group can be very beneficial because socialization with other people with bipolarism can decrease your chances of having another manic episode. Talking and hearing stories of other people with bipolarism can really make the patient think about themselves as a whole, and consider what their life purposes are. Another thing a patient post diagnosis should do is find recreational activities, or get active with others. If a person can channel their energy positively they can focus on the better purposes of life, and they will have a decreased chance of having depression in their life. Other ways to prevent post complications is finding fun hobbies that you might like doing. Being active and social in life can make a person have a decrease in depression and stress. The final prevention method is to stay focused on your goals. You have to have a want to to manage your bipolarism, it is not just going to be given. The patient must try really hard to cope with stress and depression in life, and find activities that make them feel happy and feel like they are worth something.

In conclusion, this study focused on the progression, signs of symptoms, medical management, history and risk factors, medical interventions, diagnosis, and tests of bipolar disorder. This discussion has also reflected on the importance of intervention, the complete disease process, and the physical therapy process of bipolar disorder. Overall, the process of bipolar disorder can very long and stressful, but anybody can get through it with determination, and being focused throughout the whole process of diagnosis and therapy. Being consistent throughout the whole treatment and post-diagnosis is key to having a stress free and manic episode free life.

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Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Medical Management, History and Risk Factors. (2019, Aug 12). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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