Is Bipolar Disorder Curable?

Definition of bipolar disorder

  • What is Bipolar mania disorder
  • Diagnosis of bipolar mania disorder
  • Manic episodes
  • Hypomania and the Symptoms
  • Depressive Episode and symptoms

Causes of bipolar disorder

  • Genetical reasons
  • Childhood/Stress

Autobiography

  • Manic: A memoir
  • An unquiet mind

Treatments

  • What is DSM and DSM-5
  • Drugs and Medication
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Social rhythm therapy
  • Cannabis Use
  • Possible Cure’s

What is bipolar disorder?

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. [1]

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Bipolar might be more common than one might thing, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population 18 and older. [6]

Some people think of bipolar disorder as mood swings, however an expert Matthew Rudford says that ‘The mood swings associated with bipolar disorder are very different than those of people without the condition’. Matthew focusses on what bipolar isn’t than what it is when relating mood swings and bipolar disorder. [6]

There is no test to diagnose a patient with bipolar disorder. The symptoms exhibited by the patients is the only test which can prove whether or not the patient has the disorder.

Hypomania

One of the ends of the spectrum is mania. This elevated mood is called mania or hypomania. Depending on the severity and if psychosis is present as one of the patient’s symptoms. [1,2, pg. 154]

The overall functioning of the patient can increase during this episode. Some people who show hypomania also show increased creativity and while others be irritable and demonstrate poor judgement [3]. Some people might feel uplifted, happy and enthused when in this phase. However, once their phase passes they might end up forgetting what they had done when in the pahse. Even when family and friends recognize mood swings, the individual will most likely to deny that anything is wrong. [4] This is called a “”hypomanic event””, if not accompanied by depressive episodes, it is not deemed problematic, unless the mood changes are uncontrollable, or volatile.[3]

There are quite a lot of symptoms which might suggest that a person is in a manic phase and might have bipolar mania disorder. [5]

  • euphoric, elevated, expansive, or irritable mood with increased energy;
  • racing thoughts;
  • pressured speech (rapid, excessive, frenzied speaking);
  • decreased need for sleep;
  • grandiose ideas (for example, false/delusional beliefs of paranoia, superiority, or failure);
  • tangential speech (repeatedly changing conversational topics to ones that are hardly related);
  • restlessness/increased goal-directed activity; and
  • Impulsivity, poor judgment, or engaging in risky activity (like spending sprees, promiscuity, or excess desire for sex).

These being the most crucial and important ones. Identifying these in a person can assure one that he/she is having a manic episode. [5]

Depression

During periods of depression, there may be crying, a negative outlook on life, and poor eye contact with others. [1] The risk of suicide among those with the illness is high at greater than 6 percent over 20 years, while self-harm occurs in 30–40 percent. [1] Other mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and substance use disorder are associated with bipolar disorder. [1]

Major depressive episodes can cause major difficulty in day to day life, such as work, school, social-activity, relationships etc. An episode might include five or more of these symptoms as mentioned below. [7]

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as irritability)
  • Marked loss of interest or feeling no pleasure in competing or activities
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
  • being insomniac or sleeping too much
  • feeling restlessness or slow behavior
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide

Some might say that the depressive episode is much worse than the manic episode. The symptoms displayed by the patients tend to be extremely damaging and negative to the self-esteem. Suicidal thoughts and catatonic behavior can be very damaging.

Causes

Explaining and going through some of the causes might explain how and why an individual can get bipolar disorder. While some researchers haven’t concluded the exact causes of bipolar disorder, they certainly have identified factors which are likely to increase the chance of getting this disorder.

Genetic Factors Some studies have suggested that there may be a genetic component which may play a role in a person making him/her more prone to bipolar disorder. It is more likely to come about in a person who has a family member with the condition [10]. One the largest and most recent study at the GWAS failed to find any particular evidence to prove that one single gene is responsible for bipolar disorder in most cases. Some genes like BDNF, DRD4 were associated with bipolar disorder but after recent testing and meta-analysis, failed after correction for multiple testing [11]. However, 2 other genes were associated with bipolar disorder [12].

Biology might play a significant role in bipolar disorder, but it certainly isn’t the only factor which decided why one might have it. The brain structure and neurotransmitters play a large role in the cause of bipolar disorder. Research taken place over decades have made a link between neurotransmitters and mood disorder. Some studies suggest that a low or high level of a specific neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin or dopamine are involved. In short, all studies conducted by researchers are definite that neurotransmitter systems is the least part of bipolar disorder, however further research still has to be conducted to be certain of their role in the brain. [13]

Episodes can easily set off by stressful events or circumstances. Even though the root of how stress occurs in one’s mind is not fully understood, experts and researchers still found an explanation. They believe that a stress hormone cortisol is released causing alteration to the functions and communications in the human body. In fact, people who have depression or bipolar disorder have high levels of cortisol in the brain even when stress isn’t present. Stress can be caused by multiple things like loss of job, loss of a spouse etc. It is not definite how stressful and even might be since everyone may not experience much stress. Many other environmental factors have been identified as a potential reason for the disorder. This includes, early childhood trauma, virus infections, cannabis use. Keeping this in mind, research has found that a stressful life can lead to an onset of symptoms in bipolar disorder. However, once this disorder is triggered it progresses and develops a “life of its own” and the psychological and/or biological factors take over and might keep the illness active. [13]

How can we create a cure for a disorder we understand so little about. The causes are unknown there is no hard scientific evidence to prove that there is one or more reason which causes bipolar disorder.

Treatments and Cures.

Treatments are best guided and recommended by medical doctors who tend to specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health condition. These individuals tend to be skilled. A treatment team may be used. It compiles of psychologists, social workers and psychiatrics nurses.

Drug’s and Medicines can be used to treat certain symptoms.

Mood Stabilizers are used to control the manic or depressive episodes. These drugs keep your mood in check. Drugs like lithium (Lithobid), divalproex sodium (Depakote). The drugs can only control a certain part of the disorder and cannot cure it.

Antidepressant are used to treat and manage the depressive episodes. However, antidepressant can sometimes trigger a manic episode. It is usually prescribed along with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotics. Consuming these drugs have side effects. often improve as you find the right medications and doses that work for you, and your body adjusts to the medications.

If you stop your medication, you may experience withdrawal or even your treated symptoms may return and worsen. You may become in turn become very depressed, feel suicidal, or go into a manic or hypomanic episode.

Psychotherapy is counseling or talk therapy which can provide precious time for an individual to learn and practice effective strategies for overcoming and coping with the disorder and learning how to manage with their episodes and symptoms. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can immensely help an individual and their challenges educating them on how to control their negative thinking pattern and behaviors. Family therapy can also be used as it will help family members learn to communicate effectively and calmly reduce overall tension and stress between the family and the victim. Psychotherapy will also provide valuable psychoeducation for developing self-care habits, building resilience and problem solving [14]. This will help the victim cope and understand their disorder better. Teaching him/her how to manage themselves and live a healthy and happy life even with the disorder. However, this treatment too cannot cure the patient in the long term.

A social rhythm therapy is another method of controlling the disorder. This type of therapy helps the victim develop maintain and control a sleep schedule and have a more predictable daily routine.

An article written by Rev. Marilyn Redmond who is a BA, CHT, IBRT is an award-winning international writer, syndicated columnist, consultant, counselor, and speaker who shares the dynamics of life. Marilyn is an ordained minister for spiritual counseling and does Past Life Regressions. According to Rev. Marilyn Redmond the medical society has come from a typical solution of medication, which is only drugs, which are ‘toxins and poison’. These have not helped solver the root cause of the problem but just masking the emotional causes since the ‘fact’ seems to be that bipolar disorder comes from a person not facing his/her own reality and fears. Actually, drugs stop the ability to grow emotionally surpassing the basis of past trauma. Encouraging the use of drugs can never resolve the issue. Rev. Marilyn Redmond also goes onto explain what bipolar truly is. These episodes are just a signal that you are maladjusted to life as well as running from reality while thinking irrationally. The ego’s fear tries to protect the threatening experiences. When one changes their thinking to being rational and stop reacting inappropriately to trauma than they might move towards reality.

Russ Federman, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., is in private practice and specializes in psychotherapy with individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He is the coauthor of Facing Bipolar. Talked about Rev. Marilyn Redmond and her “Black and white thinking” towards the serious issue of bipolar disorder. He says that articles and psychologists like this end up causing more harm than good. Russ Federman states that Marilyn’s ideology on how the bipolar mind functions is poor. Marilyn conveying ideas through statements like “The medical society comes from a typical solution of medication which are drugs… Bipolar disorder comes from a person’s reality and their fears… Drugs stop the ability to grow emotionally beyond the basis of past trauma… The manic and depressive episodes are just a signal that you are maladjusted to life and running from reality.” These efforts to bring about hope that cure is within reach is potentially guild-inducing for those individuals with bipolar disorder who experience the prospect of cure as being beyond their reach. From the authors perspective, that those who are taking medications are wrong and are in a pure attempt to hide their self’s behind “drugs and toxins”. However even Russ Federman agrees that unresolved personal issues can contribute to bipolar symptoms. Nevertheless, Marilyn’s approach to curing bipolar disorder is extremely unsafe and dangerous. Since it does not use drugs or other scientific methods to treat bipolar disorder.

After studying and reading multiple researches and articles written by experts I have concluded that as of early 2019 there is no cure for bipolar disorder. This life altering mental disorder can be very threatening and confusing to the victim and those around. This disorder has multiple safe and tested treatments which teach and educate the victim of this disorder and how he/she can treat it to an extent where it just becomes a habit and a part of their life. Visiting the doctor and taking the required medication, changing and having a strict diet along with supplements, dealing with sleep problems and requesting support when needed is important. The victim has the potential to etch a healthy lifestyle into their lives. If this is successful than bipolar will not interrupt their life significantly since managing the issues will be easier and they will arise and regain a meaningful, purposeful life. Research shows that this is something the majority of people, even those with bipolar disorder can achieve.

References:

[1] Anderson IM. “”Bipolar disorder””(Clinical Research) Haddad PM, Scott J, 2012. Print

[2] American Psychiatry Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013. Print

[3] Bowins B (2007). “”Cognitive regulatory control therapies””. Am J Psychother. 67 (3): 215–36.

[4]“Bipolar II disorder Symptoms and Signs”. Web M.D. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2010.

[5]www.medicinenet.com/mania_vs_hypomania/article.htm#what_are_the_signs_and_symptoms_of_mania_and_hypomania

[6]Matthew Rudford MD. https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/features/8-myths-about-bipolar-disorder#1

[7] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955

[8] Rev. Marilyn Redmond https://www.groundreport.com/change-bipolar-disorder-by-changing-your-mindset/

[9] Russ Federman https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/bipolar-you/201206/can-bipolar-disorder-be-cured

[10]Barnett JH, Smoller JW (November 2009). “”The genetics of bipolar disorder””. Neuroscience. 164 (1): 331–43.

[11] Seifuddin F, Mahon PB, Judy J, Pirooznia M, Jancic D, Taylor J, Goes FS, Potash JB, Zandi PP (July 2012). “”Meta-analysis of genetic association studies on bipolar disorder””. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics

[12] Craddock N, Sklar P (May 2013). “”Genetics of bipolar disorder””. Lancet. 381 (9878): 1654–62.

[13]https://www.verywellmind.com/what-causes-bipolar-disorder-378711

[14] https://www.psycom.net/bipolar-disorder-treatment

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Is Bipolar Disorder Curable?. (2019, Aug 06). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/is-bipolar-disorder-curable/

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