Research in Bipolar Disorder

The topic that I found most interesting was Bipolar Disorder. I found this topic so interesting because I have always wanted to know how people could get it, was it genetic, does it run in the family, what are some symptoms that you should look for, is it treatable, and if so what would the person have to take to control their disorder. I also found it interesting because some people have told me that they think I have bipolar disorder because of how I act about certain things that happens in my life. After, watching several of my favorite medical shows and seeing how the doctors would diagnose people they thought had a disorder because of how the person was acting and showing symptoms of certain disorders. Made me puzzled about all the disorders that they have for Bipolar Disorder. After doing my research I found out that there are different kinds of Bipolar Disorder you have Bipolar l Disorder, Bipolar ll Disorder, and Cyclothymia. I will be discussing all the different types of disorder, what you should look for, and if they are treatable.

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Having Bipolar Disorder is questionable because no one really knows the cause of it. Some people think it can be from chemistry in the brain which can change or have imbalance in the brain which causes behaviors during mania and depression. Bipolar disorder are shifts in mood swings it can change everyday activities and change the levels of people energy. It is mainly diagnosed in young adulthood. Having this disorder can affect the nationality, ethnic origin, socioeconomic, and it is also a leading cause of disability for young people. It can result in functional and cognitive impairment and can cause a reduction in quality of life.Bipolar l disorder can run in family it is the strongest risk factor of somebody having bipolar. Bipolar ll disorder is the highest among family members and can be a genetic onset when it comes to age. A person who has cyclothymic disorder could get it from a first-degree biological relative. Family members that are close to a person with bipolar disorder are 10 times more likely to get the disorder or have depression. If, a parent has bipolar their child is less likely to have the same disorder. People who have been through a disturbing event or been stressful in their life could have mood swings which is a symptom of bipolar disorder. Drug and alcohol abuse is another cause because people who been diagnosed with bipolar have history of substance abuse. Alcohol and drugs is a self- medication for them to cope through it. Bipolar disorder can also be referred to as mania or hypomania. Mania is in people who have Bipolar l Disorder and it can be describe as somebody is hyper or even feeling extremely excited about something. Having mania could make a person irritability, distracted, very confidence, and the person might experience racing thoughts and impulses, being restless, and taking part in pleasure such as impulsive sex and risky business investments. A person with mania can have gambling problems or even love to shop which could cause a negative long-term consequence with this type of disorder. Hypomania is a little calmer than mania because with hypomania you will experience higher than normal energy levels, and it can cause problems in your life but not so much as mania does to people. Some people who have Bipolar ll Disorder could experience hypomania. The symptoms for this disorder is the same as mania but different in some kind of ways like not being happy to others and feeling energetic and productive. There is also depression which has symptoms like feeling worried or empty, loss of interest like sex, tired, and changing in eating, sleeping, and other activities that the person would like to do.

Prevalence Rates

Bipolar has been consistent across diverse cultures and ethnic groups with prevalence rates of 0.6% in bipolar l disorder, 0.4% in bipolar ll disorder, 1.4% in sub-threshold bipolar disorder, 2.4% in bipolar disorder spectrum. It is with difficulty for low-income countries to access patients with mental health because of their systems. With this is makes it hard to keep the disorder manageable. Having bipolar l disorder it can equally affect men and women, but with bipolar ll disorder it is mostly common in women. Women with bipolar l can have lifetime eating disorder, depressive symptoms, and have an alcohol use than men do. Since, bipolar ll is common in women it is that way because when women have childbirth it can cause a hypomanic episode. Which can cause an early postpartum period and postpartum hypomania can overshadow depression because of high risk it is. Typically, with this kind of disorder it can start in early childhood in ages 15 and 25. Men usually can develop it early and become ill between the ages of 16 and 25. Women can develop bipolar symptoms in ages 25 and 30. Men that is 18 and women that is 25 is the average age of onset. People that is under 10 years old and over 40 years old can have an onset of bipolar disorder. It equally affects people of all race, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

DSM Diagnostic Criteria

Before you can get diagnose with any disorder you would have to go see your doctor or a practitioner and after your doctor have sen you or you told them your concerns. They would refer you to a psychiatrist who will put you on medication or give you psychotherapy. Bipolar has different kinds of disorders that doctors can diagnose you for, and some of them have the same symptoms, and some do not. Sometimes, it could take up to 10 years before a patient gets its accurate of the kind of disorder that they have. Bipolar l represents manic depressive and to have this you would have to have a major depressive episode. For somebody to be diagnose with this kind of disorder they would have to show symptoms like being expansive or have irritable mood swings, and increase in activity and energy for at least one week. During this time the person would have to show three of more symptoms which could be decrease need in sleep, more talkative than usual, distracted, or inflated self-esteem. Having mood swings in a manic episode it could last for an hour or even days. It could cause impairment in social and occupational function also might have to be hospitalized, so they would not harm them self or others. Hypomania and major depressive are common in bipolar l but is not required for diagnostic. Children feelings are normal but if their development is beyond the level of the child, and their mood changes in time then they could meet the criteria for mania. To have bipolar ll you would have to have at least one episode of major depression and one hypomanic episode. In order to, be diagnose you would have the same symptoms as mania and have at least three of symptoms that last at least for four day. This does not cause impairment in social or occupational functioning. It is very challenging to give a child this kind of diagnose the only way you could do this is if the child symptoms have exceed in the child’s environment and culture development stage.

For major depressive you would have to have five symptoms that last for two weeks and these symptoms could be depressed mood, loss of interest, pleasure, weight loss, insomnia, and fatigue. These symptoms could cause distress and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Adults who experience two years of hypomanic and depressive will be diagnose with cyclothymic disorder. This will happen if they do not meet the criteria for mania, hypomania, or major depression. After the two year period hypomanic and depressive have been present for half the time and there has not been no symptoms for at least two months. These symptoms cause distress and impairments in social and occupational functioning.

Functional Impairment

Patients with Bipolar l can start having long conversations with strangers in public and can think they are in a relationship with a celebrity. Since these people get little to no sleep at all they would not go to sleep and can stay up for days without no sleep. They think that they do not need no sleep because their body is rested and have energy to keep going. Patients may also start pacing back and forth and hold multiple conversations with other people.There are some consequences like having low levels of education compare to other people and they perform poorly than healthy individuals on cognitive test. It can also affect illegal activities, loss of employment, and financial losses. These patients can have a gambling or shopping problem which can cause a long-term negative consequence. For Bipolar ll patients there are no impairments because they all come from major depressive episodes and patterns in the mood. It can cause longtime consequences such as increase rates of panic disorder and lifetime history of alcohol disorder.When it comes to suicide for bipolar there is a 1 in 5 people with bipolar who will complete suicide. Suicide is higher in patients that have bipolar ll than patients that have bipolar l. Suicide is very common in bipolar disorder 30% of individuals with bipolar will attempt suicide throughout their lives but only 20% will succeed in it. If patients get treatment for bipolar the rate of suicide would decrease by a lot. Even though violence is not apart of a symptom in bipolar people still want to harm themselves and instead of being violent in public with others. When you look at the news or the media and you see people doing harmful things they always want to assume that they person has a disorder and they could never be the case. The person might actually just want to be left alone, but they will not be violent to the other people. A person with alcohol and drug abuse could be more at risk to be violent to others if they do not get treated for it.


To control or treat bipolar their are medications that you can take like a mood stabilizer which helps control mania. You might have to take one or more medicines until your doctor knows which one is best for you. Then you have anti-psychotic which treats the symptoms. There is also therapy that your doctor might recommend that you do. You have the cognitive behavioral therapy that can change harmful or negative thought pattern. Family-focus therapy that helps give family coping strategies to help their love ones. Another one is Interpersonal and Social rhythm therapy that helps improve relationships with others and manage daily routines. You also want to make sure that you have people who can support and be there for you while you go through this process. People can also do exercise and other activities to help manage their disorder. If medication and therapy do not work or if a patient has severe depression or suicidal thoughts they would have to do an electroconvulsive therapy. Treatment for either mania or hypomania could be psychotherapy or getting medication from your doctor to help you feel better. Patients with hypomania sometimes do not need medication because all they can do is have a healthy lifestyle, have a good diet, want to do a little of exercise at least everyday, and have yourself a sleep schedule so you can get enough sleep. If the patients stop taking their medicine they could have a relapse within two years, so the patients want to make sure that they keep taking their medicine so they would not have to problems in the future for not taking them.


When doing my research about bipolar disorder it made me more interested and wanted to know more about this disorder. I found out a lot of information about this disorder that I did not know anything about. There was some information that I already knew about it but when I was reading and getting my information I found out a lot of new information about bipolar. Before reading anything about bipolar I just thought it was a small category but when I started reading I found out that you had bipolar l, bipolar II, cyclothymia, and even substance abuse. I had got some good information, a lot of details about each disorder, and a different view on bipolar. I will continue to keep learning and reading more about disorders just in case they change certain things in the future.

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Research in Bipolar Disorder. (2019, Jun 29). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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