Bipolar Disorder is commonly misunderstood by the many. Many believe that the behavior of this type of mental illness can be controlled. If that were true, many lives would not be in disarray. People with Bipolar Disorder usually have trouble with maintaining relationships, keeping jobs, and balancing what comes easy to others in their daily life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder is a brain malfunction which shifts a persons mood from one extreme to the other (NIMH).
When a person suffers from Bipolar Disorder, their mood goes up and down from one day to the next. Unless a person gets professional help, they will continue to have a chaotic life. When in a manic state, irrational choices are made that usually have severe consequences. On the other hand when in a depressive state, a person feels useless, unworthy, sometimes they have suicidal thoughts, and in extreme situations a person my try to take their own life. It is also possible for a person to have a combination of moods at the same time which can be very hard to keep under control. Even with scientific studies with the technology that we have today, the cause of this illness is still questionable. They do believe that genetics, disorders of the brain, or environmental issues are factors. However, it is not sure if one of all of those factors apply.
In order to be diagnosed, a physician must rule out medical illnesses with the same symptoms. It is necessary to do a through medical exam which consists of lab tests and brain imaging. It is also important to discuss the patients behavioral changes because it is important to know how often their mood changes, how do they feel when this happens, and how long do the highs or lows last. If anything medical is ruled out from the examination, the next step would be to determine the mental illness to obtain a diagnosis. A DSM manual is used by researching the symptoms and narrowing down the possibilities. If it is Bipolar Disorder, it must be determined what type. The most common types are Bipolar I and II. The diagnosis will allow the physician to put together a treatment plan. That plan would include mood stabilizers and psychotherapy plus the support of family and friends.
National Institute of Mental Health. Transforming the Understanding and Treatment Of Mental Illnesses. What is Bipolar Disorder? Retrieved from www.nimh.nih.gov .