View random article

Cycling Through Sickness

Everyone will experience the highs and lows of life as they move forward. However, what most people consider to be the extremes of emotions, including excitement or unhappiness, do not compare to the cliffs and pitfalls that come with bipolar disorder. This common disease, often referred to as manic depression, dates back thousands of years. In fact, some of the greatest thinkers and artists in history are thought to have suffered from this disorder.

The ancient Greeks and Romans first began describing the condition as one that is characterized by mania and melancholia. By 1851, the French psychologist Jean-Pierre Falret labeled the disorder as “circular insanity.” In 1980, the term bipolar was finally coined, referring to the polar opposite conditions of both the extreme depression and manic behavior that is present in patients.

This disorder is pervasive throughout the world, affecting people in every nation on earth. It is estimated that 2.4 percent of the world population is suffering from this disease to one degree or another. India has the lowest occurrence of bipolar disorder while the United States is one of the world leaders. The U.S. is estimated to have 4.4 percent of its population suffering from this prominent condition. Within these averages, the severity of the condition tends to be high as well. The numbers indicate that close to 82 percent of the people suffering in the United States constitute cases that would be viewed as “severe” to “extreme.”

Although bipolar disorder has a tendency to run in families because of genetic dispositions, it can be a disorder that is very difficult to diagnose. The condition tends to manifest very differently in each individual. Some people are more prone to the manic side of the disorder while others are more prone to fall victim to depression. Still, others can shift equally between the two poles of extremes. The moods that patients can experience have been classified into 4 particular episodic conditions: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes.

Despite the prevalence of this disorder, there are still many misconceptions regarding this disease. Many people believe that bipolar patients are only affected in mood in addition to believing that nothing can be done outside of prescribing medication. Bipolar disorder actually has physiological effects that can negatively impact blood pressure, sex-drive, and other critical bodily functions. While medication is critical in the treatment of this disorder, additional techniques such as regular exercise, meditation, and regular therapeutic sessions are invaluable in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

BiPolar Disorder
Source: Nursing School Hub

Featured in Health