Psych Final Paper

Psych Final Paper - Examining Bipolar Disorder 1...

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Examining Bipolar Disorder Investigating the Causes and Effects of Bipolar Disorder Brit Whiteford Garrison Forest School Psychology May 18, 2006 1
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Examining Bipolar Disorder Investigating the Causes and Effects of Bipolar Disorder Thousands of people every year are diagnosed with personality and mood disorders. Doctors and psychologists observe patients these afflicted with abnormal behaviors and symptoms and attempt to provide an official diagnoses. Bipolar disorder or Manic- Depressive Syndrome affects about 3% of the United States population and typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. This brain disorder is characterized by an abnormally irregular mood swings and fluctuations of energy. The changes in behavior are characterized by two types of categories, manic and depressive. . A person that suffers from bipolar disorder experiences both of these types of erratic behavior often and unexpectedly. (Spearing, 2002) Researching the potential causes and long term effects of this disease can help provide a better understanding for treatment and suppression of bipolar symptoms. Causes of Bipolar Disorder Doctors and psychologists are still researching and developing theories on the causes of bipolar disorder. While the symptoms of most cases are almost all individualized, research shows that there are in fact several causes and factors that work together in causing the disorder overall. Because bipolar disorder has been passed down through generations in some instances, scientists have inferred that genes may play some role in transferring the disease. While their assumptions are partially accurate, because of the vast number of patients who inherited the disorder, it is believed that it is not only a single gene that causes the disorder but several genes together in a group. Studies have been performed on identical twins, which carry the exact same DNA, and it was possible in subjects that one 2
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Examining Bipolar Disorder twin developed the disorder and one did not. From this research it can be concluded that Bipolar Disorder is not entirely caused by genes alone. (Spearing, 2002) In additional to a complex role that genes play, research has shown that the thyroid gland often functions abnormally in bipolar patients. The hormones released from the thyroid gland can have profound effects on any person’s mood. Doctors have deduced that patients with bipolar disorder who experience inconsistent mood swings may have an irregular functioning gland that triggers the type of erratic mood behaviors seen in bipolar disorder. (Spearing, 2002) Research about the different causes has advanced into more sophisticated results over the last few decades as a result from several types of brain imaging tests. New technology has allowed researchers to focus on the direct causes and effects of mental illnesses. A major innovation has been the ability to photograph the living brain working in an everyday environment. These studies not only have the benefit of avoiding invasive
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2008 for the course PSYCH 200 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '07 term at Maryland.

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Psych Final Paper - Examining Bipolar Disorder 1...

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