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Unformatted text preview: October 22, 2007 Communication Arts 105 Instructor: Beadle The Ups and Downs of Bipolar Disorder How would you like to live your life on an emotional rollercoaster? Going back and forth between periods of extremely low moods to extremely high moods, never knowing how you are going to feel the next day or if youll ever feel just right? For my birth father and many others that is their life because they have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic- depression, is a mood disorder in which a person alternates between episodes of major depression (extreme highs) and mania (extreme lows). According to a survey done by Dr. Ronald Kessler, bipolar disorder affects about 2.6% of the American population ages eighteen and up. Even though only a very small portion of the population is affected by this disorder, I felt personally inclined to learn more about it when I found out my birth father was actually diagnosed with the disorder. So today Im going to explain to you what I learned about the symptoms of bipolar disorder and also what causes it and the treatments that are available. As I mentioned previously, bipolar disorder consists of alternating episodes of depression and mania. The length and time between these episodes vary from person to person. Some people have episodes that last just a few days whereas others have episodes that can last years. These episodes can cause great disturbances in the lives of those affected as well as their friends and family. While in the depressive stage, people with bipolar disorder have a lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood. They may experience feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, or worthlessness. Most people even lose pleasure in activities that they used to enjoy. Some depressed people may become so sad that they will just spend all day in bed doing nothing. Many also experience a change in appetite, finding that they either eat too much or barely at all. If the depressive stage is really bad, they may experience recurring thoughts of suicide which can be very dangerous. However on the other hand, people in the manic stage experience periods of euphoria and other highs. These euphoric symptoms can be great! According to Ronald Comer author of the Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, a person in the throes of mania has active, powerful emotions in search of an outlet. However their mood of euphoria may be out of proportion with the actual happenings in the persons life. People may feel very optimistic and have an extreme self-esteem. They have a state of high activity and tend to talk rapidly, think rapidly, and move self-esteem....
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course COM ARTS 105 taught by Professor Beadle during the Fall '07 term at Wisconsin.
- Fall '07