2013 Bipolar Update
The Importance of Bipolar Research
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people all around the world. Studies indicate that in the United States alone, well over one percent of the total population is affected by some form of bipolar disorder. While bipolar disorder has serious effects on the sufferer, those close to the patient tend to be affected as well. Most of these people may not know how to properly cope with patients who have bipolar disorder. The confusion and frustration expressed by these people tends to make matters worse for the bipolar patient. Thus, both patient and loved ones need to carry out bipolar research so as to find the best way to deal with the disorder.
Bipolar research in this case entails understanding the root causes of the illness, symptoms, as well as how to treat and live positively with the illness. As with most forms of research, bipolar research may be confusing especially if conducted for the very first time. However, as one gains more understanding of the illness, the more one will better comprehend the facts.
Bipolar disorder is a form of mental illness which may be a direct result of brain biochemistry abnormalities, as well as certain “odd” structural arrangements in brain circuitry. This causes the bipolar patient to exhibit an erratic shift in mood. The illness, often termed as manic-depressive illness, may result in complete disruption of one’s daily activity especially if not properly controlled. Most bipolar cases tend to show when the affected person reaches adolescence or early adulthood. However, there have been documented cases where by the patient develops bipolar disorder earlier in their life.
Bipolar research has revealed interesting facts on the symptoms that characterize the illness. One such fact is that the symptoms can be collectively grouped into two main categories, often termed as episodes. These are depression and Mania. Common symptoms with the manic episode include exaggerated/prolonged episodes of happiness or infatuation, tendency to engage in risky behavior, sexual promiscuity, as well as constant inattentiveness. Common symptoms of depression include constant sadness, oversleeping or lack of sleep, constant lack of appetite, constant thoughts of suicide and death, as well as the tendency to act on these thoughts. Bipolar research has also revealed that the change from one episode to the other varies from one person to the other. With some the change may occur over several months; with others, the change may occur within a week or two.
Bipolar research has revealed a number of successful treatments to help patients deal with the disorder. While there is no ideal cure, a combination of several treatments helps ensure that the patient can live a relatively normal life. Most treatments combine the use of prescription drugs with psychotherapy. Prescription drugs are prescribed based on the symptoms of mania and depression. As most prescription drugs tend to counteract each other, medical physicians treat each episode differently from the other.
Bipolar research has found psychotherapy to be especially useful in helping bipolar patients cope with their illness. Therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, help the patient come to terms with the symptoms of the disease and teach the patient a number of techniques to help bring the disorder under control. Moreover, family or group therapy helps loved ones come to terms with causes and symptoms of the illness. Furthermore, it helps ensure that these people form a stable support structure for the bipolar patient. This is essential if the patient is to overcome the illness.
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