Mental Illness

Mental Illness Paper HCA/240 August 4, 2012 University of Phoenix Mental Illness Paper There are many mental illnesses that individuals suffer from - Mental Illness introduction. Bipolar disorders are one of these diseases. There are many individuals that suffer from this disease as well as other illnesses. I have a few friends and loved ones that have been diagnosed with this disease. Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental illness that individuals should take seriously and seek medical treatment to receive medication. In the beginning no one knew much about bipolar disorder as this was not what it was called.

Individuals saw this as an illness not a disorder. People with bipolar disorder were often viewed as crazy people. Bipolar disorder was mentioned as far back as the second century. There had been several different scientist started to link together some of the symptoms such as depression and mania. The first scientist went unnoticed. Around the year 1650 the second scientist (Richard Burton) wrote a book on depression, this is still used in the medical field today. (Today’s Caregiver, n. d. ). Jules Falret was another scientist that made lead with the term bipolar disorder.

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From then on improves became with the disorder. In 1979 new laws were passed to create and uphold the changes with this change the National Association of Mental Health (NAMI) formed. In 1980 the term bipolar disorder took and replaced the term manic depressive disorder. (Today’s Caregiver, n. d. ). There are different myths located on different websites. After researching some of them a few myths are that bipolar disorders are rare. There are 5. 7 million Americans that are affected by the bipolar disorder according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Other comments that have started rumors are Bipolar disorder is just another name for mood swings. This is also not true. Individuals with bipolar disorder are much more severe and long lasting with mood stings and may affect their working habits or be a successful student. Individuals without bipolar disorder may only be upset if their weekend plans got canceled due to rain or someone getting ill. Another myth about bipolar disorders is people with bipolar disorder shift back and forth from depression to mania very often.

Often times people may make the comment that person may be bipolar because their moods switch back and forth often, this is not true. Most of the time an individual with bipolar disorder will be more depressed than manic. (WebMD, 2012). Bipolar disorder is divided by different subtypes. There are different affects for each category of these subtypes. The first type is bipolar I disorder. This disorder includes mood swings which can include issues or difficulties at work, school, or in relationships. This disorder can also include manic episodes which may be severe or dangerous.

(Mayo Clinic, 2012). These episodes may be so severe that an individual may need hospital care. Bipolar II disorder is the second subtype. This type is not as severe as the first one. Most daily functions will continue the same and will not change drastically. Elevated moods or irritability may occur however as stated above will not be as disruptive as bipolar I disorder. (Mayo Clinic, 2012). The last disorder is Cyclothymic disorder. This disorder is known as cyclothymia. This disorder is milder than the bipolar disorder.

Cyclothymia can be disruptive but the overall highs and lows are not as severe as the other types of bipolar disorder. (Mayo Clinic, 2012). The signs can be an assortment of items including the following; feelings of euphoria, extreme optimism and inflated self-esteem, rapid speech, racing thoughts, agitation and increased physical activity, poor judgment, recklessness or taking chances not normally taken, difficulty sleepy, tendency to be easily distracted, inability to concentrate, or aggressive behavior. Neurotransmitters are messages that are sent to the brain.

They are affected by all areas of the brain. For individuals to function is everyday life these neurotransmitters are important and it is important that they function correctly to ensure proper functions of the body or mental state. Serotonin, Epinephrine, Dopamine, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are some areas in which the neurotransmitters can be affected. Serotonin regulates mood, anxiety, or emotions. Low serotonin can cause unstable moods, insomnia. Epinephrine controls adrenaline which regulates metabolism and mental awareness.

Dopamine affects the behaviors and addictions that someone may have. Individuals with low levels of dopamine could be why they have addictions such as excessive spending. GABA provides calm neurotransmitters to the brain it also induces sleep. Low levels of GABA can create anxiety, depression, and alcoholism. (Munson, 2012). All of these neurotransmitters help the brain function normally without these or low levels of each of these can create problems for individuals to lead a normally life. Diagnosing bipolar disorder may be difficult.

Mood swings happen to everyone at some point within their lives however these mood swings must be documented and usually are paired together or increase with energy, sleeplessness, and fast thinking or speech. The patient in question with having this disorder is paired and matched with the criteria of American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-IV. Mental health professionals or a psychiatrist will ask many questions to determine if the patient has bipolar disorder.

It is helpful if the patient is aware of the family history (since bipolar disorder is known to be genetic). In addition to a questionnaire about mood swings the doctor will also order a blood test and urine test. These tests will rule out any other causes that the symptoms may include. It is important that the patient determines if they have bipolar disorder since other illness can mimic bipolar disorder. This could include substance use, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, certain anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, or impulse control disorders.

(WebMD, 2012). Treatments for bipolar disorder usually include medications. There is currently no cure for bipolar disorders. Treating bipolar disorders is a long term process that needs both medication and psychotherapy. Not all medications work for certain individuals, so it is important that patient keep a daily life log to ensure that the physician has them on the correct medications or are able to switch doses if necessary. (NIMH, 2012). Some drugs include lithium, valproic acid or divalproex sodium, and anticonvulsant lamotrigine for treatment of bipolar disorder.

Some medications may have side effects which include suicidal thoughts and behaviors. (NIMH, 2012). Today’s treatments plans have much changed from the past. Today physicians or a psychiatrist prescribe medications for this disorder. In the past (before 1950) people were given electroshock treatment and increasing sedation. It was believed that patients were having too many symptoms of black bile. A few treatments for black bile was inducing patients to throw up and bleeding. In 1954 the drug lithium was used on patients and it was noted the best way to treat patients as it was the most

effective way from all previous treatments. There are three types of bipolar disorders an individual may have. The severity changes with each of these types. It is important to know which bipolar disorder the patient has so that treatment is affective. Bipolar disorder is a difficult disorder is to have. Since this disorder cannot really be tested for with one type of blood sample or urine sample, it must it difficult for physicians to be sure that this is what the patient has. Family history and genetics can play a role within an individual’s chance of having this disorder.

In many ways the way to diagnosis and treat this disorder has changed from the past. New research has led to better ways for this disorder to be treated. References Mayo Clinic. (2012). Symptoms. Retrieved from http://http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/bipolar-disorder/ds00356/dsection=symptoms Munson, L. (2012). Neurotransmitters and bipolar disorder. Retrieved from http://http://www. ehow. com/facts_5047910_neurotransmitters-bipolar-disorder. html NIMH. (2012). Bipolar disorder. Retrieved from http://http://www. nimh.

nih. gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/how-is-bipolar-disorder-treated. shtml Today’s Caregiver. (n. d. ). A brief history of bipolar disorder. Retrieved from http://http://caregiver. com/channels/bipolar/articles/brief_history2. htm WebMD. (2012). 8 myths about bipolar disorder. Retrieved from http://http://www. webmd. com/bipolar-disorder/features/8-myths-about-bipolar-disorder WebMD. (2012). Bipolar Diagnosis. Retrieved from http://http://www. webmd. com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-disorder-diagnosis? page=2

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