Bipolar Mental Illness

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Although bipolar disorder is classified as a mood disorder, it has serious implications on mental functioning. This condition has troublesome characteristics in which the individual fluctuates from elated mood to depressive states. Manic depression follows unpredictable cycles and it can be quite difficult to diagnose.

Manic Depression and Mood

There are three fundamental components to bipolar disorder. The subject enters depressive states followed by manic episodes. The duration of the states is inconsistent. An individual can have bouts of depression that last a few weeks or a few months. Manic stages can last days, weeks or months.

Some bipolar patients experience extreme shifts mood throughout the course of a single day. The core of the symptoms is that the emotions fluctuate significantly from one extreme to the other. There is a third component to consider as well.

Severe cases may involve psychosis, which is very problematic. Psychotic symptoms include paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. The individual is out of touch with reality, making recovery quite difficult because the patient is has a distorted perception.

Bipolar Mental Processing

In spite of the extreme moods, bipolar disorder is one that consists of distorted mental processing. The individual is unable to separate personal perception from reality. Unrealistic patterns of thought are adopted into the person’s consciousness. As these thoughts are practiced on a regular basis, they become adopted into the person’s core belief system.

The moods and core beliefs feed on the unrealistic thinking patterns in the bipolar person’s mind. Thoughts range from delusions of grandeur to paranoia. The individual may believe that others are plotting and scheming or that there are forces working in his disfavour.

The negative thinking patterns lead to overwhelming feelings of isolation, which can exasperate a depressive state. The isolation can also reinforce feelings of superiority during manic stages. The thoughts, perceptions and emotional states are closely linked.

Patterns in Bipolar Disorders

There are significant patterns in this mood disorder. The subject falls into cycles of elation, irritability and depression. These emotional components are reinforced by thinking patterns and psychosis in some cases. The difficulty is that the patterns are not consistent; they differ from one person to another and the moods have different durations.

Symptoms of mania and depressions should be present for at least one week before a diagnosis can be made. It is very important to seek help from a professional when bipolar disease is suspected. This mood disorder is treatable with medication and therapeutic interventions.

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