Term Paper: Bipolar Disorder Chuck Is a 17-Year-Old Male

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Bipolar Disorder

Chuck is a 17-year-old male who has been having violent mood swings over the last 6 months. Chuck often feels restless, irritable, and sleeps very little for weeks at a time. Then, without warning, his mood will change to be sad and hopeless for a period of weeks. This cycle has escalated to the point where Chuck's parents scheduled an appointment with a psychologist. After a thorough evaluation, the psychologist determined that Chuck is suffering from bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a condition where the brain causes alterations in one's mood, energy levels, and ability to perform everyday activities. Over 2 million adults have been diagnosed with this disorder in the United States alone. Although it may occur at any age, bipolar disorder usually develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. There is no known cause for bipolar disorder. However, some valid theories exist. The condition likely has a genetic component as it is more likely to develop in offspring of parents with polar disorder. Episodes of depression and mania may also be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters. Bipolar disorder in older adults may be caused by poor blood flow to the brain.

Diagnosis of bipolar disorder cannot be identified with physiological data, but only on the basis of symptoms, medical history, and family history. Common symptoms include periods of highs and lows, which are termed episodes of mania and depression. Signs and symptoms of a manic episode include extreme irritability, distractibility, poor judgment, increased sexual drive, and aggressive behavior. Clinically, a manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. Signs and symptoms of a depressive episode include feelings of hopelessness, guilt,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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