Bipolar Disorder Clinical Essay

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Clinical Disorder

The celebrity I select for purposes of this discussion is Chris Brown. In essence, many mental disorders have been widely studies and documented. These disorders mainly affect an individual's behavioral patterns and could result in abnormal or erratic behavior. Some of the more common disorders include, but they are not limited to, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. This text adopts the hypothetical position that Chris Brown has a mental disorder. In an attempt to diagnose this order, the text will review the subject's behavior and symptoms, as well as the contextual factors in the development of the identified disorder.

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Chris Brown is one of the most talented musicians and dancers of our times. Born in 1989, Brown rose from a humble background to become one of the most sought after entertainers in the entertainment industry. Although clearly talented, Brown has in the past been in the news for all the wrong reasons. One of the more prominent events that could be a pointer to Brown's illness was his widely covered clash with his girlfriend at the time, Rihanna. The two had an argument that quickly went out of control and resulted in Brown assaulting Rihanna, leaving her with multiple injuries. The whole thing, according to Duke and Rowlands (2009), started when Rihanna confronted Brown after finding a text message on Brown's phone. The text had allegedly been sent to Brown by an ex-girlfriend of his. An argument ensued, and as Duke and Rowlands (2009) point out, "Brown punched her numerous times and put her in a head lock, restricting her breathing and causing her to start to lose consciousness." As the assault went on, Brown threatened Rihanna with death and also bit her fingers and ear (Duke and Rowlands 2009). This was a vicious act of violence and aggression.

Essay on Bipolar Disorder Clinical Disorder Assignment

This is not the only instance where Brown has been accused of aggression. In 2013, Chris Brown was also in trouble for assaulting a fan who tried inserting himself into a picture Brown was taking with other fans. This photo crash apparently angered Brown, sending him into a rage where he punched Parker Adams repeatedly in the face (Dillon, 2014). Adam ended up with a broken nose -- an indication of the ferocious nature of the attack by Brown.

There was also an incedent in 2013 when Brown, who was attending a rehab program at the time, shattered his mother's car window using a rock. Apparently, he was angered by his mother's insistence that he had to continue treatment at the facility. Brown, in the words of Winton (2013), "walked outside and tossed a rock through her car window. The window shattered but no one was hurt." This is yet another indicator of the singer's aggressive and violent behavior -- a problem that could have been triggered by his inability to control or manage his anger.

In 2011, Brown flew into a fit of rage after the host of a program he had been invited to asked him about the Rihanna assault incident. Weiss and Alpert (2011) point out that Brown smashed a window and stormed out without a shirt in protest to the moderator's move to bring the Rihanna assault issue up. According to a GMA insider, the musician "went completely nuts. He just walked off the set, ripped off his shirt and went into the room and threw a chair and broke the window" (Weiss and Alpert, 2011). This is yet another event that demonstrates the singer's inability to control his anger and emotions.

It is important to note that Chris Brown has also admitted to using drugs at some point in his life. In an interview with Newsone, Brown admitted to having suffered the withdrawal symptoms of what he referred to as "syrup, the Xanax" (Newsone, 2015). He points out that as a result of the withdrawal effects, he would sometimes fall asleep on video sets and clash with people out of nothing, or as he puts it, "randomly" (Newsone, 2015). In his own words, he had to quit drug use because he no longer wanted to "say the wrong thing, or end up punching somebody or doing something crazy ... like I did ... because I was under the influence of some bull" (Newsone, 2015).


Chris brown exhibits behavior consistent with a mental disorder. In all of the examples highlighted above, Brown shifts from a relatively calm self to a "near-maniac" state. These are clear changes in mood -- where he becomes suddenly irritable and his behavior becomes rather unpredictable. It is also clear the when angered; his judgment is also more or less impaired. When he hit Parker Adams, Brown seems to have largely behaved impulsively. Adams was just another fan joining other fans for a picture with their music idol. His decision to attack Adam could be termed reckless. As a matter of fact, he admits to random fits of irritability (see interview above with Newsone). Further, when he attacked Rihanna, he seems not to have measured the consequences of his actions. He took an unusual risk which could have landed him in jail -- another indication of reckless decisions. In my analysis, the scenarios I have highlighted above seem to be periods of what is referred to as mania in people suffering from bipolar disorder. I, therefore, believe, and hence conclude, that Chris Brown could be suffering from bipolar disorder- to be specific, either substance-induced bipolar disorder or bipolar I disorder.

A bipolar disorder, in the words of Townsend (2014, p. 499), "is characterized by mood swings from profound depression to extreme euphoria (mania), with intervening periods of normalcy." As the author further points out, a maniac episode may be characterized by an irritable mood and agitation. Substance-induced bipolar disorder comes about as a direct consequence of either withdrawal from a specific substance or ingestion of a specified substance (Townsend, 2014). Chris Brown's behavior was, in some cases as a result of withdrawal from what he refers to as syrup, the Xanax or ingestion of the same. According to Townsend (2014), "the mood disturbance may involve elated, expansive, or irritable mood, with inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, and distractibility" (Townsend, 2014, p. 501). For purposes of diagnosis accuracy, in line with DSM 5 criteria, it should be noted that the changes in mood meets Criterion A for hypomanic as well as maniac episodes. As I have pointed out elsewhere in this text, it is clear that in some instances, like that of the Parker Adam assault, the singer was excessively irritable and irrational. The disorder as Townsend (2014) further observes could also bring trigger an impairment of social functioning. Chris brown, in the examples I have highlighted above, clearly exhibited antisocial behavior.

Brown could also be suffering from bipolar I disorder. This, according to Townsend (2014, p. 501) "is the diagnosis given to an individual who is experiencing a maniac depression or has a history of one or more maniac episodes." A maniac episode is characterized by feelings of agitation, grandiosity, irritability, etc. (Townsend, 2014). As Bauer, Kilbourne, Ludman, and Greenwald (2009) point out, approximately 60% of those suffering from bipolar disorder experience inappropriate anger attacks. Sudden instances of irritability and anger could also be linked to the condition (Bauer, Kilbourne, Ludman, and Greenwald, 2009). In the case of Brown, we could take that his behavior was as a result of maniac episodes -- whose symptoms include, but they are not limited to excessive irritation or aggressive behavior ... " (Bauer, Kilbourne, Ludman, and Greenwald, 2009, p. 112). In this case, unlike is the case with substance-induced bipolar disorder, Brown's condition could have been triggered by a traumatic childhood experience. Etain and colleagues concluded that "in patients with bipolar disorder, more than 50% report childhood trauma, with high incidence of emotional abuse ... " (Lee, et al., 2014). Chris brown may have experienced childhood trauma. As a matter of fact, the singer has in the past documented his difficult childhood and strained relations with his step-father after his mother remarried. As he puts it, in addition to hitting his mum, his step father used to make him (Brown) terrified most times (MTV, 2009).

Treatments to Alleviate Brown's Symptoms

These could be divided into two: administration of drugs and psychosocial treatments:

Brown should seek treatment for his condition. Some of the medications that he should be put on are stabilizers, which help in the treatment of mania. These, according to Townsend (2014) include carbamazepine, divalproex, and lithium. He could also be put on prophylactic medications which could be of great relevance in seeking to keep him stable and preventing mania symptoms. Brown could also be given antidepressants so as to address symptoms of the condition.

Psychosocial treatments would also be critical in the management of Brown's symptoms. These could include but they are not limited to, CBT which is key in addressing the condition's episodes of depression, psych education which would involve teaching Brown about his illness and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Bipolar Disorder Clinical" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Bipolar Disorder Clinical.  (2016, April 11).  Retrieved July 12, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Bipolar Disorder Clinical."  11 April 2016.  Web.  12 July 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Bipolar Disorder Clinical."  April 11, 2016.  Accessed July 12, 2020.