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Bipolar Disorder - Essay Example

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Name Professor Name Class Name Date What is the Prognosis for Individuals with Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression, is a complex, important and occasionally devastating psychiatric diagnosis. It is used to describe people that, in general, have extreme mood swings between the 'highs' (mania) and the 'lows' (depression)…
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Download file to see previous pages However, with new technology and research, there are many new opinions about the treatment of the disorder and the prognosis for those who are suffering. The purpose of this paper is to explore the prognosis for those with bipolar and how this links to research on causes and treatment. As shown below, it is evident that there are a huge number of treatment options for those with bipolar disorder and this means that the prognosis for many with the illness is positive and can be long-lasting. To understand the prognosis for people with bipolar disorder, it is interesting to consider what the disease is and how it affects those who have it. As outlined above, it is a rollercoaster of highs and lows which can be spaced far apart or can happen in a matter of hours or even minutes. In her book Bipolar Disorder, Judith Peacock states that people "who have bipolar disorder experience extreme changes in mood, energy and behaviour" and that sufferers "cannot control their mood changes" (Peacock, 2000, p6). This just shows that it is a difficult disease to deal with and that it cannot be controlled without help. It can obviously often be frightening for sufferers as their mood changes without them knowing why. However, it is important to note that help can be found from many different places. Peacock (2000) goes on to explain many of the treatment options for bipolar disorder. These can be based upon therapy or controlling the symptoms using drugs, both of which will be explored later. However, it is important to note the word control here. It is stated that bipolar disorder "cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled. People with bipolar disorder can learn to manage their illness" (Peacock, 2000, p52). This is interesting because most people think that a good prognosis for a disease is one where it can be completely cured, but it is important to note that bipolar disorder is more complicated than some purely physical diseases. There are a number of different things to consider. In this case, it is important to note that it can be managed and that it is a learning process. In their book Bipolar Disorders: Clinical Course and Outcome, Joseph F. Goldberg and Martin Harrow explore in more detail the different types of treatment for bipolar and how this leads to a positive outcome. One of the most important drugs in treating patients with bipolar is lithium. In the book, physicians are described as regarding "lithium as the standard of care for the long-term management of bipolar disorders, expecting a marked improvement in up to 70% of cases" (Goldberg & Harrow, 1999, p3). Lithium is often used alongside therapy, which means that it can contribute to a good prognosis in much more than 70% of cases, but some people may need extra help. Evidently, a huge number of people can rely on lithium to control their symptoms. However, there are some people who cannot rely on lithium alone. Goldberg & Harrow (1999) also go onto explain that the prognosis for people with some types of bipolar might be even better than 70% and may not need controlling permanently. This can happen for women who experience bipolar disorder after they have given birth or during pregnancy. These types of cases can often lead to a huge improvement with short-term treatment. Also, the book notes that one study showed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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