Psychological Disorders

Everyday someone has to deal with a mental disorder and sometimes it is not easy. Bi-polar disorder is one of those mental illnesses that are extremely hard to deal with both as a person and as a medical professional. Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder (historically known as manic-depressive disorder) is a psychiatric diagnosis for a mood disorder in which people experience disruptive mood swings (Bergen, 99). These mood swings are a frenzied state known as mania (or hypomania) usually followed or switched with symptoms of depression.

Bipolar disorder is defined by the presence of one or more episodes of very high energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. When a person is in the lower levels of mania, such as hypomania, that person may come across as energetic and excitable. But at a higher level, that person may behave erratically and impulsively, often making very bad decisions due to unrealistic ideas about the future, and may have a hard time with sleep. Within the highest level, people can show psychotic behavior, including violence.

Individuals who experience manic episodes will most definitely experience depressive episodes, or symptoms, or a mixed state in which both mania and depression are happening at the same time. These differences are usually separated by times of “normal” mood; but, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, which is known as rapid cycling. Rapid cycling is not a very good time for that person as well as that person’s family and friends. Patients that “rapid cycle” are those who struggle to keep a steady job and maintain healthy relationships with people.

Severe manic episodes can sometimes lead to such psychotic symptoms as delusions and hallucinations (Bergen, 99). Through all of the new strides in medication this world has seen in that decade, fewer than half of people with the disorder were treated by a mental health professional, and only a quarter of those in lower-income countries seek treatment, according to the 11-nation study in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. Current research suggests that about 4% of people experience some of the characteristic symptoms at some point in their life (Goodwin, 07). About 2.

4% of people around the world have had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder at some point in their lifetime. The United States has the highest lifetime rate of bipolar disorder at 4. 4%, and India the lowest, with 0. 1%. Bipolar disorder is similar in men and women and is generally the same across different cultures and ethnic groups. Genetic factors are related substantially to the likelihood of developing bipolar disorder, and environmental factors are also involved. Bipolar disorder is often treated with mood stabilizing medications and psychotherapy. Depending on the country or culture, medication and therapy may or may not be used.

In India, with the levels being so low, therapy is used more than medications. In serious cases, in which there is a risk of harm to themselves or others, involuntary commitment to a mental health facility may be an option. These cases of severe manic episodes, generally involve dangerous behavior or depressive episodes with suicidal tendencies. There are widespread problems with social stigma, stereotypes, and prejudice against individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder exhibiting psychotic symptoms can sometimes be misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia.

This is not always the case, but in some rare occurrences, bipolar disorder has been misdiagnosed. Cultural beliefs specific to certain ethnic communities such as the Indian culture, can interfere with people receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. Immigrant communities, such as Haiti, or Jamaica, may hold different spiritual beliefs that mental health professionals are incorrectly diagnosing patient’s symptoms as odd (for example, belief in spirits) and this may negatively impact the diagnosis and treatment of the disease depending on the culture.

Cultural competency in treating bipolar disorder refers to the ability of the mental health professional to be aware of a patient’s culture and be sensitive to cultural norms, beliefs and practices when treating the disease (Robinson, 03). When treating patients, the providers need to mindful of addressing cross-cultural issues between bipolar patients and themselves. This can decrease the aggravation of psychosocial stressors, depression and mania, which are seen differently across cultural communities.

Throughout the centuries, doctors have tried and tried to help those suffering with any sort of mental disorder, but unless the patient wants help, it is hopeless. From country to country, culture to culture, treatment for mental disorders changes from person to person. There is a general way to treat the illness, but not taking a person’s cultural background out of the picture, it may be a great trial and error to treat the illness. Medical professionals no matter what the job, at one point or another, each professional will meet a person with a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder.

Helping that person to understand his or her disorder is a job that takes the utmost care and concern so that no one gets hurt or cultures get stepped on. . Work Cited: Bergen, M. (1999). Riding the Roller Coaster: Living with Mood Disorders. Wood Lake Publishing. Goodwin, F. K. ; Jamison, K. R. (2007). Manic-depressive illness: bipolar disorders and recurrent depression. Oxford University Press. Robinson, D. J. (2003). Reel Psychiatry: Movie Portrayals of Psychiatric Conditions. Port Huron, Michigan: Rapid Psychler Press. Yatham, Lakshmi (2010). Bipolar Disorder. New York: Wiley