Bipolar Disease Hca/240

Bipolar Disease
Bipolar disorder is a manic-depressive illness; it is a brain disorder that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (2009), “causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks” (para. 1).   Symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe than typical up and down emotional states experienced by most persons. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are difficult to distinguish from typical behavior at the onset of the disease. Many people go undiagnosed and untreated for years.   Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder requires long-term goals to manage. These goals must involve family and friends to be effective.
The brain systems receiving the greatest clinical attention in bipolar disorder studies are the serotonergic, noradrenergic, and dopaminergic transmitter systems.   Distributed throughout the brain, these systems support the behavioral and visceral demonstrations of mood disorders.
Miller (2006) stated, “Despite evidence showing that many of these circuits are likely to be involved, no obvious degeneration or complete dysfunction of any single neurotransmitter system has been identified. In this regard, the biological underpinnings of bipolar disorder appear to differ from classic neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease, where clear deficits can be traced to the dopaminergic and cholinergic pathways, respectively” (para. 5).   The article states that bipolar disorder may represent a disorder of altered synapses and circuits instead of an imbalance in transmitters.
Manic and depressive episodes are intense emotional states occurring in people with bipolar disorder.   A manic state is characterized by overexcited or overly elated emotions and a depressive episode has extreme sadness or hopelessness. Extreme alterations in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior are included as changes in mood.
Mania or Manic Episodes
Mood changes of a manic or...