Mood disorders are considered a disease of the XXI century. Nevertheless, psychologists know little about this disease, which makes a case study for bipolar disorder especially relevant today. This mental disorder is characterized by a change of manic and depressive states, mixed states, alternation of euphoria and depression. Patients with bipolar disorder suffer from more severe mood swings than those with which everybody encounters every day.
Causes of a Bipolar Disorder
Despite numerous studies, scientists have not been able to pinpoint the causes of bipolar disturbance development. For many years, the genetic theory has remained popular, although the principle of inheritance is still not clear. The study of identical twins revealed that if one twin gets bipolar disorder, the second of the twins has a significantly increased chance of getting sick. At the same time, the investigation of the causes of the disease is continuing, because it will allow developing effective methods of prevention and treatment. There are a lot of bipolar disorder case study examples, the development of which are able to give hope for recovery to thousands of patients around the world. According to modern data, bipolar forms of affective disturbances are more likely to affect men, while monopolar ones are three times more likely to affect women.
The structure of the brain can also affect the development of the disease. According to the “ignition hypothesis,” when people genetically predisposed to such a disease experience stress, their threshold of emotional stress is significantly reduced, which causes a spontaneous occurrence of episodes. There is also a theory that abnormal mood swings are associated with the balance of the two neurotransmitters – serotonin and norepinephrine (dopamine disturbances are associated with other psychiatric disorders, psychosis, and schizophrenia).
However, some experts believe that the symptoms of the bipolar spectrum are not an abnormal disturbance of the organism, but only a hypertrophic manifestation of the adaptive function. There is a theory that genes that cause severe affective disorders in certain situations can be useful for survival. The inclination to hide, reduce energy consumption and more sleep, which is characteristic of patients during the depression, may have served as a protective mechanism for human ancestors in difficult times. Weak manifestations of mania could also be an advantage because they give an influx of energy, self-confidence and enhance creativity.
Another theory suggests that mania and depression are a kind of mechanism of internal self-regulation, self-defense of a person, which is tormented by fear or great internal contradictions. Deep depression protects and isolates a person from the world, drowning out even the feeling of despair with apathy, and mania allows splashing out latent aggression and coping with fear.
Diagnostic of a Bipolar Disorder
The bipolar disturbance is difficult to diagnose. Two opposite, alternating phases of mania and depression, varying degrees of severity, sometimes, does not allow the doctor to fully recreate the picture of the disease. According to various estimates, from 1% to 7% of the world’s population suffers from it. In order to have a scientific background when making a conclusion about this disease, a case study of bipolar disorder patient should be conducted.
A person suffering from bipolar disturbance can not control his or her mood: at times he or she experiences a powerful energy uplift, which is not always appropriate and which rarely turns out to be productive, and at times he or she suffers from the same causeless decline. In the intervals between phases, patients can feel normal. If this period is prolonged (it can last up to 7 years), the patient sometimes begins to forget that there was an illness in his life.
One of the main problems of conducting a case study of bipolar disorder, that the number of phases of this disease and their order is unpredictable. In addition, the disease can manifest only in manic, only in hypo maniacal) or only in depressive phases. Thus, the results of a case study of bipolar disorder are always very specific, individual and do not allow a researcher to create a complete picture of the development of this disease. Bipolar disorder case study diagnosis is especially difficult at hypo maniacal phase because it is perceived by the patient as a completely innocent flow of energy and an increase in mood. A person feels a spiritual uplift and a belief in one’s abilities. A patient shows a keen interest in a variety of topics; is highly motivated and ready for action. In this period a patient is able to work intensively, without feeling tired, and sleeps less. However, this condition has side effects. A person becomes too self-confident and may lose the ability to assess the situation sensibly. He easily makes impulsive decisions, takes risks, and makes promises without thinking. Anyway, a person with hypomania is still able to make his activity look more or less normal and does not cause much inconvenience to the society. Analyzing bipolar affective disorder case study, it is possible to conclude that the situation is getting out of control mania stage. A person expresses delusional ideas of greatness or insane projects that one wants to fulfill immediately. A patient can become irritable or aggressive and make more than strange decisions. The diagnosis depends on the form of this phase. In the presence of manic or mixed (when combined with the symptoms of mania and depressive) episodes “bipolar disorder I” is diagnosed, and if he a patient a history of manifestations of hypomania, it is a “bipolar disorder II.”
The second option is considered to be less destructive, although some experts have doubts about this. In either case, the patient will most likely periodically fall into depression. The most dangerous period from the point of view of suicide is the beginning or end of the depression when the mood has already fallen, and the energy is still enough to take some decisive action.