Bipolar Disorder


According to Public Medical Health, “bipolar condition is a condition in which people go back and forth between periods of a very good or irritable mood and depression.” There are several types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder type one includes individuals that have had at least one manic episode and periods of major depression, which was previously referred to as manic depression. The second type is bipolar disorder type two that involve individuals who have never had full periods of mania. These individuals go through periods of impulsiveness and energy levels that are high, and alternate with episodes of depression. Culturally, our society does not view individual’s with bipolar disorder in the healthiest manner. It views these individuals as being mentally ill, and needing to receive treatment in order to be competent individuals in society. Biomedicine views bipolar as a illness that can be treated properly, if an individual is taking the proper medication, seeing a therapist, and willing to seek treatment, as well as acknowledge that they have a problem.

This influences the management and treatment of bipolar, since individuals do not want to be categorized by society as mentally ill; no one wants to view themselves in that way and doesn’t want to think of that at all. This can make it difficult for a person to want to seek treatment, let alone be willing to admit that there is something wrong with them.

In terms of this disorder, I do not believe that there is a connection between belief and healing, in terms of bipolar disorder. While being accepting and acknowledging the fact that you have, as a mental illness is a huge step and will help you with the recovery process. However, receiving proper therapy, as well as medication to even out a person’s brain chemistry is necessary for there to be proper treatment, and for an individual to lead a normal life. From what I recall from the placebo video, an individual’s mind has the potential to heal itself, or at least make the individual think t hat there is potential of actual recovery. While having a healthy mindset is extremely important and a big step towards there being an effective treatment, I feel as though it is highly important for individual’s to receive proper medical treatment that will play a truly affective role in helping to treat the problem. With my own personal experience, attitude is everything, but it will not improve your condition unless you are receiving the proper treatment for it; a positive attitude or way of thinking, or believing something is occurring will never truly alter the affects of say, cancer in a person’s body, fix a broken bone, or cure an illness.

3 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder

  1. My biomedical and cultural perspectives of this disease are aligned along the same lines. I believe that this disorder is an illness and needs to be treated with a combination of medicine and therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be the most effective. Though some bipolar individuals can function relatively normal, many have severe daily impairments due to the intrusiveness of the disease. We as a culture view this as a negative attribute, something that needs correction. I believe that this is not the most beneficial view, but it is one that will aid the patient with his disease. Other psychological disorders are linked to bipolar disorder, especially to type II, the worse of the two. I also believe that the placebo effect has powerful actions on the individual. It is the power of positive thinking that leads the afflicted to contribute to the well-being of the body. There have been studies that have demonstrated its power; the one surrounding surgery as we watched, but rid the body of a cancerous tumor. Harvard conducted a study in which they added an extra test group compared to normal, they had the normal test group, the placebo group, but also a group that knew they were getting a placebo. This latter group, the ones that were aware they were getting a sham treatment still did better than those not receiving treatment at all. My views have been a conglomeration of my academic, professional, as well as personal careers. I have been trained to believe these things, and learned them as well through my cultural background.

  2. My perceptions of Bipolar Disorder is that it is a serious medical condition and hard “pill” to swallow for someone afflicted with it. It is treatable with medication and therapy but people that have it must be compliant and accepting of their condition and the restrictions it places on their life. People that live with someone with this disorder may have difficulty dealing with this person’s mood swings. Families and friends have to adjust to their bipolar phases. Treatment success depends on the person’s attitude and their support system. Successful treatment can be dependent on the type of Bipolar Disorder I or II. My perception of this disease is that it can be life-altering for the person that suffers from it and that it is hard for a person to maintain a normal lifestyle. Sometimes they feel good, but there are other times they cannot function normally or maintain a job or deal with school responsibilities. My views have come from my own experiences with people that are Bipolar and from my background and knowledge of the disease. Some people in my family have been afflicted with it. I have seen them struggle with it and try to function in as normal way as possible, but it is not easy. People in this society seem to view people with this disorder as a bit odd, they do not want to be around them usually. This sounds intolerant but it seems to be the case. Some people with Bipolar disorder isolate themselves from their family and friends especially when they are in a depressed phase. The extreme mood swings are difficult for others to be around. I also have empathy for the person with the disease.

  3. Like you, I agree that bipolar disorder is a legitimate and treatable mental illness that can often be stigmatized by our culture. I think that while going through periods of uncontrollable mania and depression must be very unsettling for people with the disorder, receiving and accepting the diagnosis must be equally upsetting. Bipolar disorder can have an enormous effect on someone’s life, making it difficult to maintain friendships or hold a steady job. Since no one wants to think of himself as being mentally ill, many people might refuse to accept the diagnosis and delay treatment until serious repercussions of the disorder force them to seek medication and therapy. Our society can sometimes trivialize mental illnesses as seeing them more as fabricated mood disorders than as actual medical diseases. In addition, many people debase the effectiveness of therapy or psychiatric medications, which can discourage people with bipolar disorder to seek treatment. In actuality, finding the right therapist or medications is a trial-and-error process, but this treatment can significantly help someone manage his mental illness.

    Not personally knowing any family or friends with bipolar disorder, my only experience with the condition is from briefly covering it in health and psychology classes. However, I do have several family members with intrusive mental illnesses, and this has made me recognize the importance of social support for people who feel isolated by their mental disorders.

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