According to the medical journal article Bipolar disorder: historic perspective, current pharmacologic treatment options and review of Quetiapine by Khouzam and Singh, bipolar disorder is classified as a mental illness. The authors stated that bipolar disorder “is a common, chronic and recurrent mental illness associated with an increased rate of comorbid psychiatric and medical conditions”(Khouzam & Singh 132). The article explained that there are different subtypes of bipolar disorder. They include, the DSM-IV-TR categories of bipolar I disorder, bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder(Khouzam & Singh 132). If a person has bipolar I they experience symptoms of episodes that involve “severe mania and major depression”((Khouzam & Singh 132). When it comes to bipolar II disorder an individual can have multiple hypomanic episodes and depressive episodes as well. A person who has cyclothymic disorder has continuous hypomanic episodes and depressive symptoms that last two years or more.  What I found interesting about the disease is that a person’s family biological makeup is a significant factor and influence on whether they have bipolar disease.

When it comes to society and culture bipolar disorder has a social stigma attached to it and society can be very stereotypical towards individuals who have bipolar disorder. Television shows and many dramatic works create characters that have traits of bipolar disorder. Hollywood paints this picture of hyper compulsive, violent and crazed individual. When it comes to treatment my research concluded that in some cases people are often misdiagnosed for bipolar disorder and that people she be treated or diagnosed early on so that they can be properly treated for bipolar disorder. I believe that belief is essential to the healing process. When a patient comes to the realization and truth about their illness they can take the necessary steps in recovering and healing their bodies. Sometimes when people do not believe or think their illness is serious this can lead to negative conseqences. Belief is important because a patient is no longer in denial about their illness. In the film “Placebo: Cracking the Code” it shows a positive outlook and process when using a placebo. I do believe placebos are affected because and are essential to the healing process because it gives patients a new hope and way to aid in the recovery of their disease.



Khouzam, Hani Raoul, Singh, Fiza. Bipolar disorder: historic perspective, current pharmacologic treatment options and a review of Quetiapine. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 6.2. (Feb 2006) : 131-44.

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*Hello Taz, this is Monique Carter. The website was down tonight around 10pm to after 11pm. I emailed my Reflection post before 12 midnight and I am posting it since the website is up again. Thanks!


4 thoughts on “Bipolar

  1. I have gone back and fourth on my views of bipolar disorder. Hollywood has made bipolar disorder look very exaggerated. It also seems more like a cry for attention than a real disorder. However after taking a psychology class and learning how imbalances and complications can cause very severe behavior changes I changed my views on this. I also have a friend who began acting very differently and it turned out to be bipolar disorder. It was clear to me that it wasn’t something that he could easily turn off and it seemed obvious that he could not control this and did not want this in his life. I think my views early on were shaped from dramas on TV, movies, and from adults. This is how a lot of my views are shaped not that I like to admit it. Also college has affected my views on a range of subjects as well, most of my views on almost everything are different after being in school. As far as our exposure as a culture to this disorder I would say media is at the forefront, along with institutionalized education, and our experience dealing with those with the disorder. Either way we get exposure to the disorder, it seems we have a negative stereotype of people suffering from this, and we seem to misunderstand what they are going through.

  2. Bipolar disorder is something that I have never understood very clearly until recently. I always thought this disorder was merely characterized by extreme mood swings, I never realized that there was a biological basis . After reading your post, I learned that there were three different classifications of bipolar disorder, which I think most people don’t know. No one in our American culture will specify “bipolar II” disorder or “cyclothymic bipolar” disorder, they merely say “Oh, I have bipolar”. I think because of this ambiguity among non-affected persons as well as non-professionals, the disorder gets mocked and underestimated. I now understand that there are chemical imbalances in the brains of people affected by bipolar disorder and that it is a disorder which may put major strain on a family. I really believe that the common public perceptions of bipolar disorder come from simple misunderstandings of the disease. There are so many pharmaceutical advertisements depicting the spells of highs: mania, and lows: depression, characteristic of this disorder. These media portrayals show the public nothing of the real struggles of the disease, we do not see how it may affect relationships of all sorts as well as self worth of the affected individual. In this instance, as well as many others, I believe the media is to blame for an incomplete presentation of what really characterizes the illness.

  3. ■Select a post that discusses a different contested medical condition
    ■What are your own biomedical and cultural perceptions of this illness?
    ■Now that you have gone through the course materials, where do you think these views came from?
    To me, bipolar disorder is definitely an illness. Knowing people with this disorder and seeing the effects of it first hand have certainly shaped my opinion on this. Because I have dealt with the issue, I have seen the effects enough to know that they are truly not able to control it if actually bipolar. I do think there are probably cases where it is, as previously mentioned in comments above, a cry for help. But if they are properly diagnosed, I do think it should be viewed as an illness. Chemicals changing in one’s brain surely isn’t something one can purposely alter without an outside agent helping. Determining a view on this based on things such as what the media puts out there or what one has heard without having a reliable basis seems unfortunate, however, I can relate because I think everyone does this in one sense or another. In addition to my personal experience, I have been actually able to learn from this post. I wasn’t aware of the names of the classifications. I think that culture and soceity have a huge impact on an individual’s opinion on any subject, in this instance on bipolar disorder, however I think that it is very important to spend the time and effort to educate oneself on subjects such as these because without doing so it just continues to fuel, what in some cases is false, views.

  4. Bipolar disorder is something that has a very interesting social/ cultural stigma. Most people, like you said, believe that those suffering from bipolar disorder are “hyper compulsive, violent, or crazed.” Although this may be true in some cases, it is not always the situation. I actually know a few individuals that have been diagnosed from the condition, and though they have their moments of “hyper compulsive activity”, and/or depression, they manage their symptoms well and live normal, successful lives. This can sometimes be difficult, but with the right amount of medication, therapy, and support from others I believe that a normal, or close to normal, life can be possible.
    After going through the course material, I would have to assume that most people feel this way about bipolar disorder because of the media. People generally believe what they hear or read in the news and what they see on television; which is not always the truth. In reality, yes, some people may have severe symptoms associated with the disorder, but not every one does. I think that it is important for more people to get educated on topics like these, so they can be more empathetic and understanding of others around them.

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