Bipolar disorder is a chronic disease characterized by significant fluctuations in energy levels and mood (Grande et al., 2016). Usually, mood fluctuations are caused by everyday worries and are common in real life. However, mood swings and unusual behavior may be symptoms of the underlined disorder (Carvalho et al., 2020). Thus, there is a need to differentiate bipolar symptoms from regular changes of mood. This paper will examine the symptoms of bipolar, treatment, and present the Axis for this condition based on DSM-IV.
Bipolar is an umbrella term for Bipolar I, Bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, and other forms of this illness. Formerly, the psychiatric professionals referred to this condition as manic depression. Unlike depression, bipolar patients experience mood fluctuations, from a state of having no interest in anything to euphoria (Grande et al., 2016). This condition is lifelong, but the patient’s quality of life can be improved with medication and psychotherapy.
Signs and Symptoms
The main sign that enables therapists to separate bipolar disorder from the normal state of mind is manic episodes changing to depressive episodes (Carvalho et al., 2020). The condition has two primary forms, which are Bipolar I disorder and Bipolar II disorder. The first one is characterized by manic episodes presented by extreme expression of feelings, extreme irritability, and high spirits (Carvalho et al., 2020). The patient may also suffer from hallucinations and illusions. Bipolar II patients experience depressive episodes interchanging with hypomania (Carvalho et al., 2020). The doctors need to apply a different treatment scheme for each type of this disease.
One of the significant dangers of bipolar is the high rates of suicidal thoughts. According to Dome et al. (2019), people having bipolar disorder are about 10-30 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, with 32.4% of people with Bipolar II attempting to commit suicide. Moreover, people with schizophrenia or bipolar commit 10% of homicides in the United States (“Serious mental health illness and homicide,” 2016). Substance abuse is one of the risk factors, and approximately 50% of bipolar patients have substance abuse issues in their lifetime (Messer et al., 2017). Substance abuse leads to negative changes in the human brain. They are mainly related to the brain reward system, which makes a person seek more drugs. People with bipolar I disorder are 14 times more likely to be involved in substance abuse than healthy individuals (Dome et al., 2019). At the same time, people with bipolar disorder are more likely to have drug addiction as they cannot control their feelings and emotions and resist the will of substance use. Thus, bipolar disorder is dangerous both to the patients and people around them.
There are four kinds of treatment for bipolar disorder, which include medication, counseling, physical intervention, and lifestyle changes (Newman, 2020). Clinicians can prescribe medication to improve mood swings, for example, by giving patients mood stabilizers, antidepressants, second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs), anticonvulsants, or hypnotics (Newman, 2020). The drugs are mainly prescribed together with counseling or lifestyle changes.
The most common psychological treatment is cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), where a therapist teaches patients how to cope with stress, recognize early symptoms, stabilize mood, and help a person communicate with their family or co-workers (Bujara, 2018). Physical intervention is hospital treatment, which is prescribed for people with significant aberrations. Lifestyle changes include maintaining a regular schedule, a healthy diet, and exercise.
|Axis Number||Axis Name||Score||Assessment|
|Axis I||Major mental illness||100||Despite the unusual behavior of the patient, the therapists found no mental illness signs. The issue was the stressful situation that had happened to this patient, which caused the woman’s bipolar disorder.|
|Axis II||Personality disorder||30||The personality disorder is present in the case as Casey lied to the law enforcement bodies that she committed the crime of killing her daughter Caley, although she was innocent. She was not guilty of the murder, though she was missing her daughter, which was normal. Even if the court believed her words, everything she was saying was inconsistent and illogical. In addition, Casey had average rates of narcissism and had no other mental aberrations. Thus, the issue was Casey’s personality disorder.|
|Axis III||Medical conditions||100||There was no evidence of the crime being committed by Casey. The child was hidden in a plastic bag and then thrown away. However, the medical examination has found out that there was no DNA similar to Casey’s in the car. Thus, a woman lied to law enforcement to make them think that the crime was her fault.|
|Axis IV||Environmental and social factors||60||The family situation may have caused the woman’s unusual behavior. Caley Anthony interfered with Casey’s personal life and prevented her from having sexual relations with boys, which may have become the reason for the disorder. There are also suggestions that Casey’s husband, George Anthony, sexually abused her.|
|Axis V||Global assessment of functioning||90||Casey claimed that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caley. Her daughter was killed using suffocation with chloroform. However, it became evident later that the woman was not guilty of the crime, and her husband, George Anthony, has confirmed that. Casey was a loving mother and was missing her daughter greatly, and thus, she had no motive for committing the crime.|
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Carvalho, A., Firth, J., & Vieta, E. (2020). Bipolar disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(1), 58-66.
Dome, P., Rihmer, Z., & Gonda, X. (2019). Suicide risk in bipolar disorder: A brief review. Medicina, 55(8), 403. Web.
Grande, I., Berk, M., Birmaher, B., & Vieta, E. (2016). Bipolar disorder. The Lancet, 387(10027), 1561-1572. Web.
Messer, T., Lammers, G., Müller-Siecheneder, F., Schmidt, R., & Latifi, S. (2017). Substance abuse in patients with bipolar disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Research, 253, 338-350. Web.
Newman, T. (2020). What to know about bipolar disorder? Medical News Today. Web.
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