Bipolar disorder is a bizarre and often frightening condition wherein the individual is thrown from the depths of depression to mania in an instant. The emotional turmoil that bipolar patients undergo makes them become violent, erratic and often uncontrollable especially when there is very low compliance to medical treatment and psychotherapy. Bipolar disorders have been depicted as extremely emotional and often do not have any regard for the social norms that regulate emotional expression.
Although thousands have probably studied bipolar disorder as much has become known about the disease that have led to new exciting treatments and pharmacological concoctions that would help the patient regain control over his/her life. These have resulted to a number of patients who have achieved enough stability to get a second shot at living normally.
Therefore a number of bipolar patients are now functioning effectively and leading normal lives, which comes to the question of how these patients have been able to manage and maintain their well being and live through their symptoms or episodes. Very few researches on bipolar disorders had used the qualitative approach as the question of the capability of the bipolar patient to react and share their thoughts to the researchers have clouded the integrity of the results of such undertakings (Bogdan & Biklen, 2003).
However, I would still want to pursue a qualitative study of the daily experiences and feelings of bipolar out-patient and from which be able to understand the difficulty of their condition as well as be able to identify the different factors present in the patient’s life that mediates between the severity of an episode and their ability to regain control of their emotions and impulses. Research Question
To explore and describe the daily experiences of bipolar out-patients and determine which factors in their lives enable them to manage and control their illness. This research question can be studied using the qualitative approach since it talks about exploring and describing daily experiences of a select or target group. This would entail that the orientation of the inquiry into these experience come from the perspective of the target participants of the study (Maxwell, 2004).
Hence, bipolar patients who have been out of the hospital for more than a year and have not needed any emergency care or medical attention related to the disease will be interviewed and studied in the present research. It is imperative that the researcher adopt the participant observation method in data gathering as well as a regular session with the participants to be able to draw out their feelings and experiences (Wolcott, 1994).
Using the perspective of the bipolar patient would lead to a deeper portrayal of the daily experiences that the patient deals with as it is seen, heard and felt from the participant’s choice of words, emotional cues and even in how they use nonverbal communication with other people (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). In a way, these inquiry approach discards the preconceive opinions of experts formed from empirical researches, this would mean a somewhat grounded theory approach, where every story, reaction or behavior will be analyzed from the viewpoint of the patient.
This is an important way of generating the truth about what bipolar patients feel and experience rather than what has been observed from their behavior or what generally a person of such state reacts or behaves to. This approach would also lead to a better understanding of the dynamics within the life of the bipolar patient and hopefully identify which aspects contribute to the management of the illness and in turn provide a framework for better care and management.