Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

During the olden times, a particular history of mental disorder has already been written in history. The unusual and drastic change in the behaviour of one person was labelled as a disorder because of the negative things that it brings to a person with such illness. It was not normal, then, for a person to show sign of depression and manic interchangeably and at a shortest span of period. Even today, a disorder that attacks most of the children is bothering the society. In a group of children or adults, a number of them could be found irritating for their hyperactiveness ad sometimes pessimism.

Sometimes, these children are misinterpreted for their unusual behaviour. Other children are also hated and disassociated from others because of the drastic change in their behaviour. In the eye of ordinary persons, these children experiencing these symptoms could be labelled as mentally ill or abnormal. Behind these people’s knowledge, these emotional and mental problems being faced by number of children and adult is a serious matter that should be given due attention. In the second century A. D. the disorder was labelled by Aretaeus of Cappadociam (Bloch and Naser, 2006).

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This Turk realized a possible connection between manic and depression being experienced by one person. But then, his studies were not perfectly elaborated until 1650. British scientist, Richard Burton, wrote the “The Anatomy of Melancholia” which focuses on melancholia or known today as depression in 1650 (Bloch and Naser, 2006, p. 1). A related study was further presented by Frenchman Jules Falret describing “folie circulaire” or circular insanity in 1854 (Bloch and Naser, 2006, p. ).

According to him, depression and suicide attempt can be interrelated and that manic and depression can be connected with each other (Bloch and Naser, 2006). Then in 1875, Falret proposed the manic-depressive disorder and that the disorder may have been hereditarily acquired (Bloch and Naser, 2006). Eventually, bipolar disorder was drawn to be a “distinct and diagnosable state of being” and was referred also as double insanity through Frenchman Francois Baillarger (Bloch and Naser, 2006, p. 2).

The disorder was further legitimately termed as “manic depressive” through the study propounded by Emil Krapelin, a German scientist (Bloch and Naser, 2006, p. 2). The study of Krapelin is still being used in the medical world. In the following years, many other scientists tried to conceptualize more about bipolar disorder. Through further studies, many other related disorders were discovered. Furthermore, the occurrence of the manic and depression can happen more often that would lead to rapid cycling bipolar disorder (Bloch and Naser, 2006).

Bipolar Disorder By definition, bipolar disorder is “a disease of the nervous system that involves the brain and the body” (Burgess, 2006, p. 1). Originally, the disorder was termed as “manic depression” (Bloch and Naser, 2006, p. 3). It has been termed as bipolar because the disorder is characterized by two physiological states of mania and depression (Burgess, 2006). In other words, the person having such illness experiences a severe and drastic change in mood. The person can be manic and then be depressive after a short period of time.

Bipolar Disorder has two varieties, the Bipolar Disorder I and Bipolar Disorder II. Bipolar Disorder I shows three types of episodes which are, manic and/or manic-depressive episodes, and at least one depressive episode (Bloch and Naser, 2006, p. 3). The focus, however, is on mania. A person having Bipolar I would likely experience mania and depression at the same time. In addition, the manic occurs more intensely and severely more often than depression. Hence, it has been considered as the most serious disorder.

On the other hand, Bipolar II displays a more intense depressive episode more often than manic episode (Bloch and Naser, 2006). Although it is not as serious as Bipolar I, Bipolar II is hardly noticeable and poses several problems to the jeopardy of the patient. One problem is lack of proper treatment as the patient is only treated for the depression (Bloch and Naser, 2006). Another is the escalation of the symptoms to Bipolar I, which is more serious. Significantly, because of the occurrence more of depression, the patient would likely commit suicide, which is considered the worst effect of the disorder.

According to studies, bipolar studies can afflict anyone regardless of race, nationality, and socio-economic status (Stang, et. al. ). In addition, an estimated 2. 5 percent of the American population or an estimate of 6 million is affected by bipolar disorder (Burgess, 2006). In the 2005 study, the prevalence of positive screening for lifetime bipolar disorder is approximated at 9. 8% regardless of age, sex, or race (Stang, et. al. ). The number is alarming especially that children are the most vulnerable to disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder  In assessing that the illness is one of bipolar disorder, the patient should experience mood swings, that is episodes of manic and depression (Narsad, 2008). Signs for mania episodes include increased energy, restlessness, euphoric mood, extreme irritability, poor concentration, racing thoughts, fast talking, jumping between ideas, sleeplessness, heightened sense of self importance, spending sprees, increased sexual behaviour, abuse of drugs, provocative, intrusive or aggressive behaviour, and sees denial as wrong (Narsad, 2008).

On the other hand, the signs and symptoms of depression includes sadness, anxiousness or emptiness of mood, hopelessness and pessimism, feeling of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness, lost of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed like sex, decrease in energy, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, difficulty in remembering or making decisions, restlessness and irritability, sleeplessness or oversleep, change in appetite, unplanned weight loss or gain, thought of death or suicide, and suicide attempts (Narsad, 2008).

When a person experiences and swift change of attitude of behaviour from manic to depression, he can be diagnosed as bipolar. However, when the episodes of symptoms of bipolar disorder occur four times within one year period, the disorder is now diagnosed as rapid cycling bipolar disorder (WebMD Medical Reference, 2008). Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder The worst stage of the bipolar disorder can be the rapid cycling bipolar disorder (Burgess). Normally, the episodes of manic and depression happens only one to two in a year.

However, when the symptoms dramatically increase in a year at a certain time, there is the so-called “cycling” (Burgess, 2006, p. 5). In this kind of disorder, the episodes of manic and depression happens four or more times in a year (WebMD Medical Reference, 2008). The rapid cycle usually starts with depression which last for a short period of time. According to research, about 20% of the bipolar disorder patient experience rapid cycling and the likelihood applies to those afflicted with Bipolar Disorder II (Bloch and Naser, 2006).

In addition, the rapid cycling develops as the disease matures and while it worsens, the number of episodes also increases per year. Moreover, rapid cycling is prevalent among patients in their early twenties. Higher risk applies to those people having immediate families afflicted with bipolar disorder (WebMD Medical Reference, 2008). Furthermore, are at a higher risk than males and is usually experienced four weeks after delivering a child. Notably, rapid cycling is harder to diagnose because depression occurs several times than mania. In some cases, such recurrence is concluded as depression to the jeopardy of the patient.

Historically, the illness was named only in 1970’s. (Ghaemi). Although it has existed several centuries ago, scientists missed to realize its existence. The term was only coined after random clinical test was conducted for bipolar patients and some were found not responding to lithium (Ghaemi). Then, the term was adopted to address the non responders. Signs and Symptoms of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder occurs when the symptoms of mania or hypomania occurs once while depression episodes of depression recurs most often in a year (Hales and Yudofsky, 2004).

Meanwhile, a hypomania refers to the mood state whereby symptoms of mania is experience from mild to severe stage and may last for few days and even months (Hales and Yudofsky, 2004). The disorder usually starts with depression which may last for some time. In some cases, the shift in mood occurs after two weeks of normal mood (Hales and Yudofsky, 2004). However, the episodes may change rapidly without an intervening period of normal mood (Hales and Yudofsky, 2004). It can be considered as a worst stage because there is no moment for normal functioning. In addition, some patients experience mood swing after a day.

Causes of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder For a patient to have rapid cycling, he should first suffer bipolar disorder. According to research, bipolar disorder is caused by “deficiencies in the physiology and biochemistry of the nervous system areas that controls the body, mind, and emotions” (Burgess, 2006, p. 9). In addition, In addition, the illness is strongly believed to have caused by genes. A person having a first degree relative, parent or siblings, positive of bipolar disorder have higher chances of acquiring the disorder. Additionally, the illness can be triggered by many factors.

One of which is stress. The inability to normally response to stress triggers bipolar disorder as brought about by the neurochemicals that worsens the illness (Burgess, 2006). Other factors include “hypothyroidism, right cerebral hemisphere disease, mental retardation, and use of alcohol and stimulants” (Hales and Yudofsky, 2004, p. 259). Lifestyle can also help in the increase of possibility of rapid cycling like drug abuse and sleep habit. Effect of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder in One’s Life Definitely, rapid cycling bipolar disorder has a great effect on one’s lifestyle.

Through the occurrence of the episodes, other activities would hardly be completed. This is because the mental and emotional functioning is disturbed by mania or depression. During stage of depression, it is hard to accept things positively and enjoy good things that are happening. The tendencies would be breaking the family ties, friendship, or any relationship driven by feeling of depression. On the other hand, during the manic episode, the adrenalin and happiness are hardly controlled. The tendency is also hyperactivity. In any of these episodes, it is hard to make decisions and concentrate on a particular thing.

In school, for example, the assigned task is hardly completed when the episode occurs because the mind set is being disturbed. This is the same in the workplace as it is difficult to finish a given duty when the mind and heart is controlled by either mania or depression. As an effect of the disorder, other people may get irritated and disassociate the afflicted person. Many moments of embarrassment is anticipated because of the abnormal reaction to particular event or thing. The bipolar are also thought by others as mentally ill because they are perceived as abnormal.

Significantly, death is the worst effect of the rapid cycling bipolar disorder because of the recurrence of depression rather than mania (Burgess, 2006). Hence, the disorder has a great impact on one’s life. Treatment of Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder Treating this kind of disorder should be done by medication and therapy. Although drugs strongly help in decreasing the occurrence or risk of the disorder, family intervention increases the success of treatment. With regard to medication, the drug recommended to treat the disorder is aimed at reducing depression.

Antidepressant is the usual treatment for this kind of disorder. Such antidepressant includes Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft (WebMD Medical Reference, 2008). However, according to studies, antidepressant can help trigger the occurrence of mania. As such, mood stabilizers that include antiseizure and antipsychotics should be taken together with antidepressants (WebMD Medical Reference, 2008). Some of mood stabilizers include divalproex or lamotrigine and olanzapine or risperidone (WebMD Medical Reference, 2008). It is important that these medications be continued even if during the normal mood.

Furthermore, it is important that assistance and support of the family members should be extended, especially during the occurrence of the episodes. Deep understanding should be afforded to the bipolar so that the feeling of depression will not be aggravated. Hence, the medication should be through drugs and family intervention. Conclusion Some people in the community exist with a disorder that is not known to everyone. For the past centuries, the bipolar disorder has been prevalent. Today, many people have been diagnosed of the illness and a considerable number of undiagnosed bipolar exists in the society.

In addition, there are number of people at risk of acquiring the disorder because the disorder is hereditary. Notably, the disorder does not attack only a specific member of the society but may attack any person regardless of race, nationality, gender, and age. The disorder has levels because the person having such disorder may develop rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This is considered the worst stage because the occurrence of the episodes happens more often in a year, unlike in bipolar disorder. There are also instances where the patient does not experience a normal mood during the change in episodes.

A life of a bipolar is not simple because it affects not only the personal activities but also affects the lifestyle and well being of the patient. Fortunately, there have been studies propounded that will assist the public as to the nature, causes, and treatment of the disorder. As of today, scientists have found antidepressants as treatment for the disorder. But then, side effects have been seen among some patient. In dealing well with the disorder and with the patient, it is more effective to understand the illness very well.