The Effects of Bipolar Disorder and the Impact

Bipolar Disorder and the Impact

Manic-depressive illness is termed as the bipolar disorder. It is a brain disorder and causes swings in mood, fluctuation in the energy levels and the inability of a person to carry out the daily activities. There are various symptoms of this disorder, which can be very severe. There are three conditions or types of disorder, which include mania, hypomania, and depression. There are feelings of creativity, social ease, and extra ordinary energy in the condition of mania. There are less severe symptoms in the condition of hypomania as compared to mania. The effects of depression are more intense than other two conditions. There are both positive and negative effects of this condition. The positive effects are creativity, social connectedness and enhanced autonomy whereas, the negative effects are psychosis, depression and anxiety and some personality disorders.

The Effects of Bipolar Disorder and the Impact


The bipolar disorder is also called as the manic-depressive illness. It is a disorder of the brain that causes swings of mood, changes in activity and energy levels and the inability to carry out the daily tasks. The symptoms of this disease are very severe. These symptoms are different from the normal ups and downs that are faced by the people. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can result in poor performance at school or workplace, damage in relationships and suicide. However, this disorder can be treated, and those people who are suffering from it can have a productive and whole life.

Sometimes the bipolar disorder develops in the life of a person when he is in initial adult years or late teens. Almost half of the cases of this disorder are reported to be initiated before the age of 25. There are some people who experience the initial signs in their childhood and other have these symptoms in later life. It is not easy to identify the bipolar disorder at the initial stage and the symptoms can be considered as different problems and not a complete problem. Many people suffer from the disease for a longer period before the appropriate treatment and diagnosis. This order is a long-term and complete illness that requires proper management (Goodwin & Jamison, 2007).




Mania starts with a feeling of extreme energy, social ease and creativity. The feelings in this condition can be quickly shifted to continuous and extreme mood that includes irritable or expansive mood. This can also include an inflated feeling of self-esteem. In the manic condition, most of the people become talkative, physically active, and distractible. The sleeping habits are also found to be reduced in those people. Most of the people cannot identify that there is something wrong with them, and they seemed to be enjoying the feelings of mania.

The judgmental abilities of the person also become impaired and due to this condition, the risk taking behavior is increased that includes sexual activities and overspending. In many of the severe cases, the affected person can also feel psychotic symptoms like delusions or hallucinations. In the feeling of mania, some people can also feel belligerent and angry instead of the feeling of euphoria (Miklowitz, 2011).


This is the mild mania, but it has less severe symptoms, and it causes less impairment. In the episodes of hypomania, the person can have an elevated mood, and he can be more productive. The condition of hypomania do not remain maintained, and it can lead to a crash of depression or it can also be shifted to mania (Miklowitz, 2011).


There are many forms of depression and in the normal conditions of sadness; the symptoms of depression are intense. In addition, the symptoms of depression can be hopelessness, constant feelings of despair and frustration. Many people feel irritated or angry, and some have the feelings of guilt or worthlessness. There is a decrease in energy, difficulties in sleeping, reduced interest in daily activities and changes in weight of the affected person. The thinking abilities of the affected individual are reduced, and concentration is impaired. In the extreme conditions of depression, delusions and hallucinations are also involved. The condition of depression can create disturbance in all the aspects of life (Miklowitz, 2011).


The causes of the bipolar disorder are not yet known completely. Bad parenting has reported it. It is also not a result of a fault in character or moral weakness. Research has shown that the genetic factors play an important role in the development of the disease. People who are suffering from the disorder are more susceptible to physical stress and emotional disorder. They can also feel a lack of sleep and disturbances in the relationships. Some of the affected people can also be involved in the intake of alcohol or drugs. The manic episodes can be triggered by excessive stimulation or some alteration in routine.

There are not any laboratory tests or x-rays that can be used for the diagnosis of the disorder. The physician takes a detailed history, and he diagnose according to the group of symptoms that take place together. The studies in brain research have indicated that there are differences in the brain function that can lead to the bipolar disorder. The bipolar disorder usually initiates at the age of 18 to 24 years or in the late 40s or 50s. It has been estimated that approximately 1.2% of the adult population is affected by bipolar disorder and both the genders are found to be equally affected. The effects of the disorder can be decreased by early diagnosis, the proper method of treatment and medicines.

Impact of Development of Disorder

The problems with the extreme moods initiated in the late adolescence or the initial adulthood. Younger adolescents can also experience these problems, but they do not experience the extreme mood swings. The milder mood swings are called as cyclothymia (Parker, McCraw & Fletcher, 2012). The period of adolescence is the time when an individual develops the decision-making and problem solving skills. Moreover, the person also becomes able to manage his feelings and mood. Initial problems that can lead to the development of the bipolar disorder are instability of mood, changes in behavior, social withdrawal and mood instability. These disturbances can also because the problem in the development of the identity of a person, his career, and relationships.

Almost all of the people experience problems with depression and mania that are combined with the periods of stability. In addition, this condition varies according to the people and some can only have a single episode of mania. The pattern of disorder can vary greatly with time in a single person. For instance, the length of time between the different episodes can also vary. There are many people who experience symptoms of mood and the episodes that are related to the problems in day-to-day functioning and stress (Judd et al., 2003).

Positive Impact

Many people have described that there are some positive aspects of the bipolar disorder in their life that include creativity, social connectedness, and enhanced autonomy. It is also reported that many distinguished and famous people also suffer from bipolar disorder (Pendulum, 2009). Many people also do not like to exchange the relative stress that is caused by their mood difficulties in life that is not according to the positive aspects.

Alternative Labels

There are many people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and they are also diagnosed with any other disease at the same time. The most common problems are psychosis, depression, and anxiety and some personality disorders are also identified. This arrangement of symptoms can create confusion and difficulties for the people. It can also lead to the changes in the course of medication. In addition, the use of multiple labels is due to different emotional difficulties that include mood swings. The common problem is anxiety and psychotic experiences that are especially present during mania. In some people, paranoia is also developed during the time of grandiosity as a fear can also develop that someone wants to hurt or harm the affected person because of his special powers.

Family Characteristics

The family characteristics can also lead to a problem that results in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the development of the disorder with time. There are some people who have mood problems, and they can produce an effect on the whole family. There are two main areas that are important in a family. In the first, there are different critical patterns of family communication and some family members are overly protective, and they are at higher risk of the future episodes of mood. These types of communication patterns can be addressed by using the psychological help. Secondly, the different sources of informal support and friendships are also important (Weinstock et al., 2006).

Family Functioning

The research of expressed emotion was initiated in those families who were identified to be suffering from schizophrenia. This research has showed that in those conditions when the families are overprotective for their relatives then they experience episodes of acute schizophrenia. Initially, these same results were obtained with the bipolar disorder and the people who are suffering from more episodes of depression or mania and the lesser advantages are found to be obtained from a drug treatment.

It is not easy for the patient or his family member to deal with the different experiences of the bipolar disorder. In many of the cases, the criticisms or protectiveness of the family members shows their efforts to cope up with the daily life problems. It should also be noted that the patterns can be altered or modified by the family therapy, which is helpful in the improvement of the outcomes of a patient with bipolar disorder (Rea et al., 2003).

Friendships and Social Support

For many people, a few close friends or family members are important while, for others, huge groups of relatives and family members are important. In both the cases, people have an advantage of getting the emotional and practical support whenever they need. A few studies have shown a relationship between the outcomes of bipolar disorder and the social support. It has also been shown that the increased levels of social support are related with the enhanced outcomes as fewer relapses of depression or mania and improved recovery (Johnson et al., 2003). The enhanced social relationships are also related to the increased likelihood of a person who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and he gains employment. Furthermore, he shows better functioning in the working environment (Wilkins, 2004).

Positive and Negative Thinking Styles

Some people who have bipolar disorder show a characteristic pattern of thinking. This is called as thinking styles by psychologists, and it includes the negative and positive thinking styles. In the negative thinking stole of a person there is a tendency of a person to blame himself in the wrong situation. That person further considers the world and other people in a negative light (Jones et al., 2005). Second factor is the affinity of a person to reflect in a low mood that can make the condition worse. The styles are present in the, in the low mood of a person, and they are also same for the thinking styles of the people who experience depression. Those people who only have a feeling of depression is that some people who suffer from bipolar disorder are involved in the risk taking behavior according to the low mood. This includes consumption of alcohol, risky sexual behavior and street drugs (Thomas et al., 2007).

The positive thinking styles are also significant in the people who suffer from bipolar disorder. The negative styles are apparent when the mood of a person is low, and the positive styles are apparent in the high mood. For example, when person experiences increased alertness in his activities or decrease in the sleeping desire. According to some people, the interpretation is the reflecting of true self that is caused by the external events. The positive style of praise causes a person to be involved in those types of behaviors that initiate in a high mood. This condition can increase the likelihood of hypomania or mania.


Bipolar disorder is also named as manic-depressive illness. It is a disorder of brain that causes swings in the mood, inability of a person to carry out the daily tasks, changes in activity and levels of energy. The symptoms of this disorder are very severe. The effects that are produced by the disorder are some positive impacts and due to some positive and negative thinking styles. Different effects are produced by the alternative labels, family characteristics, family functioning, friendships and social support.


Goodwin, F.K., & Jamison, K.R. (2007). Manic-depressive illness: bipolar disorders and recurrent depression. Oxford University Press.

Johnson, L., Lundstrom, O., Aberg-Wistedt, A. & Mathe, A.A. (2003). Social support in bipolar disorder: Its relevance to remission and relapse. Bipolar Disorder, 5(2), 129 — 37.

Jones, L., Scott, J., Haque, S., Gordon-Smith, K., Heron, J., Forty, E., Hyde, S., Lyon, L., Greening, J., Sham, P., Farmer, A., McGriffin, P., Jones, I. & Craddock, N. (2005). Cognitive style in bipolar disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 431 — 7.

Judd, L.L., Akiskal, H.S., Schettler, P.J., Coryell, W., Endicott, J., Maser, J.D., Solomon, D.A., Leon, A.C. & Keller, M.B. (2003). A prospective investigation of the natural history of the long-term weekly symptomatic status of bipolar II disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(3), 261 — 269.

Miklowitz, D.J. (2011). The bipolar disorder survival guide: What you and your family need to know. Guilford Press.

Parker, G., McCraw, S., & Fletcher, K. (2012). Cyclothymia. Depression and anxiety, 29(6), 487-494.

Pendulum (2009). A list of famous people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Retrieved from

Rea, M.M., Tompson, M.C., Miklowitz, D.J., Goldstein, M.J., Hwang, S. & Mintz, J. (2003). Family-focused treatment vs. individual treatment for bipolar disorder: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(3), 482 — 92.

Thomas, J., Knowles, R., Tai, S. & Bentall, R.P. (2007). Response styles to depressed mood in bipolar affective disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 100, 249 — 252.

Weinstock, L.M., Keitner, G.I., Ryan, C.E., Solomon, D.A. & Miller, I.W. (2006). Family functioning and mood disorders: A comparison between patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar I disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(6), 1192 — 1202

Wilkins, K. (2004). Bipolar I disorder, social support and work. Health Reports, 15, 21 — 30.

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