Bipolar disorder is a condition of the brain, which causes abnormal shifts in activities and moods. There are two types of bipolar disorders: bipolar I and bipolar II. The general symptoms of bipolar I (a single manic episode) include talking very fast, making loud speech, insomnia, substance abuse, hyperactive activity and hyper-sexuality (Townsend, 2014; National Institute of Mental Health [NIH], n.d).
On the other hand, the general symptoms of bipolar II (recurrent bouts of major depressions) include, talking very fast, making loud speech, jumping from one idea to another and sleeping less. In both categories, individuals are characterized by being overly restless, engaging in high risk behaviors, having unrealistic beliefs, thinking of death and attempting suicide.
Biological influences play significant role in bipolar disorders. According to NIH (n.d.), people with particular genes have a higher possibility of developing bipolar disorder than those without such genes. For instance, children whose siblings or parents have bipolar disorder have a higher chance of developing it than their counterparts.
Besides, identical twins frequently share bipolar disorder than fraternal twins (US Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1992). As such, twin and family studies support genetic link that exist between bipolar disorder and biological influences.
There are biological reasons why an individual may exhibit behaviors relating to bipolar disorder. For instance, abnormal emotional behaviors relate to the increase of subcortical activity, particularly the amygdale, which causes the deficiency of prefrontal control towards negative emotions (Seo, Patrick, & Kennealy, 2008).
In addition, the hypofunctioning of prefrontal cortex (PFC), especially the orbitomedical area is associated with the impaired regulation of manic and emotion behaviors. Thus, such abnormalities predispose people to aggressive behaviors and emotional dysregulation.
The medication acts as a foundation of treating bipolar disorder, especially in controlling bipolar symptoms. Mood stabilizers such as Lithium (Lithobid or Eskalith) are used to treat depressive and manic episodes. Anticonvulsants (Lamotrigine and Valproic acid) treat seizures and control moods (NIH, n.d).
Besides, individuals can control bipolar disorder symptoms via lifting weights, getting enough sleep, running and eating healthy. Notably, a knowledgeable and experienced psychiatrist is required to provide care to bipolar disorder patients.
Bipolar disorder affects the memory of an individual in numerous ways. For instance, during the manic episodes, both the memory and cognition of individuals are at the lowest levels (Young, Ferrier, & Michalak, 2010). During depressive phases, individual memory is filled with negative thoughts about oneself and the world.
Besides, during depressive phases, an individual lacks concentration. Besides, the treatment of bipolar disorder, especially using lithium interferes with the memory (Kaplan, 2011). In short, manic phase, depressive phase, medication side effects and psychotic phase degrade the ability of the brain to store information.
There are notable biological influences on the memory of individuals with bipolar disorder. According to Kaplan (2011), bipolar disorder is inherited via numerous genes. Besides, familial situations can compel genes to express themselves within a clinical environment. For instance, a family whose parent has bipolar disorder is likely to be characterized by chaos because of the absence of the parent to the children. In twins, monozygotic co-twins have a higher chance of getting bipolar disorder than dizygotic co-twins.
Besides, a child is likely to inherit bipolar disorder from parent and relevant attributes such as cognitive and memory impairment. Notably, individuals with bipolar disorder are characterized by certain chemical messengers or neurotransmitter imbalances in their brain (Miklowitz, 2010). Chemical messengers such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine facilitate cells communication. Since a child has a higher risk of inheriting bipolar disorder, there is a elevated chance of inheriting neurotransmitter imbalances.
The bipolar disorder distorts the memory of individuals through attention bias, distorted interpretation of information and memory bias. In attention bias, individuals tend to be concerned with information which is congruent with their current mood and beliefs (Macneil, 2009).
For instance, manic individuals tend to recall a perceived success, while depressed people tend to focus on environmental cues that confirm their negative beliefs and failures. Notably, depressed individuals face difficulties while trying to recall certain memories (Macneil, 2009). In memory bias, people with bipolar disorder tend to rewrite their past and attribute it with negative or positive events.
The two personality theories include psychodynamic and humanistic theory. Psychodynamic theory relies on the concept of unconscious as a determinant of behavior and motivation (Carpenter, & Huffman, 2013). Notably, what individuals think or do, whether normal or not, is influenced by inner forces within the subconscious level of their minds where they have control.
Psychodynamic theory connects mechanism of mood vacillations in a flexible and adaptive manner in order to counter complex dynamics as well as underlying mechanism that exhibit both linear and nonlinear behaviors (Koutsoukos, & Angelopoulos, 2014).
Humanistic theory is based on the assumption that the personality of individuals is decided by distinctive ways in which each person view the world (Carpenter, & Huffman, 2013). Such perceptions establish individual’s side of reality and guide one behavior in the realization of self-actualization. Humanistic theory can be applied in treating bipolar disorder through parent training as well as group experiences that are meant for enhancing personal growth (Bernstein, D. (2010).
Integrative group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are used to treat bipolar disorder. Notably, integrative group therapy is effective in promoting the adherence to medication prescriptions, abstinence from drug abuse and symptom recognition in maintaining mood stability as well as substance use disorders relapse prevention (Roger, Weiss, & Connery, 2011).
On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in treating bipolar disorder because it focuses on the manner in which individuals think and behave with reference to emotions and mood swings (van Dijk, 2009).
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