Bipolar Disorder: Mental Health in Social Work

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is characterized by atypical mood swings, energy levels, and the ability to function. Bipolar I disorder is a condition in which the patient experiences constant mania, i.e., overexcitation, enthusiastic inappropriate behavior, manic psychosis, and severe depression. The disease is treatable, and people with this disorder can live entire and productive lives. Unlike normal mood swings, with their ups and downs inherent in everyone and everyone, the symptoms of bipolar disorder can lead to severe consequences. They can destroy personal relationships, affect the quality of work or school performance, and even lead to suicide.

Two different poles of affective manifestations characterize bipolar disorder. Depression in bipolar disorder is pronounced, with vivid symptoms. It can last up to a year and manifest itself as a low mood and lack of ability to enjoy and interest in ongoing events. Among the symptoms, there are psychoses when ideas of self-accusation arise, the patient feels inferior unnecessary, poisoning the lives of those around him. Thus, Catherine’s condition was also characterized by psychoses, and she was easily irritated (Corcoran & Walsh, 2015). Moreover, there are nihilistic thoughts about suffering from some severe illness, despite medical evidence to the contrary.

Another pole of bipolar disorder is a hypomanic state or hypomania, the characteristic features of which are an increased euphoric emotional background. The patient is constantly on the move, hyperactive, and has speedy, associative speech. The person is continuously cheerful, often hypersexual, almost always awake or sleeping 2-3 hours a day (Carvalho et al., 2020). Thus, Mrs. Danielle experienced phases of hypomania during which she slept little and was active in various activities (Corcoran & Walsh, 2015). A manic bipolar state often follows hypomania with psychotic manifestations. The patient develops convictions in his greatness; he believes that he can do anything.

The person feels that he has a special calling or is a descendant of great people. In extended manic episodes of mania with psychotic manifestations, anger, irritability, and direct aggression often occur. This condition leads the patient into extraordinarily unpleasant and sometimes dangerous situations. In the intervals between the depressive and manic phases in bipolar disorder, there is a period during which the general mood becomes relatively stable. The person continues to respond to certain events adequately; the emotional sphere is under his control.

Bipolar disorder can be treated with mood stabilizers that keep the mood normal. Many studies show that lithium is effective in treating manias and depressions and in preventing their relapses. To call a drug a mood stabilizer, it must work for mania, depression, or prevent relapse and not cause mood swings or abrupt transitions from one state to another (Miller & Black, 2020). A wide range of antidepressants can control depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. However, their use should be monitored carefully, as some patients turn from depression to mania when treated with antidepressants. Other medications called antipsychotics are often prescribed for a manic episode and can be helpful in cases of disorganized behavior, confused thinking, as well as hallucinations. Moreover, tranquilizers in bipolar treatment are used to reduce anxiety and insomnia quickly.

Communication with an experienced psychiatrist is essential for the successful treatment of the disorder. The doctor uses different methods and approaches to treat the patient. Thus, the biblical phrase “Jesus looked at them and said, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (The Holy Bible, new international version, p. 78). This scripture can be used in communication with the patient. Based on a biblical quotation, a person can be explained that his condition is curable with medicines and proper treatment. Thus, it will be apparent to a person that he cannot cope with the disease alone, but a doctor’s intervention can help.


Carvalho, A. F., Firth, J., & Vieta, E. (2020). Bipolar disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(1), 58-66.

Corcoran, Jacqueline & Walsh, J. M. (2015). Mental health in social work: A casebook on diagnosis and strengths-based assessment. (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Miller, J. N., & Black, D. W. (2020). Bipolar disorder and suicide: A review. Current psychiatry reports, 22(2), 1-10.

The Holy Bible, new international version. (1984). Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

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