This study focused on bipolar disorder, an episodic mental disorder that causes extreme mood swings or unusual fluctuations in concentration, activity, or energy in a person. A research was conducted to ascertain the history, current issues, symptoms, causes, the available treatments, and medications used to treat bipolar disorder. The study was conducted by evaluating the existing secondary sources, primarily recent peer-reviewed journals contained in the EBSCOs website. According to the findings, Bipolar disorder manifests in its classic form by alternating episodes of deep depression and mania. Mania or “up” phase, the patient presents with symptoms such as high activity level, insomnia, and unworkable plans while the depression or “down” phase manifests with low activity level and suicide contemplation. Bipolar I disorder symptoms such as depression manifest as early as during their late teens while bipolar II symptoms start in the late 20s. Bipolar disorder can be diagnosed at any age but it typically occurs at the ages of 15-25 years following the criterion described in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR). Although there is no known cause of Bipolar disorder, risk factors for the condition include brain structure, genetics, drug abuse, trauma or stress while young, and family history. Bipolar disorder is treated using medications such as Antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Additionally, Bipolar disorder can be treated using psychotherapy treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and psycho-education. The first-line pharmacological treatment for manic or mixed episodes is the initiation of either valproate combined with an antipsychotic such as Olanzapine or lithium plus an antipsychotic while depressive episodes are treated with lithium or lamotrigine as the first-line medication. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong disorder but the symptoms can be managed with the right treatment and healthy living.
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