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Medical Assignment: Critical Discussion on Bipolar Disorder



Prepare a medical assignment critically discussing the history of the Bipolar I Disorder, when did it officially become a disorder? What changes to the criteria or treatment of this disorder have occurred since it's become a DSM diagnosis? What are some symptoms? What would this disorder look like in person? Prevalence in the U.S. Population, Your perception of the potential impact on workplace performance, Discuss one type of treatment approach that has been shown to be successful in treating the disorder you selected, long term prognosis.


Jean-Pierre Falret, a French psychiatrist published an article in the year 1851 and used a term in French which is “la folie circulaire” which means circular insanity. In the article reviewed herein medical assignment the author described the issue of several people switching from maniac excitement to depressive situations. Hence, it described a mental state where people switch their actions in a polar opposite direction. On the contrary, the bipolar disorder is also marked as the issue of people where they act like two different people based on the circumstances and their mental state and generally these two polar opposites are either depressive state or maniac excitements. Hence, the bipolar disorder was identified long back in mid 19th century. Though, in 1957 German psychiatrist Karl Leonhard first proposed and used the term bipolar (Healy, 2008). However, Karl Leonhard marked the people with mania as bipolar and the people with depressive mental state have been marked as unipolar by him. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and American Psychiatric Association's (APA) first recognized the disorder as psychological issue of people in the year 1980 as before it was generally marked with the phenomenon “maniac-depressive” and it can be harsh as people can think the patients with bipolar as maniacs. Thus, the change in terminology took place through 3rd revision of DSM in 1980 (Mason, Brown & Croarkin, 2016).

In DSM 4th and 5th revision the bipolar disorder diagnosis has been revised in many factors. There are factors including the mix episodes and history of mix episodes among patients with mental illness and these patients have been excluded from the bipolar disorder category. It can be seen that the changes in the treatment of the bipolar disorder includes the medication-based treatment along with the continued treatment, day treatment program, substance abuse treatment and hospitalization. All these factors considered for the treatment in the changed DSM. It should be stated that the mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are considered for the treatment process. It is evident that the continued treatment is the most required treatment for the disorder as the treatment includes lifelong medication and counselling for the patients with the issues of bipolar. The patients with substance abuse issues should be provided with proper substance abuse related care. The day treatment program can be considered for the patient who has symptoms under control. This treatment is focused on counselling and support giving to the patients who are under control (Regier, Kuhl & Kupfer, 2013).

The bipolar disorder patients show two different polar issues that are depressive episode and manic episode. The manic episode can highlight high energy, lack of sleep and in depressive episode the patients may show low energy and motivation and loss interest in anything. Thus, the symptoms of the disorder can highlight both high energy and low energy at a same time and in some case in different part of a day or several days. On the other hand, the factors of the mood swing, anxiety, sadness, euphoria, hopelessness and other issues. Hence, it is necessary to state that the symptoms of bipolar can be unpredictable and needed to be charted for every patient as this can provide a better treatment condition for the patient (Carvalho, Firth & Vieta, 2020). A patient with bipolar disorder can be very much isolated from their surrounding people and society and it can be possible that these people can be very much connected with others. However, it is necessary to state that the people with bipolar disorder can find it difficult to live without proper support and treatment and the treatment should be lifelong to control the issues of the patient.

The issues of bipolar disorder are very much prevalent among US adults as there are 2.8 per cent of US adults are affected with the disorder (, 2021). Moreover, it has been seen that among the bipolar disorder affected people 2.8 per cent are female and 2.9 per cent male and the prevalence of the disease is mostly found among the age group of 18 to 29 years (, 2021). Hence, it is necessary to acknowledge that the prevalence of the disease is low among US population though the consideration of the treatment and management of the issues of these people should be prioritized as these patients can face different social, professional and other issues. In workplace a bipolar person can face difficulties when in the depressive episode and in the manic episode the patient can be high in energy and others in the workplace cannot cope with the person. Thus, the patient can be isolated in the workplace and it will develop more depression for the patient. Thus, medication and proper counselling for the patient should be considered regularly as this can be positively helpful for the patient and effective as well considering the situation of the patient (Vieta et al., 2018).

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

Healy, D. (2008). Mania: A short history of bipolar disorder. JHU Press.

Mason, B. L., Brown, E. S., & Croarkin, P. E. (2016). Historical Underpinnings of Bipolar Disorder Diagnostic Criteria. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 6(3), 14. (2021). NIMH » Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved 9 October 2021, from

Regier, D. A., Kuhl, E. A., & Kupfer, D. J. (2013). The DSM-5: Classification and criteria changes. Medical assignment World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 12(2), 92–98.

Vieta, E., Salagre, E., Grande, I., Carvalho, A. F., Fernandes, B. S., Berk, M., ... & Suppes, T. (2018). Early intervention in bipolar disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(5), 411-426.


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