For the greater part of history, mental disorders was considered to be supernatural and the work of evil spirits. Fortunately, times have moved on and we now know, that this is not the case, but there are still many misconceptions surrounding them.
A mental illness is just that-an illness, that is no more the fault of the sufferer than a broken leg. Many people do not realise this-I know I didn't, and so sufferers are faced with scorn and disgust, not the love and empathy that is deserved and much needed. Mental disorders are not understood, so are feared and rejected in society. I hope to clear up the misunderstanding.
Mental disorders fall into two categories:
Bipolar disorder is the medical name for the more commonly know manic depressive disorder. It is a brain disorder that disrupts life via unusual and abnormal shifts in mood, energy and functioning, in the form of episodes of mania and depression. This is a serious disorder and is much more serious than it sounds. It is thought that up to 25% of the population will suffer from bouts of depression, some time in their lifetime but for a minority, it is not simply a case of cheering themselves up to get better. As little is known about this disease, many sufferers can go through their whole life without realising that they do infact have a disease and not just everyday "ups and downs".
Although a minority of sufferers - about 1-2% of the population suffer from this, each and every one of the statistics is a real person and I hope to show you what a dreadful and dangerous this disorder is.
Bipolar disorder typically develops in adolescence and early adulthood but can be present through early childhood and it is becoming greatly recognized. Doctors were wary of diagnosing in early childhood but it is becoming more acceptable to society. Bipolar can affect anyone but most studies show that women are more at risk.
Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) a
psychiatrist, born in Neustrelitz, established
the categories of manic depressive
psychosis. Emil was the first to distinguish
the difference between bipolar and schizophrenia. He is a very important figure in the history of this disease as up until his theory, Bipolar was still thought of as work of demons.
The bipolar categories are: