PSY 470 Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Essay

PSY 470 Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Essay

PSY 470 Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Essay

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To effectively deal with depressive and bipolar disorders, we must first face reality and acknowledge the mental disorder and the associated problems. Recognizing the illness is owning the fact that life might change forever. Treatment can be very effective and can significantly improve lives for people living with bipolar and their families. Nonetheless, even therapy may not completely correct every symptom or deficiency. To prevent misery in the family, all members must restrain their expectations.  Expecting a person living with bipolar to get well overnight can promote resentment within the family. Similarly, expecting too little can be detrimental to improvement. As a result, significant people in the life of an individual living with bipolar must strike a balance between encouraging independence and giving assistance. People with depression or that are bipolar are not crazy, they are human and deserve to be treated as humans.

Definition, Explanation, and Symptoms of Depressive and Bipolar Disorders

                        Depressive and bipolar disorders are mental health illnesses that lead to severe mood fluctuations, including emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression) (Melinda n.d). Individuals may feel miserable, hopeless and even lose interest in activities when depressed. The same individuals may experience euphoria, be energetic or uncharacteristically irritable when manic. Such mood fluctuations may compromise sleep, energy, performance, decisions, behavior, and the capacity to think effectively. Even though bipolar is untreatable, individuals can manage the symptoms by following a treatment regime. In most incidents, psychotherapy and medications are used to manage bipolar.

The precise cause of bipolar is unidentified, but several aspects may be responsible, including biological variations and genetics (Sood, 2006). Individuals suffering from bipolar seem to possess physical alterations in the brains. The implication of such alterations is still unknown but may, in the end, help isolate causes. Also, bipolar is more prevalent in individuals with first-degree kin suffering from the disorder. Experts are working to locate genes that may be responsible for the mental disorder. However, researchers have identified several risk factors. The first aspect is a close relative with bipolar disorder. Another factor is high stress, including death in the family and distressing incidents (Caspi et al., 2003). The last risk factor is drug and substance abuse. Bipolar is associated with diverse complications. The condition can cause severe problems that touch on every aspect of the individual’s life if it is ignored. Untreated bipolar can lead to drug and substance abuse, mediocre school or work performance, legal or monetary challenges, and broken relationships. Bipolar may also result in suicide, suicidal attempts, or suicidal thoughts. Individuals suffering from bipolar often suffer from other conditions that should be treated together with bipolar. A sample of conditions that can aggravate bipolar is anxiety syndromes, food disorders, attention deficit disorder, alcohol and substance abuse, and physical health complications, including coronary complications and obesity.

Effects of Bipolar on Family/Friends and Life-Changing Events

                        Living with a person living with bipolar disorder can precipitate strain and tension (Mood Disorders Association of BC n.d.). In addition to the challenges of addressing the symptoms of bipolar and their implications, family members and friends usually struggle with guiltiness, fright, ire, and powerlessness. Addressing the high and lows of bipolar can be draining. The moods and behaviors of a person living with bipolar disorder can affect everybody in the family.

The disorder can upset all elements of family life. During a manic incident, family members may have to bear with thoughtless antics, extreme demands, volatile outbursts, and rash decisions (Sood, 2006). When the mania subsides, it is often up to the family and friends to address the consequences. During depressive episodes, family members support the victim, who usually has no energy to take care of themselves or their responsibilities at home or work.

                        People living with bipolar may experience mania and depression, significantly changing their lives (Sood, 2006).  Manic episodes lead to challenges at work, school, social engagements, and relationships. Mania may also elicit a detachment from reality (psychosis) and necessitate hospitalization. Mania may encompass several of these symptoms: unusual restlessness; rise in activity, vigor, or excitement; extreme feelings of wellness and self-assuredness; insomnia, abnormal chattiness; fleeting thoughts; distractibility; and poor decision-making. Depressive episodes encompass adequately extreme symptoms to cause recognizable struggle in daily activities, including school, job, social engagements, or interactions. A depressive incident encompasses five or more of the following symptoms: depressed temperament like feeling miserable; notable lack of interest in nearly all activities; considerable involuntary weight loss or weight gain; restlessness or laid-back demeanor; exhaustion or lack of energy; outlooks of worthlessness; inability to think, concentrate or decide; and obsession with suicide.

Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Treatments

            Psychosocial Treatments for Depressive Disorders

                        Major depressive disorder is among the most prevalent psychiatric disorder witnessed in society and outpatient psychiatric contexts (Kessler, 2003). There is significant proof that depressive disorder can be treated effectively with given targeted psychotherapies. Such therapies include cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy.

Cognitive Therapy

                        This therapy is based on the theory that the perceptions of depressed people are negatively inclined (Sood et al., 2006). This negative inclination is apparent in negative perceptions concerning oneself, the world, and the future. Such negative perceptions are one aspect that has a responsibility in the introduction and sustenance of depressive symptoms. Cognitive therapy encompasses the implementation of behavioral and cognitive strategies. The behavior strategy helps victims participate in activities that offer them joy, while cognitive strategies help them isolate negative perceptions and evaluate their beliefs’ integrity.

            Behavior Therapy

                        This therapy aims to increase the occurrence of joyous activities in a victim’s life (Sood et al., 2006). Behavior therapy is more effective than wait-list monitoring after treatment. It is also superior to psychotherapy, relaxation therapy, and medication. The chances of remission have also been significantly lower in behavior rate than cognitive therapy or interpersonal therapy.

            Interpersonal Therapy

                        This therapy presumes that even though depression is caused by multiple elements interrelating in intricate ways, it is often prompted by complications in three interpersonal areas: role alteration, grief interpersonal shortfalls, and interpersonal disagreements (Sood et al., 2006). In interpersonal therapy, the interpersonal difficulty that prompted the existing depressive incident is dealt with, and the victim is assisted in developing communication and interactive capacities to address it.

Psychosocial Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

                        Various psychosocial treatments have been used to treat bipolar disorder; all these strategies seek to reduce relapse and consequently enhance life quality (SAMHSA n.d.). The treatments mainly concentrate on raising treatment compliance, improving protective elements such as support, and lowering risk related to relapses, such as stress and alcohol. These therapies include cognitive behavior therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, and group psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

                        This therapy constructs mood fluctuations as a function of adverse perception and behavioral configurations (Craighead et al., 2002). These maladaptive configurations are then targeted in treatment. Increased cognitive behavior therapy leads to heightened medication compliance, less hospitalizations, and enhanced social and vocational functioning.

Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy

                        This is a short-lived approach, current-oriented, problem-concentrated personal therapy applied to alleviate symptoms of major depression (Sood et al., 2006). Here, the beginning of a depressive incident is positioned in interpersonal interactions, and existing interpersonal challenges are tackled. IPSRT aims to control the social and circadian rhythms and to regulate mood fluctuations.

Group Psychotherapy

                        Various group techniques have been effective in treating bipolar victims; according to Colom et al. (2003), there are increased periods to relapse of mood fluctuations and reduced re-hospitalization rates among remitted bipolar victims participating in a psycho-training group, compared with victims registered for conventional treatment ( medication only).

There are diverse ways to help depressive and bipolar victims without making them feel like they require assistance. Most individuals suffering from bipolar can steady their moods with suitable interventions, medication, and assistance. Patience, affection, and empathy can be crucial to a bipolar victim’s treatment and recovery. Frequently, merely having a person to speak to raises the victims’ temperament and improves their perspectives and enthusiasm. We can help victims of bipolar by learning what the disorder entails, encouraging the victim to seek professional assistance, showing empathy, and exercising patience.

To help bipolar victims without making them feel helpless, we ought to learn all we can concerning the symptoms and treatment opportunities for bipolar (Mood Disorders Association of BC. n.d.). The more we understand bipolar disorder, the better prepared we are to assist bipolar victims and keep everything in proper perspective. Also, the earlier bipolar disorder is addressed, the better the chances of success; therefore, we must encourage bipolar victims to embrace medical help as soon as possible. Still, we must let bipolar victims understand that we can always be there for them when they need us. Bipolar victims are usually reluctant to seek assistance because they do not want to be perceived as bothersome or burdensome. Therefore, we must remind bipolar victims that we care and are prepared to do anything to assist them. Finally, we must demonstrate patience since improvement takes time, even when the victim is dedicated to getting better. We must not expect a speedy recovery or a lasting treatment. We should bear with the speed of recovery and be ready for obstacles and problems. Managing the disorder is a lifelong affair.


The first step to dealing with depressive and bipolar disorders is embracing reality and accepting the ailment and its challenges. Accepting the disorder is recognizing that things may never be the same again. Treatment can make a significant difference in the lives of bipolar victims and their families. However, even treatment may not address all the symptoms or impairments. To avoid frustrations and resentments, it is critical to harbor realistic prospects. Expecting a lot from a victim can cause serious frustrations. However, expecting nothing much can also thwart victims’ recovery. Therefore, families and friends must balance promoting autonomy and supporting to assist better people living with bipolar.PSY 470 Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Essay























Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H. … & Poulton, R. (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science301(5631), 386-389.

Craighead, W. E., Johnson, B. N., Carey, S., & Dunlop, B. W. (2015). Psychosocial treatments for major depressive disorder.

Gastó, C. (2003). Psychoeducation efficacy in bipolar disorders: beyond compliance enhancement. J Clin Psychiatry64(9), 1101-1105.

Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Koretz, D., Merikangas, K. R. … & Wang, P. S. (2003). The epidemiology of major depressive disorder: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Jama, 289(23), 3095-3105.

Melinda. (n.d.). Bipolar disorder signs and symptoms. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from


Mood Disorders Association of BC. (n.d.). Bipolar disorder: Effects on the family.PSY 470 Depressive and Bipolar Disorders Essay

Retrieved February 11, 2021, from


SAMHSA's national Helpline – 1-800-662-help (4357): SAMHSA – substance abuse and mental health Services Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2021, from

Sood, B. (2006). Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders: What We Know and What We Don’t Know, A Research Agenda for Improving the Mental Health of our Youth. Psychological Medicine36(2), 278.