When people begin to notice frequent symptoms of apathy, melancholy, depression in their moods and behavior they often consider these episodes as the results of stressful situations and tensions in their everyday life. When people pay attention to their abnormally energy and happiness they can consider these moods as the results of definite positive emotions.
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These people will be right in the most cases, if such episodes are not severely intensive and interchange each other. Otherwise, these reactions can be the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is the psychological state when people can often experience high moods or mania and depressions which are observed during different periods of time or at the same time.
People with bipolar disorder can be characterized as both highly emotional and greatly depressed because these two opposite states constantly interchange each other in their lives. Thus, the peculiarities of bipolar disorder base on the affective and cognitive components of the personality.
Moreover, physicians determine several stages for the analysis of bipolar disorder. They accentuate two categories of the factors which can cause such a mood disorder as bipolar disorder. These factors are of the biological and psychosocial character (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian).
Biological factors are connected with the genetics and neurology. Thus, people’s severe variations in the mood are the results of definite processes which can be observed in their brains and are conditioned with the genetic components (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian).
Psychosocial factors include the ability to cope with stresses, to perceive the reality and overcome the difficulties, to express definite emotions and interact with other people (Mansell and Pedley). In their study, Lauren Alloy and the group of the researchers focus on the psychosocial context for the development of bipolar disorder as one of the most influential factors.
Thus, “bipolar individuals experience increased stressful events prior to first onset and recurrences of mood episodes”, and “negative life events precede the manic/hypomanic as well as the depressive episodes of bipolar individuals” (Alloy et al. 1047). If the social aspects can influence the development of the symptoms of the illness negatively, there are also social factors which can contribute to the effective treatment of bipolar disorder.
That is why definite support from the patient’s family and his friends can decrease “the deleterious effects of stress or directly enhance functioning among bipolar individuals, whereas high criticism and emotional over involvement (high expressed emotion or EEQ) from family members can provide additional stress and worsen the course of bipolar disorder” (Alloy et al. 1050).
Nevertheless, it is rather difficult to differentiate between the positive results of pleasant events which can influence the effectiveness of the treatment or those which can have the impact on the progress of manic episodes. The causes for the development of manic symptoms are thoroughly studied today.
In their article, Warren Mansell and Rebecca Pedley pay attention to the fact that the development of manic moods is closely associated with the definite level of the psychomotor activation, and it is also caused by the increased processing of the perception of positive or negative information (Mansell and Pedley).
It is rather difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder at the first stages when people are characterized by the high level of productivity, creativity, and sleep disorders. However, in a definite period of time these people can experience the decline of their energy and concentration, negative moods and anxiety (Mansell and Pedley). The states of euphoria and hyperactivity are changed by the depressive moods and even suicidal thoughts.
Nevertheless, there is the discussion about the effects which can have the states of activity, euphoria, and creativity for these people and for the society. There are many facts that some prominent artists and talented personalities suffered from bipolar disorder. Is there the connection between creativity and bipolar disorder?
The researchers accentuate strong “associations between mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder (BD), and creativity, which raises questions regarding possible mechanisms underlying such associations and as to why a potentially life-threatening and debilitating illness such as BD may confer advantages for creative accomplishment” (Srivastava and Ketter 522).
The fact that many famous creative personalities have achieved the great results in their activities can significantly influence the individual opinion on their works and make the public pay more attention to their details. The possibility of such an interesting connection between bipolar disorder and creativity is also widely discussed in literature and movies.
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The main character of the popular movie of 1993 Mr. Jones, starring Richard Gere, suffers from bipolar disorder. The symptoms of this illness are vividly depicted in the picture. Bipolar disorder is characterized by manic-depressive episodes which influence the person’s behavior, moods, and cognition. It is important that this illness affects also the personal self-esteem and his self-perception.
The character performed by Richard Gere is a really charismatic person who attracts the public’s attention and impresses by the provocative behavior. When Mr. Jones experiences the manic episodes he feels the great energy and euphoria, he is powerful and extravagant. In spite of the fact such attitudes to the reality can be characterized for many people who have the highest level of their self-esteem, Mr. Jones is too expressive in his actions and even in his desire to fly. This is the behavior of the ill person, but not an extravagant one.
The evidences of Mr. Jones’s illness become obvious when he experiences depressive episodes which almost destroy his ability to be aware of the reality and its aspects. The audience can observe the peculiarities of the symptoms which are typical for those persons who suffer from bipolar disorder in the depictions of the severe symptoms experienced by Mr. Jones.
His concentration and memory decrease, he is apathetic and loses the interest to his life, nothing can enjoy him. The range of the states from the highest level of happiness and creativity to sadness and confusion is one of the main characteristic features for bipolar disorder.
The manic-depressive disorder is the interesting and important issue for the discussions and analysis because it is connected with such controversial problems as the role of mood disorders and particularly bipolar disorder in the development of people’s creativity and talents, and its association with delusions and hallucinations which can result in the great artistic works (Srivastava and Ketter).
Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian describe the causes and the peculiarities of the bipolar disorder’s treatment in the part of their work about mood disorders and schizophrenia (Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian).
They concentrate on the results of the illness for the person, but they do not pay much attention to the effects which these disorders can have for the society. That is why it is rather interesting to examine the controversial problem from the point of creativity and other positive impacts which this disorder can have.
Bipolar disorder is one of the most discussed mood disorders because its symptoms are characterized by a great range of expressions and effects for the personality who suffers from the disorder and for the society. It is possible to treat the disorder only in connection with the person’s social life and family because this illness is often the result of his or her different psychosocial problems.
Alloy, Lauren B., Abramson, Lyn, Y., Urosevic, Snezana, Walshaw, Patricia D. Nusslock, Robin, and Amy M. Neeren. “The Psychosocial Context of Bipolar Disorder: Environmental, Cognitive, and Developmental Risk Factors”. Clinical Psychology Review 25.8 (2005): 1043-1075. Print.
Mansell, Warren, and Rebecca Pedley. “The Ascent into Mania: A Review of Psychological Processes Associated with the Development of Manic Symptoms”. Clinical Psychology Review 28.3 (2007): 494-520. Print.
Plotnik, Rod, and Haig Kouyoumdjian. Introduction to Psychology. USA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2010. Print.
Srivastava, Shefali, and Terence A. Ketter. “The Link between Bipolar Disorders and Creativity: Evidence from Personality and Temperament Studies”. Current Psychiatry Reports 12.6 (2010): 522-530. Print.