A Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Childhood Sexual Abuse

Published: 2021-08-04 13:40:06
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Category: Bipolar Disorder

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Each of these actions may seem completely farfetched to the average person; however, actions similar to these are a reality for nearly 5. 8 million adults in the United States that suffer from an illness called bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder, historically referred to as manic depressive illness, is an umbrella term used to describe cyclic, recurrent, polarizing mood disturbances that range from euphoria, elation, and mania at one pole to irritability, dysphoria, and depression at the other.
This is the case of our client Marya. She suffers from Bipolar 1 which is the worst level of Bipolar disorder. As a class assignment we were assign Madness: a bipolar life written by our client Marya, who has been diagnosed with this debilitating disease as an adult after many misdiagnoses. The focus of this paper will be to understand whether our client Marya was sexually abused as a child. I will be taking the stand of her not being sexually abused as a child and that her symptoms can be explained by her bipolar disorder.
In researching the topic of childhood sexual abused in relation to bipolar disorder there is not enough evidence to support the idea that a child that suffered from sexual abuse will developed bipolar later in life. The symptoms of our client Marya are strictly symptoms of her bipolar 1 disorder. Some symptoms of bipolar 1 include: flying suddenly from one idea to the next, rapid pressured and loud speech, increased energy with hyperactivity, a decreased need for sleep, inflated self-image, excessive spending, hyper sexuality and substance abuse.
According to an article written by David Finkelhor sexual abuse can be defined as sexual contact with a child that occurs under one of three conditions: When a large age or maturational difference exists between the partners, when the partner is in a position of authority over or in a care-taking relationship with the child or when the acts are carried out against the child by using violence or trickery. In reading Madness: a bipolar story I did not get the impression that our client Marya had been sexually abused as child.
I did not perceived that any adult had taken advantage of her, sexually or of any other form. While sexual abuse can be hard to detect, especially in children because the abuse often occurs in secrecy and there is not always any physical evidence of the abuse, some child sexual abuse survivors may show symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may behave in a nervous, upset way and may have nightmares. Another symptom many be reenactment of the abuse in their play time. They mmay show fear and constant worry. Young children may lose skills they once learned and act younger than they are.
For example, an abused child might start wetting the bed or sucking their thumb. Some sexual abuse survivors show out-of-place sexual behaviors that are not expected in a child. They may act seductive or they may not maintain safe limits with others. In reading Madness, our client Marya did not displayed any of the above mention symptoms. As a result of a study from The British Journal of Psychiatry named Impact of childhood abuse on the clinical course of bipolar disorder. The study was conducted with a sample of a 100 patients at an academic specialty centre for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
The research found that a history of severe childhood abuse is to be found in approximately half of adults with bipolar disorder with multiple forms of having occurred in about a third. Distinct negative impacts on clinical outcome were associated with childhood physical, sexual or emotional abuse histories, with evidence suggesting more extensive suicidality, rapid cycling and possibly comorbid substance misuse associated with multiple forms of childhood abuse. This study helped me come to the conclusion that Marya was not sexually abuse as a child.
In my opinion since the study suggest that only half of the 100 people showed symptoms of severe childhood and sexual abuse was included within this half it is not enough evidence to conclude that our client Marya has been sexually abused. While child sexual abuse survivors may show symptoms of PTSD as well as symptoms that may include anxiety, low self esteem, difficulty setting safe limits with others and relationship problems. Survivors may have bad dreams. They may act out aspects of the abuse in their play. They might show other fears and worries.
Young children may lose skills they once learned and act younger than they are. For example, an abused child might start wetting the bed or sucking his or her thumb. Some sexual abuse survivors show out-of-place sexual behaviors that are not expected in a child. Sexual abuse can be very confusing for children. For a child, it often involves being used or hurt by a trusted adult. The child might learn that the only way to get attention or love is to give something sexual or give up their self-respect. Some children believe the abuse is their fault somehow.
They may think the abuser chose them because they must have wanted it or because there is something wrong with them. Marya had childhood that in my opinion was different than most children, like for an example when at the age of four she described that she could not fall asleep due to a goat being in her room. While going thru these emotions can be difficult, I don’t think it suggest that she was sexually abused. Marya family from her father side appeared to have a history of mental illness which leads me to the understanding that her bipolar is hereditary.
And that her symptoms manifest as a result of her illness and not as victim of child sexual abuse. I took the stand of our client Mary not being sexually abused as child, it is important to understand the study of bipolar disorder because it is more common than most people think. Many people often joke with friends and family about the possibility of having this disorder but it is an illness that should not be overlooked or ignored. Many adolescents find themselves happy one day and angry the next.
This common change of emotion is a characteristic of bipolar disorder, leading to the drastic fluctuation of emotions. After observing how serious bipolar disorder is and the negative effects it can have one’s life and the lives of those around them, hopefully others will understand the complexity of this devastating sickness. References Garno, Jessica L. , Joseph F. Goldberg, Paul Michael Ramirez, and Barry A. Ritzler . “Impact of childhood abuse on the clinical course of bipolar disorder. ” (2005): n. page. Web. 9 Feb. Hornbacher, Marya. Madness: A Bipolar Life.
Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008. Print. 2013. Ogata , Susan N. Ph. D , Kenneth R. M. D. Silk , Sonya Ph. D Goodrich , Naomi E. Ph. D. Lohr , Drew Ph. D. Westen , and Elizabeth M. Ph. D. Hill . “Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse in Adult Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder. ” American Journal of Psychiatry. (1990): 147:8. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. Sonne , Sonne C. , Sonne C. PharmD , and kathleen T. M. D. Ph. D. Brady . “Understanding the impact of alcohol on human health and well-being . ” National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism . n. page. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.

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