Bipolar disorder is one of the most bizarre mental health illnesses that I have so far come across with. The extreme moods and emotional rollercoaster that the person with bipolar disorder experiences is intense and have profound consequences in terms of the persons ability to function normally. The most interesting part about bipolar disorder for me is that human emotions like joy and sadness are normal emotions that all people experience at some point in their lives and how these seemingly normal emotions can be manifested as a disease is perplexing. Bipolar patients also have a violent streak in them and most often people who have bipolar go undetected and undiagnosed until late in life. The only clue to the possibility of being a bipolar is the inability to sustain relationships, jobs and extreme depression, anxiety, ecstatic or talking fast using word salad (Judd & Akiskal, 2005).
Bipolar disorder has been found to be linked to the brain and that the extreme moods are brought about by the lack of hormones that regulate or excite the body to elicit happiness, joy or sorrow and sometimes an excess in the hormones would lead to longer feelings of euphoria or depression.What has been known about bipolar disorder has been limited into determining its cause, symptoms and treatment. Although most bipolar patients exist on medication to control their emotions and moods, there is room for alternative methods of therapy that would yield the same results at lower risks of side effects to the body. Conducting a research into the study of bipolar disorder can help the scholar-practitioner in developing his/her research skills as well as furthering the knowledge base of mental illnesses, psychotherapy and theoretical conceptualizations of bipolar disorders (Daley & Moss, 2002). A scholar-practitioner involved in counseling and therapeutic relationships need to be refreshed on the art of research and observations.
Psychology is a helping profession and most scholar-practitioners aim to effect social change. Social change is a movement and a process of change, and this is propagated by people who want to see change and growth for the better, for example, changing couples views about traditional husband and wife roles can start within a small group or within family therapy, later one it will become widely accepted and hence the social expectations traditionally ascribed to being a husband or a wife has been changed. A scholar-practitioner can effect change through research, finding what approaches work better, testing assumptions and hypothesis and associations and by exploring experiences and feelings and attitudes (Leahy, 2004). The scholar-practitioner needs to be actively engaged in the research process as it enriches his/her practice while it also leads to practical applications within his/her professional practice.Research is a life skill, it is a skill that can be studied and mastered, and to be put to good use as the need arises.
Research teaches us how to be creative, to think out of the box and to be curious and find answers to our queries. Research also practices our problem solving skills using the scientific method, and it builds in us a discipline of academic rigors and the integrity of using the soundest and honest scientific tools and approaches. Research can also have everyday use, facing the problem of what restaurant to go to for dinner, the wife reaches for the address book and calls all their favorite restaurants, the process of which had already been research, to take the step further, the wife goes to the restaurants and asks for a menu sampling, which is again part of gathering information. Judgments and decisions are made because of existing information and without research skills to weed out the truth and the lies then we may be fooled into believing that what has been accepted will always be true.