Topic: Bipolar Disorder Awareness
General Purpose: To inform
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience of the symptoms and treatments of bipolar disorder
Preview/ Thematic Statement: Bipolar disorder is a disease characterized by extreme mood swings. It is
also known as manic depression.
I. Do you remember first coming to college? Leaving your friends, moving away from home, adjusting
to a new environment and new people. Now imagine making this adjustment with a dehabilitating
social disorder. Let’s take it one step further. Imagine living your whole life and not knowing you
have this setback until you’re all alone at college. (PAUSE)
II. That’s what my brother, Eugene, had to deal with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder his
sophomore year of college. All of his life, he was told he was hyperactive or simply a bad kid. After
high school, he moved to Michigan to attend Kettering University where he seemed happy and well-
adjusted. During fall of his sophomore year, he suddenly decided to move back home. After
complaining of having panic attacks, he went to see a doctor. Soon after, he was diagnosed with
bipolar disorder at 19 years old.
III. Bipolar disorder is a disease characterized by extreme mood swings. It is also known as manic
IV. Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood from mania to depression
A. "Manic" describes an increasingly restless, energetic, and reckless period. It is also
characterized by lavish spending sprees or impulsive risky behavior.
B. “Depression" describes the opposite mood -- sadness, crying, sense of worthlessness, loss of
energy, and sleep problems.
C. Looking back, I can recognize these symptoms in my brothers behavior.
1. When he would have a manic mood swing, he would spend a lot of money on a
certain project. A week later he would be out looking to spend money on something
newer and better.
2. When he would go through his depressed mood swing, he would often have trouble
sleeping and would lose weight because he would have a decreased appetite.
V. While the causes of Bipolar Disorder are still unknown, the symptoms are thought to be triggered by
an imbalance of some key chemicals in the brain.
VI. There are several types of bipolar disorder; all involve episodes of depression and mania to a
degree. They include bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, mixed bipolar, and rapid-cycling
A. The most common form of bipolar disorder is bipolar 1.
1. It is characterized by 1 or more manic or mixed episodes a year.
2. It is the most severe form of the illness marked by extreme manic episodes.
VII. It has been found that nearly 7 of every 10 people with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed at least
A. The average length of time from a person’s first bipolar symptoms to correct diagnosis and
treatment is 10 years.
B. One of the reasons for this is that many people don’t report all of their symptoms
VIII. The best treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and counseling.
A. Although drug treatment is primary, ongoing psychotherapy is important to help patients
better cope with the condition.
IX. Since my brother was diagnosed, he has been on medication to help control his mood swings.
Bipolar Disorder is not something that defines him. Rather it is just another part of who he is.
Simon, Harvey. HealthCentral.com. Harvard Medical School, 2009. Web. 8 Oct. 2009.
Mayo Clinic. "Bipolar Disorder." MayoClinic.com. The Mayo Clinic, 4 Jan. 2008. Web. 8 Oct. 2009.
Web MD. "Bipolar Disorder." WebMD.com. N.p., 2009. Web. 8 Oct. 2009. <http://www.webmd.com/