Bipolar Disorder and Its Impact on Modern Society


In recent years, the world has witnessed an escalation in the prevalence of mental illnesses among different populations, including children. This has evoked concerns about society’s well-being as the condition adversely affects people’s health. Individuals with mental illnesses experience poor quality of life and low work productivity leading to higher societal indirect costs. This paper seeks to analyze bipolar disorder, citing its impact on modern society while highlighting the functionalism perspective of mental illness. (Sax, 2015)

Bipolar Disorder and Its Impact On Modern Society

Bipolar Disorder and Its Impact On Modern Society

In this scenario, the individual has a different manifestation of feelings. On the left side, he is seen to be stressed, irritated, sad and hopeless, while on the right side, he is happy, self-motivated and confident. These mood variations shows that the individual has bipolar disorder. In bipolar disorder, the patients often experience episodes of depression and euphoria which causes the mood swings. In times of depression, they experience feelings of sadness and hopelessness, which makes them lose interest or pleasure in the activities they do. This condition affects the individual’s depressed mood on thinking and happiness, impairs the ability to solve problems, ruins his interests and erodes social relationship. On the other hand, when they experience euphoria their mood switches to high feelings of happiness, extreme strengths and increased interest in their activities. The elevated euphoria enhances happiness, models instrumental behaviour and promotes the individual’s social support.

Historically bipolar disorder is dated back to the historical times of Hippocrates, who was the first physician to document two extreme moods, feeling too low and extremely energized and excited. Similarly, Aristaeus of Cappadocia is a historical figure in the background of bipolar (Nelson, 2020). He was the first to express the mood spectrum and associated it with the problem of the brain. From this point, the disease derived its name as bipolar disorder. Consequently, in the case study conducted by the Pondicherry Journal of Nursing. A 16-year-old patient was admitted with symptoms of mood swings. The patient experienced elevated mood swings where he could be highly motivated to read and perform domestic work with high agility (Deepika, 2019). However, on various occasions he experienced bitterness, lack of social interaction, sadness, and hopelessness. When the doctors examined him, he was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder. This gives a reflective picture on the analysis of the photo presented in this paper.

Bipolar diseases have various effects on the contemporary world. First, it impairs social work and relationships between the patients and the community (Kato et al., 2021). During the episodes of depression, bipolar patients have negative mood swings of sadness and hopelessness, and therefore this limits and erodes their social participation and support in the community. Consequently, the disease adversely affects contemporary productivity since bipolar patients are not employed in various industries due to their health condition, leading to low productivity. Additionally, the disease is associated with high cases of suicide and increased cost of treatment (Kato et al., 2021). This creates a burden and additional indirect costs to the governments and societies since they are forced to allocate additional resources to manage the disease.

According to the structural-functionalism idea, society is a complex system whose components interact to shape its existence. Norms, practices, and traditions, according to the notion, are organs of society that reflect its workings and patterns (O’Reilly & Lester, 2017). In terms of health and medicine, structural functionalism captures the interaction of the various systems that make up a healthy healthcare system. Ethics, religion, and societal values all work together in this regard to build good conduct rules in health and medicine. The theory also suggests that society and the healthcare system work together to improve patient care quality (O’Reilly & Lester, 2017). Culture and religion, for example, determine the types of healthcare interventions that the community gets.

In this way, the theory views impairment of social relationships and support for bipolar patients as a weakness in society. According to the theory, when the society experiences a rapid change, it diverts into a state of normless lifestyle where efforts are disintegrated, creating a weak the social order with mixed objectives (O’Reilly & Lester, 2017). The theory outlines that the increased prevalence in the mental disorders like bipolar shows that the cultural and religious leaders have failed to suggest joint interventions to manage the spread and impacts of the disease. It asserts that the emotions that are not influenced by the motives of individuals through cultural and religious guidance, do not undergo a qualitative change. Instead, they create weaknesses that influence bad decisions among people, especially those with mental illnesses.

Consequently, it describes mental illness suicides as anomic perversity caused by the lack of collective conscience by the society to enhance the stability and wellbeing of its members. It explains that patients with mental illnesses like bipolar, require social support from the different social structures of society. When society fails to combine the efforts to care for them, they lose their social bonds and find themselves lost in tough situations (O’Reilly & Lester, 2017). As a result, they will not feel as part of that particular society and would chose to commit suicide to end their physical suffering.


In conclusion, mental health disorders have been a major challenge in today’s world, and their impacts are riveting. With scenarios of suicide and impaired social relationships witnessed in the case of bipolar, modern society should find ways to integrate rules and regulations that ensure active corporation and development among members. The society should encourage teamwork and team development, and in this way, early childhood traumas that develop into severe mental illnesses like bipolar can be significantly reduced.


Deepika, K. (2019). Case report on bipolar affective disorder: Mania with psychotic symptoms. Pondicherry Journal of Nursing.

Kato, T., Baba, K., Guo, W., Chen, Y., & Nosaka, T. (2021). Impact of bipolar disorder on health-related quality of life and work productivity: Estimates from the national health and wellness survey in Japan. Journal of Affective Disorders, 295, 203-214.

Nelson, A. (2020). The history of bipolar disorder. WebMD.

O’Reilly, M., & Lester, J. N. (2017). Examining mental health through social constructionism: The language of mental health. Springer.

Sax, J. (2015). Bipolar disorder [photograph]. Flickr.

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