Education

Children with Down Syndrome have federal laws protecting their rights to have an education in the public school systems just like everyone else from preschool age to age 21. Their cognitive and physical development is delayed, in most cases, wether it be mild to severe, but like all children they learn at their own pace. Inclusion in the classroom is no longer rare in the United States, in fact it is seen all over and is very popular in the school systems today. The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome website states that inclusion is the practice of welcoming, valuing, empowering and supporting diverse academic and social learning among students of all abilities. Inclusion in the classroom does not end at age 21 for children with Down Syndrome though, college is still an option. Here is a video of a young man who got accepted into college.

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Common Misconceptions

Here are some common misconceptions about Bipolar Disorder!!

 

INDIVIDUALS CAUSE THEIR DISORDER: bipolar disorder is actually caused by genetic, biological, and environmental factors so therefore people can not cause themselves to have bipolar disorder.

YOU CAN WILL YOURSELF OUT OF MOOD SWINGS: people who suffer from bipolar disorder will not grow out of it nor can they fix it themselves. Bipolar disorder requires medical treatment and psychotherapy.

YOU’LL NEVER BE NORMAL: although people who suffer from bipolar disorder may have to becomes adjusted to certain changes that others do not, bipolar disorder doesn’t have to stop them from achieving their dreams.

BIPOLAR IS EASY TO DIAGNOSE: it is actually very difficult for an individual to diagnose themselves with bipolar disorder. It is very difficult to be objective about ourselves. We may think that we are having clever and confidant ideas about a business venture but in reality we are suffering from  grandiose and manic behavior.

MEDICAL TREATMENT IS WORSE THAN THE DISORDER: some people are afraid of medication but you don’t get hooked on it like you would a street drug and medication is key for treating bipolar disorder.

 

Cyclothymic Disorder

What is it?

Cyclothymic disorder is referred to as a mild form of bipolar disorder. With cyclothymic disorder, an individual has low-grade high periods called hypomanias and small periods of depression that don’t last as long (less than 2 weeks at a time) as in a major depressive episode. The hypomanias in cyclothymic disorder are similar to those seen in bipolar II disorder, and do not progress to full-blown manias. For example, you may feel an exaggerated sense of productivity or power, but you don’t lose connection with reality. In fact, some people feel the “highs” of cyclothymic disorder are even enjoyable. They tend to not be as disabling as they are with bipolar disorder.

Up to 1% of the U.S. population has cyclothymia and it is not more common in either gender. Its cause is unknown, but genetics may play a role. Cyclothymia is more common in people with relatives who have bipolar disorder. Symptoms usually appear in adolescence or young adulthood. But because symptoms are mild, it is often difficult to tell when cyclothymia begins.

Symptoms

A diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder may result from simply describing symptoms like:

  • Episodes that involve brief, recurrent periods of depression and, at other times, episodes of hypomania; like dysthymic disorder, symptoms must occur for at least 2 years.
  • Symptoms that persist, creating fewer than 2 symptom-free months in a row.

The episodes of cyclothymic disorder are often somewhat unpredictable. Either depression or hypomania can last for days or weeks, interspersed with a month or two of normal moods. Or, you may have no “normal” periods in between. In some cases, cyclothymic disorder progresses into bipolar disorder.

Treatment

Some people with mild symptoms of cyclothymia are able to live successful, fulfilling lives. Others find their relationships troubled by depression, impulsive actions, and strong emotions. For these people, short-term medications may bring relief. However, cyclothymic disorder may not respond as well to medications as does bipolar disorder. A combination of mood stabilizers and psychotherapy is most effective.