AP Psychology : Bipolar Disorder

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Bipolar Disorder

What is the difference between bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder?

Possible Answers:

In bipolar I disorder, a person will experience full manic episdoes; in bipolar II disorder, a person will experience only mild manic episodes

In bipolar I disorder, a person will experience full depressive episodes; in bipolar II disorder, a person will experience only mild depressive episodes

Bipolar I disorder is a diagnosis given to adults, whereas bipolar II disorder is a diagnosis given to children and adolescents

None of the other answers

Bipolar I disorder has symptoms that last more than two years, whereas bipolar II disorder has symptoms that dissipate before the two-year mark

Correct answer:

In bipolar I disorder, a person will experience full manic episdoes; in bipolar II disorder, a person will experience only mild manic episodes

Explanation:

Bipolar I disorder is classified as a type of bipolar disorder that is marked by full manic and major depressive episodes.

Bipolar II disorder is classified as a type of bipolar disorder that is marked by mild manic and major depressive episodes.

Example Question #2 : Bipolar Disorder

In bipolar disorders, individuals exhibit signs of mania and depression. Which of the following answers is not a symptom of mania?

Possible Answers:

Poor judgement, planning, and foresight about the potential consequences of their actions

Feelings of remarkable energy

Feelings of euphoria and joy that are out of proportion to the actual happenings in a person's life

All of these answers are symptoms of mania

Decreased desire to and need for sleep

Correct answer:

All of these answers are symptoms of mania

Explanation:

People experiencing mania swing to the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of symptoms from people experiencing depression. Those in a manic state typically experience dramatic and inappropriate rises in mood and activity. These symptoms span all areas of functioning—emotional, motivational, behavioral, cognitive, and physical. A person in a manic state has powerful emotions of euphoric joy. This intense euphoria drives them to want constant excitement, be very active, act flamboyantly, make hasty and impulsive decisions, experience feelings of inflated self-esteem, and remain active even when getting very little sleep.

Example Question #1 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following is a difference between a manic episode and a hypomanic episode?

Possible Answers:

A hypomanic episode is not severe enough to require inpatient hospitalization

A hypomanic episode has more depressive symptoms than a manic episode

Hypomanic episodes do not happen to people with bipolar disorder, while manic episodes do

Hypomanic episodes only occur in children and adolescents

A hypomanic episode lasts longer than a manic episode

Correct answer:

A hypomanic episode is not severe enough to require inpatient hospitalization

Explanation:

A hypomanic episode is a period of persistently elevated or irritable mood that lasts for at least four days. This episode is markedly different from the person's usual mood, and it is not severe enough to cause occupational hazards or require hospitalization.

Example Question #4 : Bipolar Disorder

How many manic or depressive episodes do those with rapid cycling bipolar disorder experience in one year?

Possible Answers:

At least 20

At least 2

At least 50

At least 10

At least 4

Correct answer:

At least 4

Explanation:

Those with rapid cycling bipolar disorder are classified as such when they have at least four manic or depressive episodes in one year.

Example Question #5 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following best describes the symptoms of Bipolar II Disorder?

Possible Answers:

At least seven episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed states, all within a year.

Manic episodes that last at least a week, usually alternating with depressive episodes of 2 weeks or more

Six or more episodes of mania within two years

A pattern of depressive episodes with some hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic episodes

Four or more episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania within one year

Correct answer:

A pattern of depressive episodes with some hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic episodes

Explanation:

Bipolar disorder has several sub-types. Bipolar I is defined by manic episodes that last at least a week, typically alternating with episodes lasting at least 2 weeks. Bipolar II disorder is characterized by a pattern of depressive episodes with some hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic episodes. Four or more episodes of depression, mania, or hypomania, all within one year, is called rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Alternating episodes of depression and hypomania that last at least 2 years (but do not meet criteria for Bipolar I) is known as cyclothymic disorder. 

Example Question #2 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following options is NOT true about bipolar disorder?

Possible Answers:

People with bipolar disorder experience both depressed and manic episodes.

None of these

A bipolar person's depressed episodes may be very similar to the experiences of a person suffering from unipolar depression.

While some people with bipolar disorder will feel invincible during a manic episode, others may feel anxious.

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

People with bipolar disorder experience both depressed and manic episodes, which can be variable in severity and managed in many ways. Bipolar I is characterized by extreme episodes of both mania and depression. Bipolar II is characterized by episodes of hypomania and severe depression.

Example Question #7 : Bipolar Disorder

A patient diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder without any comorbid diagnoses is most likely to be prescribed __________.

Possible Answers:

A hallucinogen

An opiate

A mood stabilizer

An antipsychotic

A tranquilizer

Correct answer:

A mood stabilizer

Explanation:

Mood stabilizers are effective in stabilizing patients experiencing a manic period, and in maintaining symptom remission when the manic period has ended. While antipsychotic medication can also be prescribed to quell psychotic symptoms (e.g. hallucinations) that may occur in manic periods it is not the most common course of treatment.

Example Question #8 : Bipolar Disorder

Jenna's parents have noticed that she has frequent mood swings. At one moment, she will be energetic and cheerful, but then later for no apparent reason she will be gloomy and depressed. She will often alternate between episodes of each throughout the week. Her parents are concerned that she may likely have which psychological disorder?

Possible Answers:

Bipolar Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Disassociative Fugue

Disassociative Identity Disorder

Schizophrenia

Correct answer:

Bipolar Disorder

Explanation:

Bipolar Disorder is the disorder in which someone alternates between episodes of mania and depression. Schizophrenia refers to a category of disorders involving delusional thoughts, paranoia, distorted thinking, hallucinations, and more. Generalized Anxiety Disorder refers to a condition in which the person suffers from constant, low-level anxiety. Disassociative Identity Disorder is a rare disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct, alternating personas. Disassociative Fugue is a condition in which one finds themselves in what they perceive to be an unfamiliar environment when in reality it is not.

Example Question #3 : Bipolar Disorder

Which of the following is most likely to happen during a manic episode?

Possible Answers:

Increased need for sleep

Decreased speed of speech

Lowered self esteem

Lack of sexual drive

Increased risk taking

Correct answer:

Increased risk taking

Explanation:

A manic episode is one of the two elements of bipolar disorder (the other being depression) and it is characterized by heightened arousal and goal-oriented actions, including increased risk taking. Other symptoms of a manic episode include inflated self esteem, increased sex drive, increased speed of speech, and decreased need for sleep. 

Example Question #4 : Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder entails both mania and depression, rotating in cycles. There are different types of cycling-- what is "cyclothymia"?

Possible Answers:

Rapid cycling back and forth

Dysthmia lasting for years at a time before mania

Depression and mania experienced at the same time

The cycle between dysthmia (mild depression) and hypomania

Correct answer:

The cycle between dysthmia (mild depression) and hypomania

Explanation:

Dysthemia (mild-grade depression) and hypomania (which is not as drastic as some other frank mania experiences) can cycle back and forth in "cyclothymia."

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