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Sad

Name: Victoria Winter

Age: 21

Disorder: Bipolar Disorder

Description of disorder: Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes. The onset of bipolar symptoms generally occurs in late adolesence or early adulthood. Not everyone's bipolar symptoms are the same, but generally all sufferers experience intermittent abnormally elevated (manic or hypomanic) depressed states that interfer with functioning. Signs of a depressive episode are persistant feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, isolation, and hopelessness; disturbance in sleep, fatigue; social anxiety, irritability, self-loathing, and morbid suicidal ideation. A major depressive episode can last anywhere from at least to weeks to at least six months. During a manic episode, the sufferer may experience pressured speech with racing thoughts, a euphoric feeling, and an increased sex drive, or severe anxiety and severe irritability. During a hypomanic episode, the sufferer may experience hyperactivity, hypersexuality, and poor judgement. A major hypomanic episode can last for years if left untreated. Causes of a bipolar disorder are likely to vary between individuals. Genetics and heritability are very common in bipolar disorders, as are environmental issues.

Has been at LPH for: 1 year

Medicine: Lithium carbonate (for manic episodes), Lamotrigine (antidepressant), Carbamazepine (for manic episodes)

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Background: Victoria was born to Bridget and Duncan Winter, the second born after her older brother, Isaac. She grew up in a normal household and participated in the normal things children her age participated in. It wasn't until Victoria was about ten or eleven that she began to see her mother visibily deteriorate in front of her eyes. Her mother had never had a temper, not that Victoria could see, but it had apparently always been there, tucked away nicely thanks to several medications. For an unknown reason, but most likely because she assumed she was cured, Bridget had stopped taking the medicine that had so wonderfully kept her dark side masked. After countless attempts from Duncan to continue taking them, and over a time-span of a few years, he finally was fed up and packed his kids up and moved. He didn't want Victoria or Isaac to grow up seeing their mother like that, in fear that maybe they would one day act like that. The move happened when Victoria was sixteen and it was very hard on her. She began to act out (dabbling in drugs, sex, etc,.) but her father assumed she was only being rebellious both due to her age and because of the big change he'd forced on her. Little did Duncan know, the bipolar gene was already planted inside Victoria's being, and it would be a downhill battle until she got help. It wasn't until she was eighteen that Duncan began to realize this phase may be a little more severe than just that, a phase. His worst fears were confirmed when he convinced his daughter to see a psychiatrist, the doctor confirming she definitely had bipolar tendancies. It took two more years for Victoria to realize her behavior was unacceptable, after losing job after job and boyfriend after boyfriend, so she took her father up on his offer, wanting to go get help. She's been at LPH ever since.

What you get to decide: Victoria's overall personality (keep her background in mind), odds and ends about her childhood/behaviors, how she's responding to the medicine, how she now feels about her mother and her mother's choices

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