Change in Direction- Brandon

After my first blog post I was excited about the semester but also a little concerned with how to approach research. I felt that my research question, “How does bipolar disorder affect social interactions?” was limiting as the goal of my independent project was to get an understanding of bipolar disorder as a whole. I expressed my concerns to Teacher Kiara and earlier this week she sent Lily and me a couple case studies to review.

The first, Social functioning in bipolar patients: the perception and perspective of patients, relatives and advocacy organizations- a review opened my eyes to the severity of bipolar disorder. Ninety percent of people with bipolar disorder have recurrent symptoms. Of those people, between twenty-five to fifty percent attempt to take their own lives with fifteen percent of them unfortunately, being successful in their attempt. My father never seemed suicidal however he easily could have been in the close to fifty percent of people who attempt to take their own lives every year. This study showed me how necessary proper treatment is for those suffering from not just bipolar disorder but any mental illness.


The second case study, Cultural Aspects of Bipolar Disorder: Interpersonal Meaning for Clients & Psychiatric Nurses had many parallels with my own life. I come from a traditional Korean family who knew almost nothing about mental illness. My grandparents and aunts loved my father however, they never understood why my father acted the way he did. He was a law school graduate and to them it seemed like he was wasting his potential by lying in bed all day. My family would have been able to better support my father if they were informed about his illness in a way that was relatable to them. I am defiantly going to further explore cultural perceptions of mental illness and will possibly include a few questions about it on the survey Lily and I will create at the end of the semester.


I met with Lily and Teacher Kiara on Friday and we after discussing the articles, we decided to broaden the scope of our research project. As it stands now, Lily and I will research the following:

  • What is bipolar?
  • Stigmas
  • Familial and peer social relationship/ perceptions
  • Education
  • Symptoms over time
  • Diagnosis/ intervention/ current treatments
  • Suggestions/ What can be done?

I am much more confident in how this semester will go now that we have a game plan and am looking forward to delving into these topics.

Works Cited:

“Culture: The Meaning, Characteristics, and Functions.” YourArticleLibrarycom The Next Generation Library. N.p., 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.

“Mental Health Awareness Month.” Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (Formerly NARSAD). N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.

2 thoughts on “Change in Direction- Brandon

  1. randyhimself

    I really like the research topics you and Lily are delving into. They are very comprehensive and strategic that will ultimately help you to find out what more can we do to actually help the people with bipolar disorder, both physiologically and psychologically.

  2. lwhochbe

    Bipolar disorder is a fascinating concept; something that not even experts understand, but I appreciate that you’re approaching this head on with real evidence from case studies, which can provide the most realistic perspective (given that mental illness is nearly impossible to capture in words). Next time, I would love to see a little more information on what you learned from the case studies. Your connection to it is fascinating (albeit tragic), but from an objective perspective, how did it inform your research? What did you learn from them about mental illness that you didn’t know before?


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