Question

Scenario:
You are the special agent-in-charge of the area field office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) has asked you about a homicide in which a hostage taker took a gas station attendant and two customers hostage. After a brief standoff with negotiators, the hostage taker shot his three hostages and then turned the gun on himself. A surviving family member of the suspect was in contact with the AUSA’s office and related that the hostage taker was suffering from an affect system disorder. The AUSA would like to discuss the concepts of unipolar affect disorder and bipolar affect disorder (BAD). In a meeting set with the AUSA, you will explain the two disorders and why it is likely that they contributed to the deaths of the hostages and hostage taker.

Please respond to the following questions:
What is the difference between unipolar disorder and bipolar disorder?
What is considered to be appropriate treatment for persons suffering from these disorders?
Is the use of pharmaceuticals to treat these disorders enough to return persons into the community to function normally? Why?

Solution Preview

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Bipolar disorder is a mental illness associated with periods of extreme moods and extreme depression, which run concurrently. Once suffering from elevated moods, the patients becomes increasingly social, happy and engages in careless behavior with the intent for short-term gratification. As such, an individual does not asses the consequences of his or her action, but rather focuses on the mood demands. On the contrary, when suffering from depression, an individual depicts social withdrawal, minimum eye contact, and general disinterest. Additionally, the patient acts irrationally with a high possibility of anger and destruction to himself or others. According to Cuellar, Johnson, and Winters (2010), bipolar depression leads to more than 30% of the total suicide case...

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