Bipolar Disorder Patient Education Handout
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Patient Education Handout
About Bipolar Disorder
A person with Bipolar disorder may experience episodes of depression, hypomania or mania and mixed episodes. It mostly starts in adolescence or during early adulthood. Bipolar disorder has a huge impact on a person’s life and their caregivers (Shah et al., 2017). Patients with Bipolar disorder go through educational difficulties, work-related issues and interpersonal problems.
Clinical practice for the management of Bipolar
Assessment and evaluation
The first step is assessing the patient as well as the caregiver. It is important to take a proper history of the patient. Emphasis should be placed on the mental status examination. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder ought to be made based on current diagnostic criteria (Shah et al., 2017). It is important to keep in mind that at the initial stages of the illness, the symptoms can be confusing. Mostly, it takes time to have a proper bipolar diagnosis. When taking the patient’s history it is important to take note of the number of previous episodes. Also, the type of first episode should be recorded. Another factor that one should consider is the predominant polarity of illness and duration as well as severity of the episodes. Also, it is important to note if the patient has suicidal behavior. The assessment needs to include evaluation of comorbid psychiatric as well as medical conditions. A thorough physical assessment should also be carried out. It is important to record in case the patient has taken any medication in the past.
When formulating a treatment plan one should make a decision on the setting of the treatment. Also, it is vital to consider treatments that will be used and areas to focus on (Shah et al., 2017). The medic needs to consult the patient when formulating a treatment plan. The caregivers should also be consulted.
Mostly, patients with bipolar disorder are managed in outpatient. Nevertheless, there are those that may need inpatient care (Shah et al., 2017). Those that are admitted in the inpatient setting are required to be accompanied by family caregivers.
Management of Bipolar disorder
One of the common management of bipolar disorders is the use of mood stabilizers. There are various mood stabilizers. They include lithium which is the oldest mood stabilizer. It is efficient in managing acute episodes of polarity (Ketter, 2015). It also prevents relapse. It is suitable in preventing suicidal thoughts among patients. Another stabilizer that can be used is lamotrigine. It helps in managing bipolar depression and avoiding relapse (Shah et al., 2017). However, a person may have skin rash or toxic epidermal necrolysis. Carbamazepine is another mood stabilizer used in the management of bipolar disorder. It is effective in managing acute bipolar mania. It also helps in preventing relapse.
Additionally, patients can go through a combination of therapy. Evidence shows that when lithium or valporate is combined with antpsychotics in managing acute mania it is more effective (Shah et al., 2017). The approach would help the patient to respond fast to the therapy.
Mainly, the treatment procedure focuses on the patient’s mood. The first step into the treatment is assessing the patient. It helps in understanding the most suitable treatment plan. Moreover, it enables a person to assess whether the patient is suffering from bipolar disorder. The treatment process helps in ensuring that the patient does not have a relapse. Therefore, apart from focusing on what a patient is going through at the moment, it also protects their future.
Ketter, T. A. (2015). Advances in treatment of bipolar disorders. Washington, DC : American
Psychiatric Publishing, a division of American Psychiatric Association
Shah, N., Grover, S., & Rao, G. P. (2017). Clinical Practice Guidelines for Management of
Bipolar Disorder. Indian J Psychiatry, 59(Suppl 1), S51. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.196974.
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