Therapy for Patients With Bipolar Disorders

Marcus, an 18-year-old high school senior, presents with symptoms of difficulty sleeping and feeling sad, which result in an initial diagnosis of depression. His mother later reports, however, that Marcus exhibits symptoms of irritability and risk-taking behaviors. (His little brother reported to his mother that they were driving over 90 miles an hour on the highway.) After further evaluation, Marcus’ psychiatric nurse practitioner diagnoses him with bipolar disorder.

Cases like this are not uncommon with bipolar disorder, as initial assessments rarely provide all the information needed. In your role, as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you must develop strategies for properly assessing and diagnosing these patients because treatments for bipolar disorder are significantly different than treatments for depression or other mood disorders.

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This week, as you examine bipolar therapies, you explore the assessment and treatment of patients with bipolar disorder. You also consider ethical and legal implications of these therapies.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

· Assess patient factors and history to develop personalized plans of bipolar therapy for patients

· Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in patients requiring bipolar therapy

· Synthesize knowledge of providing care to patients presenting for bipolar therapy

· Analyze ethical and legal implications related to prescribing bipolar therapy to patients across the life span