Bipolar disorder is a unique disorder that causes shifts in mood and energy, which results in depression and mania for clients. Proper diagnosis of this disorder is often a challenge for two reasons: 1) clients often present as depressive or manic, but may have both; and 2) many symptoms of bipolar disorder are similar to other disorders. Misdiagnosis is common, making it essential for you to have a deep understanding of the disorder’s pathophysiology. For this Assignment, as you examine the client case study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with bipolar disorder.
The client is a 26-year-old woman of Korean descent who presents to her first appointment following a 21-day hospitalization for onset of acute mania. She was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder.
Upon arrival in your office, she is quite “busy,” playing with things on your desk and shifting from side to side in her chair. She informs you that “they said I was bipolar, I don’t believe that, do you? I just like to talk, and dance, and sing. Did I tell you that I liked to cook?”
She weights 110 lbs. and is 5’ 5”
Patient reports “fantastic” mood. Reports that she sleeps about 5 hours/night to which she adds “I hate sleep, it’s no fun.”
You reviewed her hospital records and find that she has been medically worked up by a physician who reported her to be in overall good health. Lab studies were all within normal limits. You find that the patient had genetic testing in the hospital (specifically GeneSight testing) as none of the medications that they were treating her with seemed to work.
Genetic testing reveals that she is positive for CYP2D6*10 allele.
Patient confesses that she stopped taking her lithium (which was prescribed in the hospital) since she was discharged two weeks ago.
MENTAL STATUS EXAM
The patient is alert, oriented to person, place, time, and event. She is dressed quite oddly- wearing what appears to be an evening gown to her appointment. Speech is rapid, pressured, tangential. Self-reported mood is euthymic. Affect broad. Patient denies visual or auditory hallucinations, no overt delusional or paranoid thought processes readily apparent. Judgment is grossly intact, but insight is clearly impaired. She is currently denying suicidal or homicidal ideation.
The Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) score is 22
§ Chen, R., Wang, H., Shi, J., Shen, K., & Hu, P. (2015). Cytochrome P450 2D6 genotype affects the pharmacokinetics of controlled-release paroxetine in healthy Chinese subjects: comparison of traditional phenotype and activity score systems. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 71(7), 835-841. doi:10.1007/s00228-015-1855-6
Decision Point One
Select what the PMHNP should do:
Decision Point Three
Select what the PMHNP should do next:
Begin Lithium 300 mg orally BID
RESULTS OF DECISION POINT ONE
Decision Point Two
DECISION POINT TWO
Decision Point Three
Guidance to Student
In this case, the client is having nausea and diarrhea, classic side effects of lithium therapy. Changing the client to an extended release formulation can often prevent these symptoms while at the same time affording the client the benefit of lithium’s mood stabilizing properties. Also, lithium is a good choice for control of mania and has also been shown to decrease risk of suicide, which adds to its overall benefits. Depakote may be an option if changing to sustained release lithium does not alleviate the side effects. Oxcarbazpine (Trileptal) is an option, but is a second line therapy and is not appropriate at this stage as the client has not had an adequate trial of first line agents.
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