Aspects of Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition that results in an extraordinary shift in an individual’s activity level, energy, mood, concentration, and ability to perform daily activities. The disease has more severe symptoms than the regular day-to-day ups and downs. People with this disorder suffer poor job performance and damaged relationships (Stovall et al., 2019). In extreme cases, such people are likely to commit suicide. It is not easy to spot bipolar disorder at its onset, but the individuals can be treated to resume their everyday lives once the symptoms are noticed.

The Typical Physical Assessment Findings

People with bipolar disorder exhibit mood episodes, which are different from ordinary mood swings. One of the most common physical assessment findings for this psychiatric condition is pressured speech. According to Harrison et al. (2018), in a manic episode, a person with bipolar disorder will talk excessively and very fast about very many things. On the other hand, in the depressive episode, this client will speak very slowly and forget a lot.

Moreover, these individuals have trouble concentrating because their thoughts are racing; hence, they will often jump from one idea or activity to another, appearing restless and showing clear distractibility. Lastly, people with bipolar disorder behave impulsively and may think they can do a lot of things. For example, some may engage in high-risk behaviors like overspending without considering the possibility of becoming broke (Harrison et al., 2018). These are the typical physical assessment findings for bipolar disorder.

Pathology of Bipolar Disorder

This psychiatric condition has a significant genetic component, although the exact cause is not known yet. In addition, the dysregulation of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which modulate and regulate physiological functions, plays a significant role in developing bipolar disorder (Scaini et al., 2020). Psychosocial factors, such as stressful life events, have also been linked with the condition. Episodes of mania and depression characterize this disorder and may alternate, or when both are present, one always has predominance over the other.

Pharmacotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

Medications can treat acute depressive and manic episodes to balance the mood under the direction of a psychiatrist. The treatment should be continuous, even when the client feels better. Skipping maintenance treatment is likely to trigger minor mood changes, which are likely to explode into major manic or depressive episodes (Morsel et al., 2018). For clients behaving dangerously, the doctor may recommend hospitalization and put them under psychiatric treatment to calm down and stabilize their moods. The choice of pharmacotherapy depends on the history and clinical manifestation of the symptoms. In addition, the extent of side effects and likelihood of adherence determine the mood stabilizer to be chosen.

Care Plan and Interventions

The risk factors for bipolar disorder include impulsivity, manic excitement, and neurological imbalances. The desired outcomes for the plan of care include the patient refraining from provoking others to harm him or her physically, verbalizing control of feelings, displaying nonviolent behavior, and being safe from injury (Shah et al., 2017). The interventions include assessing the client regularly for signs of hyperactivity and increased agitation to prevent the possibility of harm to self and others. Using a calm but firm approach is also a good way of structuring an out-of-control client. Lastly, it is essential to reduce environmental stimuli, for example, by providing a calm environment, to help deescalate manic symptoms.

Patient Education

Initial and ongoing patient education is essential in reducing the symptoms of the disorder. The educational efforts need to be directed to the clients and their families to increase patient compliance and quality of life (Shah et al., 2017). Patient education should include the biology of the disease to promote medical compliance and decrease feelings of guilt. Bipolar disorder clients should be informed on managing and monitoring the condition, the dangers of stressors, and relapses of the disorder as a vital way of creating awareness about bipolar disorder.


Harrison, P. J., Geddes, J. R., & Tunbridge, E. M. (2018). The emerging neurobiology of bipolar disorder. Trends in Neurosciences, 41(1), 18–30. Web.

Morsel, A. M., Morrens, M., & Sabbe, B. (2018). An overview of pharmacotherapy for bipolar I disorder. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 19(3), 203–222. Web.

Scaini, G., Valvassori, S. S., Diaz, A. P., Lima, C. N., Benevenuto, D., Fries, G. R., & Quevedo, J. (2020). Neurobiology of bipolar disorders: A review of genetic components, signaling pathways, biochemical changes, and neuroimaging findings. Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, 42(5), 536-551. Web.

Shah, N., Grover, S., & Rao, G. P. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines for management of bipolar disorder. Indian journal of psychiatry, 59(5), 51–66. Shah, N., Grover, S., & Rao, G. Web.

Stovall, J., Keck, P., & Solomon, D. (2019). Patient education: Bipolar disorder (manic depression) (Beyond the Basics). Web.

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