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Case Study: Bipolar I Disorder

The client reports that she is not considering or having any suicidal thoughts and does not want to be hospitalized. She stated that she knows what is happening to her and she also knows that it will pass. Despite this seeming awareness she continues to be unable to function and perform daily activities. She spends her days either in bed or on the couch, smoking cigarettes and drinking soda, or on the phone while painting "wild colors" on the walls to re-decorate. The house is unclean as are the children. The oldest child is eight and has been preparing limited meals for the past two weeks.

Bipolar I was found to rank sixth as the leading cause of disability for individuals ages 15 years to 44 years in the last decade. Diagnosis and treatment continue to remain a complex issue. The disorder frequently is undetected or misdiagnosed and it is often times inadequately treated. Lithium remains a valuable pharmacological treatment but other medications are now being used along with adjunctive treatments such as psychosocial interventions.

Bipolar disorders include Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymia, and Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Bipolar I Disorder has a clinical course that is characterized with one or more Manic Episodes or Mixed Episodes (mania and depression). Thus for a


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