Bipolar is a mental disorder that consists of two very distinctive personality traits that a person who has this disorder displays. There are two bipolar diagnoses, bipolar 1 disorder and bipolar 2 disorders. In my first article is discusses the differences between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 as well the overall treatment of bipolar. It states “Bipolar 1 disorder is characterized by mood swings and patients experience one or more episodes of full mania. Mania is intense and may last for at least a week. Episodes of depression are also present and may last for up to two weeks” (“Bipolar Disorder: Implications for Nursing Practice”, 2017). ‘Bipolar II Disorder is characterized by episodes of hypomania and depression. Hypomania is less intense than full mania. BIID patients experience at least one depression episode and episodes of hypomania, but never a full manic episode.” (“Bipolar Disorder: Implications for Nursing Practice”, 2017).
Bipolar “previously known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder is a chronic, persistent and complex illness which causes episodic changes in a person’s mood, energy levels, behaviors and thinking.” (“Bipolar Disorder: Implications for Nursing Practice”, 2017). The person will go through stages of Mania and Hypomania, which these stages can last days to even months at a time and the person affected may experience thoughts of suicide during these stages.
A patient with bipolar may suffer from Impaired Social Interaction related to Disturbed thought processes evidenced by Increase of manic behaviors when the client is in a highly stimulating environment and or Risk for Injury related to Biochemical and neurologic imbalances as evidence by impaired judgment . For nursing it is important to recognize in a patient if they are showing signs of bipolar disorder or if the patient has another mental disease such as depression when they are in fact experiencing hypomania instead. It is important that a nurse be able to recognize the differences between the two disorders so the patient can be treated properly. The nurse should examine the patient physically as well as look at past medical history to eliminate other diseases that may cause changes in the patient’s mood as well as looking at their social and economical status to determine if the patient is experiencing outside influences that are causing the patient to go through changes of mood.
It is very crucial that the nurse spend time with the patient and be able to recognize the differences between the two different disorders. My second article again dives into the differences between bipolar 1 and two but does so in more detail while discussing how bipolar 1 can be distinguished from other illnesses. In bipolar 1 the mania stage is far more severe and during this state it is very difficult to direct the patient to a more calm state. During this stage the patient can make rash and irrational decisions that may have consequences such as “spending large amounts of money that they can’t afford to spend. They may also engage in high-risk behaviors, such as sexual indiscretions despite being in a committed relationship.” (Bipolar 1 Disorder and Bipolar 2 Disorder: What Are the Differences, 2016). Patients with mania may also experience psychosis such as seeing hallucinations and this could also cause the patient to act irrationally. This is why it is crucial for a nurse, as part of their care plan, to monitor the patient, recognize symptoms that reveal irregularity in a patient with bipolar so that the nurse can intervene and protect the patient from harming themselves or others.
With proper treatment and the patient’s ability to adhere to the medications and treatment plans made for them, they can lead normal productive lives. With bipolar patients may need a combination of different kinds of medications as well as the use of psychotherapy or also known
as talk therapy in order to control their mood swings and be able to function normally without the interference of bipolar. Although, even with treatment, using mood stabilizers and therapy patients may still experience symptoms of the disorder since bipolar is a lifelong illness and cannot be cured it is important that nurses teach patients to recognize these symptoms and to report them to their health care provider so that they can be evaluated and have their treatment altered. The patient will need continuous treatment and will need to adhere to their medications and therapies as prescribed as to not to experience a complete relapse.
In my third article I used for my paper the article discussed not only conventional treatments but alternate therapies that may be required for patients with bipolar. Unfortunately there are cases in which traditional medication and therapy do not seem to help patients control their illness. Electroconvulsive therapy “can provide relief for people with severe bipolar disorder who have not been able to recover with other treatments.” (Bipolar Disorder, 2016). Electroconvulsive therapy may be required in other cases in which taking medication by a patient to control their mood swings becomes dangerous. An example of this is if a patient becomes pregnant and they are unable to take their medication because the medication prescribed could actually harm the fetus, this treatment option is available to patients until they have had their child and can continue taking their medications again safely.
In summary bipolar is a complex illness which requires special care by the medical team in order to recognize, treat, and protect the patient. While it can be difficult for not only the patient but those around them it can be treated and managed. Patient with bipolar often get treated badly because of the way they act and can be misunderstood by the general population but this is an illness that is sometimes beyond the patients control by normal means. With proper
treatment they can lead a full and happy life without stigma from people who may not understand and it is up to us as nurses to recognize this and treat patients knowing this because this to can also be a treatment strategy for the patient, treating them like normal people and understand what they are experiencing as to give them the best possible outcome. The three articles I used for my paper while having similarities, dove into specific parts of the illness from treatment, management, and overall social experiences patients may have to deal with while suffering from bipolar. The articles depicted different issues patients and nurses may experience while trying to manage the illness or treating a patient with it. They all attributed to either it’s management of the patient or the illness itself.