Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by extreme mood swings, including episodes of mania and depression. In this paper, we will discuss the diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder for a patient based on their symptoms, and the medications that can be used to treat this disorder. Specifically, we will focus on the use of mood stabilizers such as lithium and valproate.

Diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Disorder

Based on the patient’s symptoms, we believe that the diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder is appropriate. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar 1 disorder is characterized by the presence of manic episodes that last for at least 7 days or require immediate hospitalization, as well as depressive episodes that last for at least 2 weeks (NIMH, 2023). The patient in question is exhibiting symptoms of mania, including feelings of grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, and risk-taking behaviors.

Medications for Bipolar 1 Disorder

The primary classification of medication used to treat bipolar 1 disorder is mood stabilizers. These medications are used to help stabilize mood and prevent the occurrence of manic and depressive episodes. There are several medications in this class, including lithium and valproate.

Lithium

Lithium has been used for many years to treat bipolar disorder, and is considered the gold standard of treatment for this condition (Stahl, 2021). Lithium has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity and frequency of manic episodes, and can also be helpful in treating bipolar depression (Lithium, 2020). However, lithium can be harmful to the kidneys, and it is important to monitor the patient’s kidney function before starting treatment. Regular monitoring of creatinine, GFR, and sodium levels is recommended (Stahl, 2021).

Valproate

Valproate is another medication that is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder. It has been shown to be effective in treating acute manic phases of bipolar disorder, and can also be used long-term to prevent the recurrence of mania (Stahl, 2021). Valproate works by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain, which helps to regulate mood (Stahl, 2021).

Bipolar 1 disorder is a serious mental health condition that requires careful diagnosis and treatment. Mood stabilizers such as lithium and valproate are the primary medications used to treat this disorder, and both have been shown to be effective in reducing the severity and frequency of manic episodes. Lithium is considered the gold standard of treatment for bipolar disorder, but it is important to monitor kidney function when using this medication. Valproate is another effective option for treating bipolar disorder, and works by increasing levels of GABA in the brain. As with all medications, it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for each individual patient.
References:
Stahl, S. M. (2021). Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (5th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Bipolar Disorder. (2023). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-dis…
Post 2: Norqueta Hardeman
What classifications of medications can be used to treat this disorder? Which medication do you recommend and why?
I would begin with a mood stabilizer medication, as it appears Sam is having a manic episode. Lithium is great mood stabilizer. Lithium helps reduce the severity and frequency of mania — the elevated, euphoric end of the mood scale — and may help to treat bipolar depression (Lithium 2020). Lithium also help manic episodes from returning. Lithium is also safe to take for long periods of time. Lithium is considered the goal standard of medication for bi polar, meaning is the first line of medication practitioner’s use for this disease.
Bipolar DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Professionals – Psycom. 2020, https://pro.psycom.net/assessment-diagnosis-adhere… to an external site..
Lithium (2020) healthdirect. Healthdirect Australia. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/lithium#:~:text=Lithium%20helps%20reduce%20the%20severity,episodes%20occurring%20in%20the%20future. (Accessed: February 4, 2023).

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