Posted: February 15th, 2023
Mood Stabilizing Agents
Instructions: Case Discussion on Bipolar Disorder:
Wendy is a 30-year-old, unemployed white female. She is no stranger to therapy, having seen counselors for most of her teen and adult years. Her friends would describe her as a “wild woman” who takes no crap from anyone. She has held various part-time jobs for the last few years because she usually gets angry at her boss or coworkers and quits. While she has had a string of boyfriends over the years, she has been seeing one man for the last year or so. He too is unemployed and has both an alcohol and methamphetamine problem. She describes the relationship as “addictive and dysfunctional, yet exciting and hot.” Wendy is back in treatment at the urging of her parents, who describe her behavior as erratic and unpredictable. They also claim that she has periods where she “sleeps little and parties lots.” There were also several occasions in the last five years when she was so depressed she didn’t eat or want to leave the house. Her father also admits to periods of depression, and Trisha’s grandfather was diagnosed with manic depression, resulting in numerous hospitalizations in the 1950s and 1960s. Wendy’s only brother died in a car accident several years ago. He was drunk at the time, but she claims he had a long history of depression. Recently Trisha was arrested for disorderly conduct at a friend’s party. She had not slept for nearly 24 hours and was drunk and combative. When she was first approached by police, she solicited them for sex. They report that she was rather hyperverbal and hyperactive. They later had to investigate a complaint from local storeowners for bad checks she wrote in excess of $7,000.
Responses need to address all components of the question, demonstrate critical thinking and analysis and include peer-reviewed journal evidence to support the student’s position.
Based on the information provided, it seems likely that Wendy may be experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, which is characterized by both episodes of depression and episodes of mania or hypomania. Her family history of bipolar disorder, as well as her own experiences of depression and periods of hyperactivity, suggest that this may be the case.
Given her history of quitting jobs and her current dysfunctional relationship with a substance-abusing partner, it is also possible that she is experiencing difficulties with impulse control and decision-making, which may be related to her bipolar disorder.
It is important that Wendy receives a comprehensive evaluation by a mental health professional who is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. If a diagnosis is confirmed, mood stabilizing medications such as lithium, valproic acid, or lamotrigine may be appropriate for managing her symptoms. Psychotherapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy, can also be helpful in managing the social and interpersonal aspects of her illness.
It is important for Wendy to have a support system in place, including a therapist, psychiatrist, and family and friends who can provide emotional support. Additionally, given her history of substance abuse in her current relationship, Wendy may benefit from participation in a substance abuse treatment program.
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