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How would you explain Bipolar disorder simply to a patient?

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Practicing since : 2004
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How would you explain Bipolar disorder simply to a patient?
Posted Sat, 25 Aug 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 3 days later

Thanks for your query.

Before starting education of patient we need to know stage of patient illness. Bipolar disorder has two phases Mania/Hypomania and Depression. In between these phases patient is called to be in remission.

In Mania patient does not has any insight or understanding or acceptance of problem. During that time we need to ensure that patient take medicine regularly and do not harm others or self. We should avoid any major financial transaction by patient. Patient usually is not receptive to any education in Mania.

In Depression patient have insight most of the time but same time they have lack of motivation, anxiety and poor concentration for education. But in this phase we can attempt to educate patient.

Remission phase is best phase to educate patient regarding his/her illness.

Education is better if it is administered by psychiatrist or psychologist according to patient need, demand and condition.

In a recent review of medical literature, Dutch researchers looked at 34 studies on the use of psychoeducation therapy in people with bipolar disorder. They found that this type of bipolar therapy improved patients’ overall knowledge of their disease and treatment, increased their willingness to stay on medication, and helped prevent relapses when given to patients in remission.

The topics addressed during psychoeducation therapy sessions may include the following in different counseling sessions:
-Recognizing that bipolar is a chronic condition with a high recurrence rate
-Identifying and avoiding personal triggers
-Education about medication, including both side effects of drugs and the risks of stopping treatment
-Training on the early warning signs of a mood swing
-Training on how best to manage symptoms
-Education about the risks of street drugs, alcohol, and coffee
-Recognizing the importance of maintaining healthy habits and routines, especially sleep
-Teaching good stress-management techniques
-Education about suicide risk
-Education about the complications that pregnancy can pose to a bipolar woman
-Coping with the stigma of having bipolar disorder

There are four different types of psychoeducation therapy sessions:
-Group therapy: Several individuals with bipolar disorder receive this bipolar therapy together.
-Individual therapy: A therapist conducts one-on-one sessions with the patient.
-Multiple family groups: Many bipolar patients and their families go through sessions together.
-Individual patient and family: One patient and his or her family receive bipolar therapy.

With this information it is clear that educating patient is specialized work. In unstructured way psycho-education of patient done by psychiatrist whenever they visit them. Patients are also more receptive to therapist.

Please accept my answer in case there are no further queries and recommend our services to your friends too if you have found it helpful.

Wish you good health.
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