Bipolar Disorder

What Is It?

A psychiatric condition in which patients experience emotional dysregulation, activity disruption and cognitive complications.

Bipolar disorder affects 6 million Americans and 60 million people worldwide. The disorder is commonly characterized by the states of mania and depression. During these states, patients engage in different kinds of behaviors, which can cause harm to their livelihood.

 

Manic episodes are characterized by a patient feeling like they are “Superman”, where they have a lot of energy and feel like they can do multiple things at once. Symptoms during the manic phase include fast and disordered speech, restlessness and engaging in risky behavior such as fast-driving or spending a lot of money. When untreated, patients can ruin their credit, empty their savings or get in trouble with the law.

Depressive episodes are the exact opposite: patients in the depressive state may sleep too much, feel like they have no energy and may have thoughts of harming themselves. It is important that patients receive appropriate care as the depressive stage can produce negative thoughts that can have fatal consequences.

What Can Be Done for Bipolar Disorder?

 

Intervention for bipolar disorder includes medication, environmental changes, job and educational support and psychotherapy.

 

A mental health professional such as a psychiatrist can work with an individual to establish a medication regimen. For cognitive complications, a neuropsychologist may conduct an evaluation, and occupational therapist may work with a client on work related complications. Sometimes, a social worker may provide emotional support as well as connect an individual to support services within their community.

 

Patients with bipolar disorder may experience cognitive complications related to episodes of mania or depression. Cognitive problems experienced by patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder include difficulty planning, working memory problems and language deficits. Cognitive remediation therapy provided by a licensed medical professional can assist with improving cognitive function before and after a patient has an episode of psychosis.

We Suggest the Following Exercises for Bipolar Disorder:

Basketball in NY

Using strategy and effective planning skills, participants must correctly place basketballs in the correct hoops in as few moves as possible.

N-Back

Participants must recall when an item matches one previously shown a specific number of items back. Closely resembles the neuropsychological task.

Root it Out!

Trains memory preservation and extinction.

Decipher

Executive functions and language are challenged in this exercise. Your patient will have to decipher a famous quotation by pairing symbols with the correct letter. Many settings can be modified to adapt this exercise to your client’s level of functioning.

Writing in the Stars

Trains logical reasoning for use in keeping track of appointments and engaging in group activities.

Two Timing

In this task, participants must engage with an auditory and visual stimulus. This task requires devoted attention skills.

Elephant Memory

Trains strategy techniques to memorize material without learning it by heart.

Secret Files

Targets concentration and deductive reasoning for problem-solving.

How Do We Fit Into Your Care Plan for Your Client with Bipolar Disorder?

 

Bipolar disorder can impact a person’s ability to live independently, but most people with bipolar disorder can live on their own. More severe cases can cause patients to stay short or long-term within a psychiatric care facility until they are stable.

 

Care for bipolar disorder is commonly provided by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists. Other kinds of therapists can be involved as part of a patient’s care team as bipolar disorder impacts cognitive function, mental health, and motor skills.

 

You can provide therapy for your patient in their home, in your clinic, or in a group setting. We can be adapted for group therapy by connecting an HDMI cord from a computer to a television screen. If you would like your patient to continue practicing skills you are assisting them build, you can assign them exercises to complete at home. All your patient needs is an internet connection and a device such as a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

 

To see how we can be integrated into your setting and assist your clinicians providing care to clients with psychiatric conditions, take time to complete our 15 Day Free Trial. You are able to access all of our digital content, as well as our free resources for additional material to use during your therapy sessions with your clients. If you are a researcher, please contact us about using our software for your research study.

Page last updated on May 18,2020

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