Bipolar Disorder

Begin by reading the following scenario:
A 19-year-old college student has been admitted to the Mental Health Unit with a
new diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. During a meeting, the family asks what caused this
problem, since nobody else in the family has the disorder. The family says that they do not
want their relative “drugged up” by being given psychiatric medications, since they have
heard negative reports about side effects of these medications.
After reflecting on the above scenario, discuss the following points (minimum of 250
Based on your readings and knowledge, discuss what the RN would teach the patient and
family about Bipolar Disorder.
Would the RN need to make any adjustments in the teaching based on this patient’s age? If
so, explain.
Discuss how the RN would respond to the family’s desire not to have the patient take any

Bipolar Disorder

Registered nurses play a central role in teaching patients, especially among those who are
suffering from chronic illnesses such as bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is an illness that is
normally misunderstood by patients and their families and most patients usually do not follow
the administered treatment recommendations. According to Luciano et al, psychoeducation
serves as a significant input towards substantially better outcomes (Luciano et al, 2015).
From the given case, a registered nurse should start by illustrating clearly the causes of
bipolar disorder. The nurse should make the family understand that there is no single cause of
this condition but arises mostly as a result of interlinking of several factors. Generally, it is
believed that bipolar runs in the family whereby certain individuals expressing particular genes
are at a greater risk of developing bipolar disorder than others (Parikh et al, 2013). This is
absolutely true. However, the nurses should highlight clearly that some instances have been
recorded whereby most children with a bipolar disorder family history do not develop the
condition. Genes are not the sole risk factor for bipolar disorder other factors other than gens are
also involved (Schulte et al, 2013). For instance, studies on identical twins have revealed that if

one twin develops the condition, the other does not necessarily develop it despite them having
similar genes.
When offering this form of education, the registered nurse should make some
adjustments considering the patient’s age. This is because the patient has just been newly
diagnosed with the disorder and the education should focus more on how easily the condition can
be managed if the patient sticks to the treatment recommendation, the patient should also be
encouraged that other individuals’ of his age have since been diagnosed with the condition and
won the battle against it.
The nurse should encourage the patient and his family that bipolar disorder can be treated
effectively over the long term. She can use examples of patients in the hospital who have since
been diagnosed with bipolar, put under medication and now are leading a normal life. The
education will focus mostly on how proper treatment helps many patients with this condition
achieve better control of their mood swings and associated symptoms.



Luciano, M., Del Vecchio, V., Sampogna, G., De Rosa, C., & Fiorillo, A. (2015). Including
family members in psychoeducation for bipolar disorder: is it worth it?. Bipolar
disorders, 17(4), 458-459.
Parikh, S. V., Glenda MacQueen, M. D., MPs, N. P., & RNBN, J. E. (2013). Psychosocial
interventions for bipolar disorder and coping style modification: similar clinical
outcomes, similar mechanisms?. Canadian journal of psychiatry, 58(8), 482.
Schulte, P. F. J., Jabben, N., Peetoom, T., Postma, D., & Knoppert, E. (2013, June).
Psychoeducation for bipolar disorder: a systematic review on efficacy and a proposal for
a prototype. In BIPOLAR DISORDERS (Vol. 15, pp. 147-148). 111 RIVER ST,

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