ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nursing Considerations for patients with Bipolar Disorder

Updated on May 25, 2012

Bipolar disorder is a disorder that is characterized by mood swings ranging from hyperactivity (manic states) to extreme sadness (depression) (Follin, Mill, & Munden, 2006). Because of these characteristics the condition is also referred to as manic-depressive disorder.

Bipolar disorder is thought to be caused by a combination of hereditary, environmental, and psychological factors, although the exact causes have not been clearly identified. Some chemical changes have been identified, such as an increase in intracellular sodium during episodes of manic-depression, but research has not identified whether the changes are due to the mood swings or if they happen because of them. Changes in dopamine and norepinephrine have also been identified (Follin, et al., 2006).

During the depressive state of bipolar the patient exhibits lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, crying episodes, and difficulty maintaining their normal sleep patterns(either sleeping too much or too little). Manic states may be excessive mania where that patient feels euphoric and engages in high-risk activities such as increased sexual activity and decreased self-control or a lessened state of mania where the patient exhibits some of the same behaviors, but to a lesser extent (Wood, 2011).

Treatment for bipolar disorder includes group therapy and individual therapy combined with drugs such as Lithium, to control mania. Lithium takes about a week to reach therapeutic levels, so antipsychotic drugs may be used until a therapeutic level is reached(Follin, et al., 2006).

Nurses are in a position to build rapport and counsel that bipolar patient on effective techniques for managing the disorder and maintaining a good state of physical health. Interventions for the patient experiencing mania include encouraging patients to eat high-calorie finger foods to help maintain nutrition during states where the patient may not want to sit down to consume a meal(Follin, et al., 2006). It is also important to encourage and provide a quiet non-stimulating environment and quiet activities for the patient to do. During periods of depression, patients should be encouraged to participate in group therapy. It is also helpful to encourage patients to use a journal to write down their feelings when they are having difficulties talking about them.


Follin, S., Mill, E., & Munden, J. (Eds). (2006). Diseases: A nursing process approach to excellent care. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Wood, D. (2011). What is Bipolar Disorder? Mental Health Matters. Retrieved from:


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mjboomer profile image

      Mike Elzner 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      Congrats on your BSN.....Bipolar disorder is difficult to treat requiring multiple approaches.....Check this website


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)