Bipolar Disorder and Anticonvulsant/Mood-Stabilizing Medications

Smith is a 20-year-old young man who recently dropped out of college after an experience of a manic episode that caught the attention of the security of his campus. Originally, he had been selected to pursue medicine. However, he changed to the field of philosophy. He had been experiencing sleepless nights, and he always spent long hours talking to his friends about the meaning of logic. Smith had been thinking that he is more knowledgeable that most of the professors in the college. Any disagreement with him was often met with intolerance and irritability. He also increasingly engaged in sexual relationships and excessive alcohol consumption. Smith’s parents add that their son exhibited symptoms of depression and withdrawal right from his early teenage years.

From this case study, a psychiatrist’s diagnosis is likely to reveal that Smith is suffering from bipolar I disorder. According to the DSM-5, bipolar I disorder is a mental health problem that is mainly characterized by at least a single manic episode (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). A manic episode refers to a time when the affected individual experiences abnormal mood swings and distrustful behavior. Many people who have the disorder also experience depression episodes. Although anybody can suffer from bipolar I disorder, those who are below the age of 50 are at high risk (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015). However, the onset of bipolar disorder among men appears earlier than among women. It is also important to note that those who abuse alcohol and drugs are as well vulnerable to the condition (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015).

In terms of medical treatment, Smith’s condition can be combated using mood stabilizers. These include various antipsychotic drugs that can help to control the reoccurrence of both manic and hypomanic episodes (Preston et al., 2017). Examples include Depakene, Lithobid, and Tegretol. As a mental health professional, the psychiatrist attending Smith can play an important in his treatment. He or she can help his client to recognize his symptoms and learn about their causes. The expert can also help him to change his negative behavioral patterns, and engage in meaningful daily activities. Additionally, he can help Smith to improve his relationship with various family members as well as friends (Preston et al., 2017). With time, the psychiatrist can help him to manage his condition well.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved from

Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2017). Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists (8th ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

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