The importance of routine for preventing recurrence in bipolar disorder

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 07/2006; 163(6):981-5. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.6.981
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A 41-year-old divorced woman with a 17-year history of bipolar I disorder is receiving outpatient treatment consisting of lithium pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. She is currently living with her sons, ages 7 and 9. Her history is notable for several onsets of mania during or immediately following vacation travel. By the time the patient entered treatment with her current therapist, she was vacation phobic. Yet, as the now-single mother of two active young boys, she also recognized how much she would benefit from a change of scenery and some relief from the constant responsibility for her children and her home. Her brother and sister-in-law had offered to send to her a ticket out to the West Coast for a visit. As much as the idea of a vacation with them appealed to her, it also terrified her. When she mentioned the possibility to her psychiatrist, he agreed that there were some risks involved but that if she planned carefully, she might be able to minimize those risks.

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