Risk assessment and management in bipolar disorders
Bassett, D. L. (2010). Risk assessment and management in bipolar disorders. Medical Journal of Australia, 193(4), S21-S23.
Bipolar affective disorders carry significant risks to the patient and sometimes others.
The form of the illness relapse needs to be determined, and high-risk features such as psychosis and suicide considered.
Gathering collateral information from others is invaluable.
Mania brings particular risks of disinhibition, poor judgement, risk taking and sometimes aggression.
Depression carries notable risks of suicidal behaviour, poor self-care and homicide.
Both mania and depression bring risks of substance misuse and disrupted relationships.
Management requires an optimal therapeutic alliance with good communication, appropriate treatment and sometimes compulsory care during crises.
Preventive strategies are invaluable.