Case #2
A young woman with Depression

A young woman with Depression

 

Decision Point One


 Bipolar II, current phase, hypomanic
Decision Point Two
BASED ON THIS DIAGNOSIS, SELECT YOUR CHOICE OF ACTIONS:


Begin Lithium 300 mg orally twice a day

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO

  • Client returns to clinic in four weeks
  • Stefanie reports that she had to stop taking the medication as it caused her to feel queasy and gave her diarrhea.
Decision Point Three
BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION, SELECT YOUR NEXT ACTION. BE CERTAIN TO DISCUSS THE RATIONALE FOR YOUR DECISION.


Restart lithium at 150 mg orally twice a day
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have 3 or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

In this case, Stefanie had side effects related to Lithium. Lithium could be restarted at half the dose (150 mg orally twice a day) for several days, then slowly titrated upward. Eskalith CR is the extended-release version of Lithium, but 450 mg orally three times/day is too much.

In consideration of the actual diagnosis and the potential side effects related to Lithium, the PMHNP may consider Latuda as an alternative treatment.


Discontinue lithium and start Latuda 40 mg orally daily
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have 3 or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

In this case, Stefanie had side effects related to Lithium. Lithium could be restarted at half the dose (150 mg orally twice a day) for several days, then slowly titrated upward. Eskalith CR is the extended-release version of Lithium, but 450 mg orally three times/day is too much.

In consideration of the actual diagnosis and the potential side effects related to Lithium, the PMHNP may consider Latuda as an alternative treatment.


Change lithium to extended-release preparation and start Eskalith CR 450 mg orally three times/day
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have 3 or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

In this case, Stefanie had side effects related to Lithium. Lithium could be restarted at half the dose (150 mg orally twice a day) for several days, then slowly titrated upward. Eskalith CR is the extended-release version of Lithium, but 450 mg orally three times/day is too much.

In consideration of the actual diagnosis and the potential side effects related to Lithium, the PMHNP may consider Latuda as an alternative treatment.


Begin Olanzapine 10 mg orally at bedtime

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO

  • Client returns to clinic in four weeks
  • Stefanie reports that in the last 4 weeks, she has gained nearly 5 pounds, and feels “horrible” about herself. “Look at me: I am getting fat and this medicine is doing nothing for me!”
Decision Point Three
BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION, SELECT YOUR NEXT ACTION. BE CERTAIN TO DISCUSS THE RATIONALE FOR YOUR DECISION.


Decrease Olanzapine to 5 mg orally at bedtime
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have three or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

In this case, the Olanzapine has caused significant weight gain, which has caused distress. Decreasing the dose may decrease the weight gain, but it would most likely only “slow” the gain. Changing to a weight-neutral antipsychotic such as Abilify may be preferential if you are going to treat Stefanie for this condition.


Educate Stefanie about the importance of increasing her exercise
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have three or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

In this case, the Olanzapine has caused significant weight gain, which has caused distress. Decreasing the dose may decrease the weight gain, but it would most likely only “slow” the gain. Changing to a weight-neutral antipsychotic such as Abilify may be preferential if you are going to treat Stefanie for this condition.


Discontinue Olanzapine and consider Abilify 10 mg orally daily
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have three or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

In this case, the Olanzapine has caused significant weight gain, which has caused distress. Decreasing the dose may decrease the weight gain, but it would most likely only “slow” the gain. Changing to a weight-neutral antipsychotic such as Abilify may be preferential if you are going to treat Stefanie for this condition.


Begin Abilify 10 mg orally daily

RESULTS OF DECISION POINT TWO

  • Client returns to clinic in four weeks
  • Stefanie reports that her mood seems a bit more “stable.” She states that she notices that she has not been as “sad” since she started taking the medication. She does report that for the first 2 weeks, she noticed that whenever she went from a lying or sitting to a standing position, she felt “lightheaded.” She does report that the side effect was quite concerning at times. She reports that this is no longer happening, however.
Decision Point Three
BASED ON THE ABOVE INFORMATION, SELECT YOUR NEXT ACTION. BE CERTAIN TO DISCUSS THE RATIONALE FOR YOUR DECISION.


Maintain current dose of Abilify
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have 3 or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

Stefanie’s symptoms are most consistent with orthostatic hypotension, which is not uncommon when initiating Abilify. At this point, it sounds as if the side effects have subsided. There is nothing to tell us that we should increase the dose. Similarly, there is nothing in the case to tell us that we should discontinue the Abilify. Instead, routine monitoring should occur.


Increase Abilify to 15 mg orally daily
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have 3 or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

Stefanie’s symptoms are most consistent with orthostatic hypotension, which is not uncommon when initiating Abilify. At this point, it sounds as if the side effects have subsided. There is nothing to tell us that we should increase the dose. Similarly, there is nothing in the case to tell us that we should discontinue the Abilify. Instead, routine monitoring should occur.


Discontinue Abilify
Guidance to Student

In order to meet the criteria for a major depressive episode, the client needs to have five or more symptoms (refer to DSM–5 major depressive episode criteria). She only demonstrates criteria # 1: depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful); criteria # 6: “fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day”; and criteria # 8: “diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).” Thus, Stefanie does not meet the criteria for a major depressive episode as she only has three out of the needed five criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode.

In order to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode, the client needs to have a period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day. Stefanie’s symptoms last 3 days. Additionally, during the period of mood disturbance, the person must have 3 or more of the qualifying symptoms. Stefanie only has an increase in goal-directed activity and distractibility. Thus, Stefanie does not meet criteria for a hypomanic episode as she only has a decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity.

Since Stefanie has symptoms of both hypomania and depression (but does not meet the criteria for a major depressive or hypomanic episode), and since these behaviors do not occur in the context of a drug/substance or medical condition, Stefanie meets the diagnostic criteria for cyclothymic disorder.

Some providers will treat cyclothymic disorder with pharmacologic agents used to treat bipolar disorder because individuals with cyclothymic disorder have a higher risk of progression to bipolar disorder. However, there is no consensus in the literature as to the optimal treatment, or if prophylactic psychopharmacologic treatment is beneficial in consideration of the side effects associated with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

Stefanie’s symptoms are most consistent with orthostatic hypotension, which is not uncommon when initiating Abilify. At this point, it sounds as if the side effects have subsided. There is nothing to tell us that we should increase the dose. Similarly, there is nothing in the case to tell us that we should discontinue the Abilify. Instead, routine monitoring should occur.