Alan C. Swann, MD




Psychiatric Emergencies in Bipolar and Related Disorders

November 01, 2007

Part 1 of this article, discussed a general approach to treating psychiatric emergencies in patients with bipolar and related disorders, as well as the assessment and management of agitation and impulsive aggression. Part 2 focuses on psychosis, suicidality, and specific treatments relevant to patients in emergency settings who are agitated or have bipolar disorder.

Psychiatric Emergencies in Bipolar and Related Disorders

July 01, 2007

Psychiatric emergencies usually involve some combination of agitation, aggression, impulsivity, psychosis, and risk of destructive behavior, including suicide and homicide. The psychiatrist must ensure the safety of the patient and others while identi- fying and treating immediate medical and psychiatric problems and developing and initiating a strategy for continuing the management of less immediate problems. In the diagnosis of acute behavioral disturbances, it is necessary to determine the role of the patient's primary psychiatric illnesses and any complications or treatments of those primary psychiatric illnesses, as well as the role of other medical or toxic disturbances that may be interacting with the patient's psychiatric illnesses or treatments.

The Conceptualization and Role of Impulsivity: Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse

July 01, 2005

Impulsive behaviors play an important role in both bipolar and substance abuse disorders. However, results of studies investigating this link are often ambiguous, in part, due to the multidimensional nature of the impulsivity construct and the fact that many studies use a single measurement technique. We describe a model of impulsivity characterized by three components: response initiation, response inhibition and consequence sensitivity. How these components differ from one another in terms of their use, behavioral theory and biological function is discussed, along with measurement techniques.