Last month we discussed the differences between Bipolar Disorder 1 and 2 and offered an application question to test your knowledge on this topic. This month we’re back with a reasoning based question to help show how the same topic can be tested in different ways on the ASWB social work exams.
Let’s start with a brief overview of the differences between Bipolar Disorder 1 and 2 (be sure to check out last month’s blog where we go into greater depth on these differences).
Bipolar Disorder: 1 vs. 2
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that as soon as you have a manic episode present, the diagnosis is Bipolar 1. One thing is required for a Bipolar 1 diagnosis: a manic episode. A depressive episode can be present for Bipolar 1, but is not required. For a Bipolar 2 diagnosis, 2 things are required: First, a hypomanic episode. Second, a depressive episode. Both are required for a Bipolar 2 diagnosis. If both a manic episode and a depressive episode are present, the diagnosis is Bipolar 1.
ASWB Practice Question: Bipolar Disorder
A social worker is meeting with a 23 year old client. The client was referred by his doctor who suspects he may have Bipolar Disorder. The client shares a long history of vacillating between periods of severe depression and mania. After completing an assessment, what is the FIRST intervention the social worker should recommend?
A. Refer to an MD for a physical evaluation
B. Refer to a psychiatrist for medication management
C. Refer to a support group for young adults with Bipolar Disorder
D. Begin psychotherapy
(scroll for answer and rationale)
The correct answer is B: Refer to a psychiatrist for medication management. The most effective treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy, and clients typically need mood-stabilizing medication to control manic (or hypomanic episodes). While we typically do not start off therapy with medication referrals, this will be necessary for some diagnoses (such as Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia). The client was referred by their doctor, so a referral to an MD for a physical evaluation (A) isn’t necessary. While we may do C, this wouldn’t come before referring for medication management. We will certainly begin psychotherapy with this client, but should first discuss the need for medication management (psychotherapy will likely be more successful once the client begins on a mood stabilizer).
ASWB Masters and Clinical Exam Preparation
How did you do on this month’s reasoning based question? Many people find the reasoning question to be a bit more subjective (and more challenging) than the recall questions. Whether you’re feeling 100% confident or need more support, know TDC is here for you. Our comprehensive exam prep programs give you everything you need to be successful on your ASWB social work exams, whether you’re preparing for your LMSW or LCSW exam. With audio lectures, handouts, and hundreds of practice questions and rationales, TDC is here to help you pass with confidence. TDC helped thousands of social workers pass their exams over the past decade and are ready to help you pass your exam as well.