Published Online: Sunday, April 1, 2007

Case Scenario: Mania

MW is a 45-year-old man who is being seen by a psychiatrist after having set his car on fire in a supermarket parking lot during a fit of laughter. He says (rapidly) that he did it because his "thoughts were racing, racing, you know, quick, and it seemed like it would be fun, fireworks, funny, the thing to do at the time."

After being arrested and released on bail, he returned to his family. He is at the psychiatrist's office today at his wife's insistence. She discovered that he had spent most of their savings on various unnecessary items on eBay without her consent. 

MW has a 20-year history of bipolar illness. He stopped taking his medication (lithium and carbamazepine) 4 months ago because he believed that it was causing weight gain. He is willing to go back on medication at this time, although he is upset that this appears to be his only option.

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