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Spongebob Squarepants Case Study

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Cassidy Womack

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of Spongebob Squarepants Case Study

Spongebob periodically goes through very long periods of mania-like behavior, in which he rarely feels the need for sleep, always wants to go on adventures with Patrick, and desires to spend long hours at work with no breaks or vacations. His friends typically experience Spongebob’s mania states as Spongebob just being the happy-go-lucky guy that he is. However, Spongebob falls into states of depression after his mania states. He then spends long hours in his home, avoiding all of his friends and being unable to complete simple tasks because he cannot focus and loses interest quickly. He has even admitted to instances of delusions brought on by his sleep-deprived depressed state. He often feels as if he is just being moody, meaning he has had a very hard time coping with his drastic mood swings, blaming himself for being "overly touchy".

Initially, Spongebob was having a hard time realizing that this illness is not due to his own faults. However, once accepting the fact that he had to let go of his anger to get better, no further complications in cognitive therapy were in existence. The average rate of success seen in other individuals matches the success of Spongebob.

With the lithium medication treatments, there has been limited success. While Spongebob's rate of manic episodes has decreased, his depressive states continue to be problematic. Antidepressants may need to be prescribed. He likely will be on these medications through the duration of his life in order to maintain his success in dealing with episodes.

The behavior therapy Spongebob has been going through has helped him a lot. He is better able to manage his time and his feelings. He is not reliant on his friends, and he has become more independent in his life and in his opinions. Spongebob has had great success in behavior therapy.
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To treat Mr. Squarepants, we will first place him in a cognitive therapy program in which he will see a therapist once every week until significant improvement has been made in the therapist’s opinion. In this cognitive therapy, Spongebob will learn coping techniques and he will learn to view his condition as an actual medical illness instead of blaming himself for feeling “moody” and “irritable.” Hopefully with this therapy Spongebob will be able to let go of the blame and anger he has placed on himself due to his bipolar tendencies.

Once finished with cognitive therapy, we will be able to put Spongebob on lithium mood-stabilizing medications, using biomedical therapy. The lithium will be used to reduce the frequency and severity of mania states, bringing Mr. Squarepants back down to a typical level of mood elevation and control. The complete effects on lithium on the human brain is not totally understood and agreed on, but it is thought that the lithium acts on the nerve cells of the brain, strengthening the connections of the cells to the brain regions that help control mood, behavior and thinking, as well as affecting certain mood-controlling neurotransmitters.

Finally, Spongebob will be sent to a behavioral therapist, where he will be able to learn how to consciously change his behaviors and actions when his medications don’t seem like enough. Spongebob will be taught how to treat others, how to treat himself, and how to live life even when it seems tough. He will periodically check back in with his behavioral therapist, even once he is decided to be fit to re-enter adult life completely.
Spongebob's journey in therapy has proved to be good for his well-being.
The essential feature of bipolar I disorder is a clinical course characterized by the occurrence of one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Often, individuals have had one or more major depressive episodes. Spongebob has been diagnosed with manic-depressive bipolar disorder (type one) because he exhibits all of the symptoms of manic states as well as major depression states. He shows little to no control over his changes in states, and he is very sensitive and small occurrences can send him into very extreme changes of states. This diagnosis has been reached due to observations in Spongebob’s behavior and state of mind, as well as his self-reports of mood and feelings. The main difficulty present in reaching a diagnosis for Spongebob is that his mania states seem to greatly overpower his depressive states, almost as if his mania state is just his natural disposition. However, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is most fit due to his uncontrollable mood overpowering. Spongebob seems to have moderate difficulties, nothing too extreme.

Spongebob Squarepants was born on July 14, 1986 in a small town called Bikini Bottom. He lives in a
pineapple home with one pet snail named Gary. He has worked at the local burger restaurant, The Krusty Krab,
for as long as he can remember, as the main frycook. At his job, he has been awarded Employee of the Month
over 300 times. He almost always has an outwardly positive disposition towards his friends, neighbors, and his
boss. He repeatedly fails to pass his drivers test, meaning he is still unable to legally drive a vehicle. While Mr.
Squarepants is very confident and outgoing, he repeatedly fails at major tasks he sets out to accomplish. When
put into tough situations, Mr. Squarepants often becomes very defensive and rude towards others. He prefers to
follow his own schedule, and he does not do well with breaking plans. Spongebob’s main hobbies include
jellyfishing, blowing bubbles, and working. His emotions seem to be very strongly tied to his few close friends.

By Cassidy Womack
Dr. Sardini has worked with Spongebob in his cognitive therapies, as well as aspects of his behavioral therapy.
Spongebob Squarepants: A Case Study

Brandon, S. (n.d.). Causes of Bipolar Disorder. . Retrieved May 15, 2014, from www.imhro.org/education/about-bipolar-disorder/causes-bipolar-disorder

Grohol, J. M. (2014, February 23). Bipolar Disorder, Coping with Bipolar and Manic Depression. Bipolar Disorder, Coping with Bipolar and Manic Depression. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from www.psychcentral.com/disorders/bipolar/

Imperial College London. (2008, February 10). Chemical Signature Of Manic Depression Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 13, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205123833.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012, January 18). Bipolar disorder. Definition. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/basics/definition/con-20027544
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