Issues in the Treatment of Women With Bipolar Illness

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Gender differences in bipolar illness have been relatively neglected, but the course of the illness does appear to differ between men and women. Compared with bipolar men, bipolar women are clearly more likely to develop the rapid cycling form of the illness and may also suffer from more episodes of depression. Therefore, the literature concerning the treatment of rapid cycling bipolar disorder and of bipolar depression is reviewed. In addition, effects of bipolar illness on the female reproductive cycle are discussed. Since bipolar women are at high risk to develop postpartum episodes, the use of mood stabilizers in pregnancy is discussed. ​

J Clin Psychiatry 1997;58(suppl 15):5–11