"Bipolar Family": Useful Mnemonic to Differentiate Bipolar From Unipolar Depression

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Sir: When depression is preceded by a history of manic, mixed, or hypomanic episode, classifying it as bipolar depression rather than unipolar depression becomes straightforward. However, when there is no access to such history and the initial presentation is from the depressive end of the pole, correctly classifying the disorder as bipolar rather than unipolar then becomes difficult. Being able to correctly classify depression as bipolar rather than unipolar is crucial due to the ramifications of the diagnosis in terms of management.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2007;9(2):152-153