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Articles

Bipolar Disorder: Diagnostic Challenges and Treatment Considerations

Article Abstract

A review of the criteria for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder identifies a number of complicatingfactors that historically have interfered with the accurate and precise diagnosis of patients. Patientswith different subtypes of the disorder sometimes present with different symptoms, and the carefuldiagnostician must be aware of them. These include comorbidity of bipolar disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, comorbidity of bipolar disorder and substance abuse, and mania secondaryto prescription drugs or physical illness, particularly in the elderly. As a result of these factorsand others, bipolar disorder is significantly underdiagnosed. Accurate and precise diagnosis has a directimpact on the choice of treatment and will be easier for those clinicians who are aware of theseveral subtypes of mania and depression and are familiar with the relevant Expert Consensus Guidelinesfor treatment.


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