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Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder: Signs and Symptoms

Alan Podawiltz, DO, MS, FAPA

Published: February 15, 2012

Article Abstract

Bipolar disorder occurs in up to 2% of the community, but the prevalence is much higher among first-degree relatives of individuals with bipolar disorder. Following Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria assists clinicians in making an accurate diagnosis of bipolar I or bipolar II disorder and in distinguishing bipolar disorders from other illnesses such as major depressive disorder, medical conditions, and substance use. Additionally, always asking depressed patients about mania and using mnemonics to check for symptoms of mania and major depression can help physicians accurately diagnose and treat bipolar disorder.

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