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Educational Activity

Diagnosing and Treating Patients With Symptoms of Depression

Andrew A. Nierenberg

Published: March 16, 2009

This CME activity is expired. For more CME activities, visit
Find more articles on this and other psychiatry and CNS topics:
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders

Article Abstract

Because patients with bipolar disorder spend more time experiencing depression than mania, bipolar disorder may be incorrectly diagnosed as unipolar depression. Patients presenting with depressive symptoms should be evaluated for present and lifetime mania symptomatology to ensure a correct diagnosis. Once a bipolar disorder diagnosis has been made, appropriate treatment choices, including mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, psychotherapy, and, in some cases, adjunctive antidepressants, can be made. After a patient has been stabilized, long-term treatment is necessary to prevent episode recurrence and to control subsyndromal symptoms.

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