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Recognition and Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

Robert M. A. Hirschfeld, MD, and Lana A. Vornik, MSc

Published: November 15, 2004

Article Abstract

Bipolar disorder is a serious, recurrent, and sometimes chronic psychiatric illness that is far moreprevalent than many physicians realize. It often is unrecognized and misdiagnosed, particularly in patientspresenting with depression. The consequences of misdiagnosis and mistreatment as unipolardepression may be disastrous. The rate of recognition may be improved by asking patients about bipolarsymptoms and by screening for bipolar disorder using the Mood Disorder Questionnaire.

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