What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a common and disabling psychiatric illness. It often misdiagnosed particularly in patients presenting with depressive episodes. Clinicians need to consider this diagnosis in all patients presenting with depressive symptoms since up to 20% of patients with unipolar depression will go on to develop a bipolar disorder. Even celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones have publicly spoken about having the illness so as to encourage others to seek help. The treatment of bipolar disorder can be challenging even though the treatment armamentarium is extensive particularly for manic and mixed episodes. Most patients will need a combination of medications along with adjunctive proven psychotherapies for optimal outcomes. Long term often lifelong maintenance treatment is indicated for most patients with this illness.

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