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Symptoms of Depression: Might Your Patient Have Bipolar Disorder?

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Symptoms of Depression: Might Your Patient Have Bipolar Disorder?

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Symptoms of Depression: Might Your Patient Have Bipolar Disorder?
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Primary care clinicians play a crucial role in differentiating bipolar depression from unipolar depression. Learn how to reach an accurate diagnosis.

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  • Overview

    Up to a quarter of patients being treated for major depressive disorder in a primary care setting may actually have bipolar disorder.1,2 A significant number of patients with bipolar disorder are receiving a misdiagnosis of unipolar depression.3 The consequences of misdiagnosis can be substantial.4 It’s critical for primary care providers to stay alert for historical and emerging symptoms of bipolar disorder in undiagnosed patients, gain expertise in providing ongoing treatment to diagnosed patients, and know how to manage comorbidities, explains Dr. Roger McIntyre Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, in an article entitled, Bipolar Depression: The Clinical Characteristics and Unmet Needs of a Complex Disorder

    The open access article is available online at the journal's website:

    Roger S. McIntyre & Joseph R. Calabrese (2019) Biploar depression: the clinical characteristics and unmet needs of a complex disorder, Current Medical Research and Opinion, 35:11, 1993-2005, DOI: 10.1080/03007995.2019.1636017

    References
    1. Hirschfeld RMA, Cass AR, Holt DCL, et al. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2005;18(4):233-239.
    2. Olfson M, Das AK, Gameroff MJ, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 2005;162:2146-2151.
    3. Berk M, Hallam K, Lucas N, et al. Med J Aust. 2007;187:S11-14.
    4. Mitchell PB, Goodwin GM, Johnson GF, et al. Bipolar Disord. 2008;10:144-152.

    Approximately a quarter of patients with depression in a primary care setting may actually have bipolar disorder.1,2 A significant number of patients with bipolar disorder are receiving a misdiagnosis of unipolar depression.3 The consequences of misdiagnosis can be substantial.4 It’s critical for primary care providers to stay alert for historical and emerging symptoms of bipolar disorder in undiagnosed patients, gain expertise in providing ongoing treatment to diagnosed patients, and know how to manage comorbidities, explains Dr. Roger McIntyre Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto, in an article entitled, Bipolar Depression: The Clinical Characteristics and Unmet Needs of a Complex Disorder

    References
    1. Hirschfeld RMA, Cass AR, Holt DCL, et al. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2005;18(4):233-239.
    2. Olfson M, Das AK, Gameroff MJ, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 2005;162:2146-2151.
    3. Berk M, Hallam K, Lucas N, et al. Med J Aust. 2007;187:S11-14.
    4. Mitchell PB, Goodwin GM, Johnson GF, et al. Bipolar Disord. 2008;10:144-152.

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