Diagnosing bipolar disorder : how can we do it better?

Berk, Michael, Berk, Lesley, Dodd, Seetal, Moss, Kirsteen and Malhi, Gin S. 2006, Diagnosing bipolar disorder : how can we do it better?, Medical journal of Australia, vol. 184, no. 9, pp. 459-462.

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Title Diagnosing bipolar disorder : how can we do it better?
Author(s) Berk, Michael
Berk, Lesley
Dodd, Seetal
Moss, Kirsteen
Malhi, Gin S.
Journal name Medical journal of Australia
Volume number 184
Issue number 9
Start page 459
End page 462
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, N. S. W.
Publication date 2006-05-01
ISSN 0025-729X
1326-5377
Summary • Accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder is essential for effective treatment.

• The diagnosis of bipolar disorder is particularly complex, resulting in lengthy delays between first presentation and initiation of appropriate therapy. Inappropriate therapy destabilises the course and outcome of the disease.

• Although the defining features of bipolar disorder are manic or hypomanic episodes, patients typically present for treatment of depression and commonly deny symptoms of mood elevation.

• A correct diagnosis can easily be masked by comorbidities, personality issues and complex phenomenology.

• A diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be assisted by:

   → asking about symptoms of mania or hypomania in every patient presenting with symptoms of depression.

   → recognising mixed states in which manic and depressive symptoms occur simultaneously.

   → identifying the features of bipolar depression that distinguish it from unipolar depression.

• There is a risk of over-diagnosis of bipolar disorder among patients who are histrionic, show abnormal illness behaviour MJA 2006; 184: 459–462 and/or have issues of secondary gain.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30035521

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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