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Your Patient Is Depressed: Could It Be Bipolar Disorder?

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Your Patient Is Depressed: Could It Be Bipolar Disorder?

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Your Patient Is Depressed: Could It Be Bipolar Disorder?
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Up to a quarter of patients being treated for major depressive disorder in a primary care setting may actually have bipolar disorder.1,2 Are your patients at risk of misdiagnosis?

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  • Overview

    Nationally, approximately 43% of family physicians are providing mental health care, and approximately 25% of patients with depression in a primary care setting may actually have bipolar disorder.1-3 A possible cause of misdiagnosis is that depressive episodes are commonly the initial presentation of the disease.4 Faster recognition and more accurate management of patients with bipolar depression is absolutely critical, 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) Bipolar 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. Xierali IM, Tong ST, Petterson SM, et al. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2013;26(2):114-115.
    4. Mitchell PB, Goodwin GM, Johnson GF, et al. Bipolar Disord. 2008;10:144-152.

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