Bipolar Depression- Differential Diagnosis in the Community– More than one in five primary care patients with depression have bipolar disorder, a recurrent and sometimes chronic illness involving episodes of depression and mania or hypomania. The most frequent presentation is depression; mania, as a presentation, is much less frequently encountered in physicians’ offices, both primary care and psychiatric. Bipolar depression is often missed in these situations. About half of patients with bipolar disorder have consulted three or more health care professionals before receiving a correct diagnosis, and the average time to first treatment is 10 years.
-It is imperative that clinicians carefully assess patients for bipolar disorder, especially those presenting with depression. In addition to taking patient and family histories, administration of a screening instrument can be very helpful. The most widely used screening tool in outpatient clinics and the community is the Mood Disorder Questionnaire. This screening tool can help clinicians make a differential diagnosis of bipolar vs. unipolar depression.
Evaluate patients who present with depressive symptomatology for bipolar depression.
Regularly use a screening tool to assist in evaluating bipolar depression.
The following learning objectives pertain only to those requesting CNE credit:
Acknowledge that bipolar depression is often missed as a diagnosis in community offices.
Review screening tools that help evaluate depression.
1.0 Free CCMC CEUs for Certified Case Managers
This course also offers Free CEUs for Physicians, Social Workers, and Pharmacists
Made possible through a grant from Sunovian Pharmaceuticals