Publisher: Neuroscience Education Institute (2009)
This chapter introduces the symptoms of bipolar disorders from depression to mania. Patients with bipolar depression often present with nearly identical symptoms as patients with unipolar depression, and recognizing differences between these disorders can therefore be difficult. Patients with bipolar disorder often seek help during periods of depression and report manic symptoms with less frequency, further complicating diagnosis. Although bipolar II disorder is increasingly diagnosed, it is still quite often overlooked or misdiagnosed as unipolar depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric illnesses.
Understanding the neurobiological nature of an illness is the first step in deciding how to treat it. Identifying circuits that hypothetically correspond to the major symptoms of mania and depression becomes especially critical when attempting to establish pharmacologic parallels to treat those symptoms. Although much is still unknown about the aberrant circuitry in bipolar disorder, the brain regions and circuits that are theoretically involved are under intense investigation.
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