Mood Disorders: Evidence-Based Integrated Biopsychosocial Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

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Summary: Careful observers have long recognized the signs, symptoms, and behaviors of bipolar disorder. Depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are diagnostically identical with major depressive disorder and consist of at least 2 weeks of depressed mood accompanied by a combination of anhedonia, altered sleep, altered appetite, decreased energy, impaired concentration, psychomotor retardation or agitation, feelings of worthless or guilt, impaired cognitive functioning, or thoughts of death. Psychoeducation should be included in all medical treatment as patients have a right to know their diagnosis, the risks of the treatment, alternative treatments, and why the treatment is likely to be helpful. Starting effective medications is of the utmost importance in controlling the devastating symptoms of mania. Bipolar disorder is highly recurrent by nature, so patients must recognize the need to continue on their treatment indefinitely in order to prevent relapses.