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Bipolar disorder in adults: Clinical features

Trisha Suppes, MD
Victoria E Cosgrove, PhD
Section Editor
Paul Keck, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Bipolar disorder frequently disrupts mood, energy, activity, sleep, cognition, and behavior [1], and patients thus struggle to maintain employment and interpersonal relationships [2-4]. Pharmacotherapy within the context of a positive therapeutic alliance is central to minimizing morbidity and the risk of suicide.

This topic reviews the clinical features of bipolar disorder in adults. The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of bipolar disorder in adults are discussed separately, as are the clinical features and diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, geriatric patients, and patients with rapid cycling (ie, four or more mood episodes in a 12-month period):

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Assessment and diagnosis".)

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Pharmacotherapy for acute depression".)

(See "Bipolar disorder in adults: Pharmacotherapy for acute mania and hypomania".)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 15, 2017.
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