1/6/2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology on the topic of Identifying bipolar disorder’s “softer side”.
It’s true. Bipolar disorder has a “softer side,” and that’s what makes the condition’s diagnosis all the more challenging in people who have a wide array of what might be considered “finer symptoms.”
Classic bipolar disorder is characterized by dramatic, extreme mood swings—from high “highs” (mania and hypomania, “I can do anything”) to low “lows” (depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, paranoia). But what about people with symptoms considered more “common,” like periods of anxiousness, sense of uneasiness, irritability, boredom, poor decision-making, and feelings of meaninglessness intermingled with moments of energy and intensity, euphoria, a spurt of ideas, focus, brilliance, vision, and achievement? These are often missed in psychiatric examinations because they are not viewed as a connected whole. They fall beneath what might be called the “threshold of diagnosis,” failing to fit neatly within standard clinical tools like the Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale or the Mood Disorder Questionnaire.
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