Bipolar disorder typically arises with depressive symptoms during late adolescence, with mania following some years later. The GP has a key role in identifying patients presenting with mania and ensuring appropriate acute and long-term management. Key recommendations on each stage of the disorder can aid in developing a comprehensive biopsychosocial and lifestyle approach to management.
- Management of bipolar disorder requires a biopsychosocial and lifestyle approach.
- The aim of management is to maintain mood stability.
- The medications required differ according to the stage of the illness.
- In the long term, maintenance of an effective mood-stabilising agent is essential.
- Management of bipolar depression differs from the management of major depressive disorder.
- Antidepressant monotherapy for bipolar depression is not indicated.