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Med Clin North Am. 2010 Nov;94(6):1117-26, x. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2010.08.011.

An approach to the patient with dysregulated mood: major depression and bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder are chronic relapsing-remitting illnesses whose effects on mood, behavior, and thinking exact a heavy toll on patients' physical and mental health and on their capacity for satisfying relationships and employment. In the inpatient setting, these affective illnesses and their treatments can complicate the diagnosis, course, therapy, and prognosis of numerous medical conditions. In this article, the authors discuss a general approach for general internists, family practitioners, and other primary care providers to follow in caring for patients with suspected MDD or bipolar disorder.

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