Understanding Misconceptions of Bipolar Disorder

Researchers sought to focus on possible over inclusivity and ambiguity of concepts relating to the bipolar spectrum, in addition to concerns regarding the overlap of bipolar illness and borderline personality through a narrative review. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition separated bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, while the Kraepelinian manic depressive insanity concept included both. The researchers note that bipolar disorder and borderline personality have very different features. Bipolar disorder is associated with a family history of the disorder and severe persistent mood episodes with psychomotor activation, while borderline personality is often associated with dissociative indicators, sexual trauma, and parasuicidal self-harm. The researchers conclude that concepts of the bipolar spectrum differ in ways that can be historically and scientifically recognized.

Reference: Ghaemi SN, Dalley S. The bipolar spectrum: conceptions and misconceptions. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2014;48(4):314-324. doi:10.1177/0004867413504830

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