Bipolar disorder: definition, clinical features, diagnostics and treatment: a literature review

Vainius Zajankauskas1, Gabija Raižytė1, Kamilė Tolvaišaitė1, Algirdas Musneckis2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine

2Psychiatry Clinic at Lithuanian university of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania


Introduction: The World Health Organization estimates bipolar disorder as the seventh leading cause of disability among men and the eight among women. Untreated bipolar disorder can severely impair a person’s quality of life and cause a variety of addictions, disrupt social relationships, or cause self-harm. There are many effective methods of pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy that successfully stabilize bipolar disorder, but the patient must be motivated to cooperate with professionals, treat and follow the recommendations given to him. This literature review provides an overview of the bipolar disorder clinic, key diagnostic challenges, and treatment principles.

Aim: to select and analyse expert recommendations for diagnostics and treatment of bipolar disorder.
Material and methods: scientific sources were searched, reviewed and analyzed. Publications were searched in English language in the international medical database PubMed. The search was performed using the following keywords and their combinations: “bipolar disorder”, “clinic”, “diagnostics”, “treatment”, “mania”, “hypomania”, “depression”, “mood disorder”, “psychotherapy”.

Results: using theoretical analysis methods, 33 publications meeting the inclusion criteria were found. A further 42 publications were rejected because they did not meet the inclusion criteria. Conclusions: the main diagnostic challenge is to differentiate bipolar disorder from unipolar depression To stabilize bipolar disorder, appropriate complex effects should be prescribed according to the patient’s symptoms. With pharmacotherapy alone, it is difficult to achieve the desired results, so psychosocial interventions are an integral part of treatment. Effective treatment should be comprehensive, involving medication, psychosocial intervention, and lifestyle changes.

Keywords: bipolar disorder, mania, hypomania, depression, mood disorder, psychotherapy.