By Ava T. Albrecht, Charles Herrick
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Extra info for 100 Q&A About Bi-Polar (Manic-Depressive) Disorder (100 Questions & Answers about)
Qxd 10/18/06 2:32 PM Page 37 100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT BIPOLAR (MANIC-DEPRESSIVE) DISORDER Many symptoms people experience occur in a variety of conditions described in the DSM-IV-TR. Anxiety is a term that connotes a feeling of psychic discomfort. It often includes a sense of fear of impending doom that may or may not accompany a clear sense of its source and feels out of proportion to whatever is causing the anxiety. There are several types of anxiety disorders: panic disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobia, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Qxd 10/18/06 2:32 PM Page 43 100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT BIPOLAR (MANIC-DEPRESSIVE) DISORDER Finally, the reason for your good mood may be because you are taking medication and it is working. Keep in mind that bipolar disorder is a chronic, recurrent condition and medication merely controls the symptoms and prevents relapse. Too often, after responding to medication, a person believes the problem is over and medication is no longer necessary. This is especially true early in treatment when one believes it was a onetime, stress-related incident that precipitated the mood episode.
Comprehensive diagnostic scales can guide the clinician in going through a differential diagnostic process in order to exclude other causes for the symptoms before establishing a diagnosis. Such scales may indeed establish a diagnosis, but they are based on the same clinical criteria used without a scale. These scales are mostly useful in research to establish reliability in diagnosis and to improve the validity of the study. Leslie’s comments: Frankly, I wish there were biological tests. I think having undisputed scientific evidence would “normalize” the disorder and would limit the amount of stigma people feel.