Bipolar Affective Disorder Differential Diagnoses

Diagnostic Considerations

The diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder, or manic-depressive illness (MDI), is based on the patient’s history and clinical course.

Other conditions to be considered include the following:

  • Epilepsy
  • Fahr disease
  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Medications (eg, antidepressants can propel a patient into mania; other medications may include baclofen, bromide, bromocriptine, captopril, cimetidine, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, disulfiram, hydralazine, isoniazid, levodopa, methylphenidate, metrizamide, procarbazine, procyclidine)
  • Circadian rhythm desynchronization
  • Cyclothymic disorder
  • Multiple personality disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (in children)
  • Substance abuse disorders (eg, with alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogens, opiates)
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