Bipolar disorder is arguably a pivotal diagnosis in adult psychiatry bounded by schizophrenia on one side and unipolar depression on the other. It represents a wide spectrum of disorders, all sharing common features of elated and depressed mood. The early descriptions of symptom-free euthymia have long been dismissed and the chronic and enduring deficits associated with the disorder are beginning to be better understood. We review the current literature with regard to the course of the disorder, factors that may influence prognosis and common comorbidities.
- © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2010