To effectively diagnose and treat patients with depression, physicians need a clear understanding of the current systems of classification. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) divides affective disorders into 10 categories: major depression, bipolar I, bipolar II, dysthymic and cyclothymic disorders, mood disorders due to medical conditions and due to substance abuse, as well as depressive, bipolar, and mood disorders not otherwise specified.1 We first explore diagnostic and therapeutic concepts, highlighting the structure behind current understanding of these disorders. Then we discuss application of these concepts to the process of evaluation and treatment of patients, including special populations.
KeywordsBipolar Disorder Major Depression Affective Disorder Mood Disorder Personality Disorder
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