Bipolar disorder is a recurrent chronic disorder characterised by fluctuations in mood state and energy. It affects more than 1% of the world's population irrespective of nationality, ethnic origin, or socioeconomic status. Bipolar disorder is one of the main causes of disability among young people, leading to cognitive and functional impairment and raised mortality, particularly death by suicide. A high prevalence of psychiatric and medical comorbidities is typical in affected individuals. Accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder is difficult in clinical practice because onset is most commonly a depressive episode and looks similar to unipolar depression. Moreover, there are currently no valid biomarkers for the disorder. Therefore, the role of clinical assessment remains key. Detection of hypomanic periods and longitudinal assessment are crucial to differentiate bipolar disorder from other conditions. Current knowledge of the evolving pharmacological and psychological strategies in bipolar disorder is of utmost importance.
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