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-III-R) divides affective disorders into major depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia, cyclothymia, and depressive 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 Personality Disorder Psychotic Disorder
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