Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Special Articles   |    
Contested boundaries of bipolar disorder and the limits of categorical diagnosis in psychiatry
Am J Psychiatry 1992;149:1473-1483.
text A A A
PDF of the full text article.

The authors' primary objective is to outline the phenomenology, importance, and available data on issues concerning the boundaries between bipolar disorder and diagnoses such as schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and personality disorders. In addition, by illuminating the many difficulties with the boundaries of one of psychiatry's more robust diagnoses, they hope to awaken in the reader a healthy skepticism about current psychiatric nosology. For a topic of this scope, a literature review must be selective. For each boundary area, a mixture of classic and recent papers covering a range of validating criteria is included whenever possible. Good summary data are cited when available, as are a selection of relevant theoretical papers. The review indicates that current diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder are generally reasonable, but there are many problem areas, most of which cannot be solved by changes in criteria. Notable among these are 1) the possibility of future manic episodes in unipolar disorder, 2) schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, and 3) borderline personality disorder with prominent mood swings. The disputes concerning the boundaries of bipolar disorder illustrate the limitations of categorical diagnosis which result from the implementation of diagnostic criteria, the criteria themselves, the fundamental nosologic process, and the phenomena themselves. If these limitations are to be extended, it may be necessary to explore alternative ways of defining psychiatric diagnoses for different settings in research and clinical practice.

Abstract Teaser
Figures in this Article

Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In to Access Full Content
Sign in via Athens (What is this?)
Athens is a service for single sign-on which enables access to all of an institution's subscriptions on- or off-site.
Not a subscriber?

Subscribe Now/Learn More

PsychiatryOnline subscription options offer access to the DSM-5 library, books, journals, CME, and patient resources. This all-in-one virtual library provides psychiatrists and mental health professionals with key resources for diagnosis, treatment, research, and professional development.

Need more help? PsychiatryOnline Customer Service may be reached by emailing PsychiatryOnline@psych.org or by calling 800-368-5777 (in the U.S.) or 703-907-7322 (outside the U.S.).




CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Web of Science® Times Cited: 82

Related Content
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 1.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 2.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 2.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 5.  >
Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7th Edition > Chapter 5.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
Read more at Psychiatric News >>
APA Guidelines
PubMed Articles
Lakartidningen 2014;111():.