PsychEd Episode 3 a): Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder (Mania) with Dr. Mark Sinyor

Welcome to PsychEd, the psychiatry podcast for medical learners, by medical learners.

This episode covers the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder (Type 1 and 2), with insights from guest Dr. Mark Sinyor, Staff Psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. 

Bipolar disorder is characterized by depressive and manic episodes. This episode focuses on the diagnostic criteria and assessment in mania, and presents a fictional case of a patient with a first manic episode. We discuss the epidemiology of bipolar disorder, and a plain-English description of manic episodes. We then explore the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for manic episodes using the mnemonic GSTPAID. Relating the criteria back to the case, we will talk with Dr. Sinyor about practical methods and tips for assessing a person who presents with manic symptoms. Some common mental status exam terms and findings in mania will be explained. We then discuss common differential diagnoses for bipolar disorder, including schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and substance intoxication/substance-induced mania. 

Lastly, we will differentiate between mania and hypomania, and Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and Type 2. Through the examination of the concept of “bipolar spectrum”, we will discuss some challenges and limitations of the DSM-5 and the current understanding of Bipolar Disorder. 
The Learning Objectives for this episode are as follows. By the end of this episode, the listener will be able to:

  • Cite the prevalence and incidence rates of bipolar affective disorder
  • Describe the natural history of bipolar disorder including its cyclical nature, and relative ratio of times in mania vs depression
  • Know the DSM-V criteria for mania, hypomania
  • Suggested mnemonic GSTPAID
  • Perform an effective diagnostic interview for manic symptoms
  • Perform a differential diagnosis for bipolar disorder including borderline personality disorder and psychotic disorders

Guest Staff Psychiatrist: Dr. Mark Sinyor (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto)
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