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New National Online Survey Says Bipolar Depressive Symptoms Have Impact on Day-To-Day Tasks as Well as Social Activities(1)
Date:4/17/2009

In fact, the online survey revealed some communication challenges that people with bipolar disorder have with their physicians.(1) For example, forty-one percent of patients said they wished they could be more open about their bipolar depression symptoms with their health care professional.(1) In addition, 72% of physicians agreed that many of their patients don't know how to accurately describe their bipolar depression symptoms.(1)

"Strong communication between patients and physicians is one of the most critical factors in effectively managing bipolar disorder," said Rosenberg. "From a patient perspective, it's important to share all symptoms and experiences so your doctor has a detailed picture of your day-to-day life. In turn, physicians can encourage patients to be true partners in developing an appropriate treatment plan to successfully manage their bipolar depression."

Rosenberg also recommended the following steps for patients to strengthen communication with their health care professional:

  • Describe how you're feeling to the best of your ability. It's OK if you don't know the clinical language -- just use your own words.
  • Jot down any questions and concerns you have beforehand so you don't forget them.
  • Don't hesitate to share anything and everything with your doctor, even if it feels personal or unimportant. Your doctor is best-equipped to help you when he or she has all the information.
  • Work with your doctor to set expectations and goals for your treatment. For many patients, these may be "everyday" goals, like getting back to a regular work schedule or spending more time with family and friends.

To learn more about bipolar disorder, including additional tips for an effective patient-physician dialogue, visit
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SOURCE National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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