Bipolar disorder: assessment and management

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

  • This Guidelines summary includes recommendations that are relevant to the primary care setting. Please refer to the full guideline for the complete set of recommendations

Recognising and managing bipolar disorder in adults in primary care

Recognising bipolar disorder in primary care and referral

  • When adults present in primary care with depression, ask about previous periods of overactivity or disinhibited behaviour. If the overactivity or disinhibited behaviour lasted for 4 days or more, consider referral for a specialist mental health assessment
  • Refer people urgently for a specialist mental health assessment if mania or severe depression is suspected or they are a danger to themselves or others
  • Do not use questionnaires in primary care to identify bipolar disorder in adults