New study, “Differentiating Bipolar Depression from Postpartum Depression” emphasizes the importance of screening for bipolar illness during pregnancy and postpartum, stating that the occurrence of bipolar symptoms is more common than people think. Sometimes, postpartum depression can be confused with bipolar illness (Psychiatric Times).

It is extremely important that clinicians ask the right questions to help make the proper diagnosis. This misdiagnosis can go both ways: women with postpartum depression are sometimes misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and some women with bipolar disorder might be misdiagnosed with postpartum depression. According to Verinder Sharma, from the University of Western Ontario, once a woman is diagnosed with postpartum depression she should be screened for symptoms of mania and hypomania.

Here’s an good example of some screening questions for bipolar illness as listed on Psych Central.

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