Fast Five Quiz: Bipolar Disorder With Agitation

W. Clay Jackson, MD, DipTh


November 16, 2021

Agitation may manifest as physical aggression; therefore, it is important to address it appropriately, especially because family members and medical personnel are most often the targets of patients who are aggressive. Agitation that is associated with psychosis is a frequent cause of emergency department visits, admissions to psychiatric wards, and continued hospitalization.

Agitation is mostly seen in patients with bipolar disorder during acute manic states (when increased energy levels and reduced need for sleep lead patients to collide with the limits of others). However, agitation also occurs during mixed and depressive states, which are characterized by fluctuating energy levels and periods of irritability. In one study, approximately 20% of patients with bipolar disorder had psychomotor agitation during a depressive state. Another study indicated that the frequency was more than 31%.

Learn more about agitation as a component of bipolar disorder.


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