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Life Charting of Affective Disorders

  • Gabriele S. Leverich and Robert M. Post

Abstract

The recurrent and frequently chronic course of affective disorders requires careful delineation of the number, frequency, and pattern of prior and current episodes and their response to pharmacotherapies to help develop optimal assessment and treatment approaches for these Potentially lethal medical illnesses. To better track and monitor the longitudinal course of unipolar and bipolar illness and to promote more effective management, we developed the retrospective and prospective National Institute of Mental Health Life Chart Methodology (NIMH-LCM). The principles of retrospective and prospective life charting are the focus of this article. Following introductory background information on affective disorders, the influence of Kraepelin's work and his use of life charts are reviewed as the basis and framework for the NIMH-LCM. The use of life charting both retrospectively and prospectively is discussed, with examples of its utility and benefits.

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Life Charting of Affective Disorders

  • Gabriele S. Leverich and Robert M. Post

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