• bipolar disorder;
  • early intervention;
  • management;
  • prodrome;
  • stages;
  • treatment resistance

Bipolar disorder is common, and both difficult to detect and diagnose. Treatment is contingent on clinical needs, which differ according to phase and stage of the illness. A staging model could allow examination of the longitudinal course of the illness and the temporal impact of interventions and events. It could allow for a structured examination of the illness, which could set the stage for algorithms that are tailored to the individuals needs. A staging model could further provide as structure for assessment, gauging treatment and outcomes. The model incorporates prodromal stages and emphasizes early detection and algorithm appropriate intervention where possible. At the other end of the spectrum, the model attempts to operationalize treatment resistance. The utility of the model will need to be validated by empirical research.