Misdiagnosis a common concern among persons with psychiatric disorders. Imagine you’re being treated for a mental health condition you don’t have, which means you are missing out on important treatment that is meant for your disorder, the downside to this is that it can actually make your symptoms worse.
Disorders bipolar disorder is mistaken for
Bipolar disorder is sometimes misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD) or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). What this means is that your doctor made an incorrect diagnosis with one of these two disorders so instead of giving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder he/she gives you a diagnosis of ADHD or MDD.
Stats on the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder
The stats in the image above is troubling
A 2006 study published in Psychiatry reported that “69 percent of patients with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed initially and more than one-third remained misdiagnosed for 10 years or more.” The same study cited another study which found the average amount of time it took for people with bipolar disorder to get a correct diagnosis ranged from five to seven years.
Persons with bipolar disorder often seek treatment when they are in a depressive state which often leads to the disorder being misdiagnosed as depression (major depressive disorder MDD); conversely, people with bipolar disorder who are currently dealing with a manic episode may have their symptoms, such as restlessness and insomnia, misdiagnosed as ADHD.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder as well. What this mean is that your mental health care provider gave you a diagnosis of bipolar disorder when in fact you have BPD and the same goes for someone with PTSD. An incorrect diagnosis should not stop you from finding the help that you need, if you believe you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed by a mental health professional, seek a second opinion.
Incorrect medication due to incorrect diagnosis
This is very troubling because the incorrect diagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment which can make the symptoms worst. Take for example, prescribed antidepressants which are used to treat MDD can worsen the symptoms in persons with bipolar disorder making them feel worst.
If for any reason you think you are not receiving proper treatment, or you feel you have been given an incorrect diagnosis or you will work better with another mental health professional. It’s time to start searching for another mental health professional. Don’t let this discourage you, do not give up on getting an accurate diagnosis it will definitely be worth it.
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