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6-Year Delay from Initial Diagnoses of Bipolar, to Final Diagnoses. 

“A new international study discovers it takes almost six years following symptoms of bipolar disorder and determination of diagnosis and initiation of treatment.”
“Many experts believe crucial opportunities to manage bipolar disorder early are being lost because of the delay.”


“Investigators performed a meta-analysis of 9,415 patients from 27 studies, the largest of its kind.”

“They discovered many patients experience distressing and disruptive symptoms for several years until receiving proper treatment for bipolar disorder, previously known as manic-depressive illness.”

“According to lead researcher Dr. Matthew Large, a psychiatrist at Prince of Wales Hospital, the delay is often longer for young people because moodiness is sometimes misperceived by parents.”

“This is common as providers may attribute symptoms as the ups and downs of the teenage years rather than the emergence of bipolar disorder. The misdiagnosis is disturbing as bipolar can be effectively treated with mood stabilizing medication.”

“This is a lost opportunity because the severity and frequency of episodes can be reduced with medication and other interventions,” Large said. “While some patients, particularly those who present with psychosis, probably do receive timely treatment, the diagnosis of the early phase of bipolar disorder can be difficult.”

“This is because mental health clinicians are sometimes unable to distinguish the depressed phase of bipolar disorder from other types of depression.”

To learn more about this, please read the whole article. I have taken the best of it to show to you, but the article will tell you so much more.

Go to:  Delay in Bipolar Diagnosis Scary

And don’t forget to spread that AWARENESS IS KEY.  That is my motto on this blog


Bipolar- Delays in Diagnoses

bidpolar Disorder

“One of the difficulties with diagnosing Bipolar is that often patients present with symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Any combination of these can mask the real problem and this is compounded by the reality that patients don’t go to their doctor when they are manic. My own situation is somewhat typical. I actually had a minor breakdown but by the time I went to the doctor I had already made a recovery. Nine months after the initial breakdown, I had a major breakdown. I presented with the symptoms of anxiety; I couldn’t cope with work and was signed off for a week or two at a time. As the weeks rolled by, I was diagnosed as suffering with stress and within months, I was diagnosed with depression.”


“Twelve years after my breakdown my wife went to my GP. I was having a protracted and higher manic episode than typical for me. He made an urgent referral to see a psychiatrist who then diagnosed me as having Bipolar. That diagnosis pretty quickly became a huge relief. I was not mad! It really explained a lot about my entire life and especially why I had gone back to look at a violent criminal and his minder. I had thought that I was invincible and my sense of justice proved to be a recipe for disaster.”

“Since then more and more research using brain imaging studies with MRI scanning show that depression and anxiety disorders damage your brain when untreated. Parts of the brain shrink causing measurable changes in key areas of the brain. Typical symptoms include mood changes, difficulty with cognitive functioning, trouble remembering things, difficulty making decisions, planning, setting priorities and taking action. They cause abnormalities in specific areas of the brain including the hippocampus, the memory centre and the anterior cingulate, the brain’s conflict-resolution area. The longer the illness is not treated the more damage is done. Recent research by the German researcher Thomas Frodl showed continued decrease in those brain areas in people with depression and in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex as well when they were not treated.”


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