In recent decades, much of the stigma around mental health issues has been lifted. People are being encouraged to talk and address the mental health issues they are suffering from. But, the field of psychology is still relatively new and there is a lot of work to do.
Bipolar disorder is relatively common, with between 1 and 2% of the world’s population suffering from this condition. There are various forms and severities of this condition, but it has the potential to be debilitating if not treated effectively.
How often is bipolar disorder misdiagnosed and what are the potential consequences of this?
Many patients are misdiagnosed at first instance
Some studies suggest that as many as 69% of bipolar sufferers are diagnosed with the wrong condition at first instance. Some of the symptoms are similar to the likes of depression, but the most effective treatments can be very different.
Potential harms of being misdiagnosed
Manic episodes are commonly associated with bipolar disorder and these can vary in their severity. Sometimes, a person will feel fearless and able to carry out dangerous activities which they would not have otherwise. On the other end of the scale, an individual may become so low that they no longer intend to go on living.
The symptoms and severity of mental health conditions like bipolar can vary, which is why an accurate diagnosis is so important. If your medical team has misdiagnosed you through negligence, then you may be able to hold them to account. Seeking legal guidance will give you a better idea of your options.