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Crossing over the Borderline: the Importance of Proper Bipolar Diagnosis

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Date Submitted:
07/13/2013 01:09 PM
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Whenever people think about medical conditions, it is very important to remember the differences between various diseases and disorders, even if they may at first seem similar. This is definitely the case with bipolar disorder and depression, and it is extremely important that those suffering from bipolar disorder know that there are differences, and the result of misdiagnosis or not receiving proper treatment can be extremely devastating. The impulsiveness and aggressiveness of bipolar disorder can lead to a higher risk of suicide than patients diagnosed with depression, according to major findings recorded with the US National Library of Medicine. With eight distinct differences in symptoms, people who experience depression or bipolar disorder must understand key mood behaviors, be accurately diagnosed and receive proper treatment.
    For many patients who suffer from bipolar disorder, diagnosis can take years and several visits to the doctor before the problem is correctly identified. Bipolar mood swings can be difficult to distinguish from other problems such as clinical depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and borderline personality disorder. One of the reasons bipolar disorder can be misdiagnosed is that most people with the disorder seek help when they are in the depressive stage of the illness, not during the manic stage as they do not recognize it as part of the problem. Correctly identifying the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is challenging for a family physician, therefore choosing a psychiatrist is recommended, as they are more likely to be familiar with the latest research and treatment options available.


Symptoms of bipolar disorder can dramatically fluctuate between deep depression and extreme mania. The fluctuations that vary from patient to patient can categorize which type of bipolar disorder they may be inflicted with. Bipolar I disorder is the classic form of the illness, and most severe, characterized by at least one...
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