Bipolar personality disorder (BPD), sometimes referred to as manic-depressive disorder, affects nearly 5.7 million adult Americans, reflecting approximately 2.6% of the population. The disorder is characterized by dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels that affect a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks. These shifts that one experiences are more severe than those experience by others. With 4 diverse types of BPD, one may experience poor decision making, distractibility, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, exaggerated sense of well-being and more, if going through a mania phase. Depressive phases consist of feeling loss of energy, slowed behavior or restlessness, significant weight loss when not dieting, feeling empty, and more.

According to Everyday Health, nearly 20% of people with BPD get misdiagnosed. How does this happen? Many researchers believe it’s because those with BPD who come in to obtain a diagnosis only report their symptoms of depressive periods rather than including their mania episodes as well. When this happens, the person may be diagnosed with depression instead. Anti-depressants serve as a mood booster, which can worsen the symptoms of mania that a person may experience.

A 2006 study conducted by researchers at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus also stated that lapses in history-taking could contribute towards misdiagnosis. Much of what a BPD diagnosis relies upon are patterns of behavior over an extended period – if someone can’t recall some of these patterns, it can easily get misinterpreted. Additionally, the study concluded that a presence of psychiatric and medical comorbidities can alter someone’s diagnosis. In other words, what may show up as symptoms of one disorder may be overlapping with symptoms of another. When this happens, it is up to the psychiatrist and diagnostic assessment to help rule out certain conditions, which can be challenging.

If you believe that you may have bipolar disorder, try to recall your history with the symptoms you are experiencing. How do you describe your symptoms, and how do others describe your symptoms? Have your symptoms gotten better or worse over time? Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions? These are just a few questions that require honesty and reflection, both of which could help you in obtaining a proper diagnosis. Seeking treatment is the best thing that you could do to ensure your well-being.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment centers. If you are seeking help, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. You are not alone, and there are many people who want to help you develop the tools you need to succeed. Make the decision to place your health as top priority today.

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