Bipolar Disorder and Misdiagnosis

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder Misdiagnosis and Mental Health Treatment

Unfortunate, sad, hopeful and encouraging! Mixed emotions about what appears to be a challenging case along with frustration for the patient, family, and treating physicians. Too often symptoms from one condition such as Bipolar Disorder are consistent with those of another disorder and makes accurate diagnosis complex. As a result treatment may prove to be ineffective and at times detrimental.

So how does a professional decide when symptoms of a condition meet the diagnostic criteria of one diagnosis or an alternative diagnosis which is rare or unknown? In the case linked here a girl with reported symptoms of psychosis and behavior consistent with Bipolar Disorder is misdiagnosed and treated for mental illness when reported symptoms are found to be the result of an immune system condition called PANS pediatric acute onset neuropsychiatric syndrome.

After the fact reflection offers a non-treating clinician the advantage to look at a case from a different angle after the correct diagnosis is made. They can look for inconsistencies with the presenting symptoms and support and alternate diagnosis. While all information is not likely present in this article, the report of the rapid onset of symptoms, in one day, appears extreme when considering the typical progression of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

Consideration of precipitating factors and variables outside of the presence of symptoms are important when a making a diagnosis as certain factors may create a different understanding of the condition. Consultation with other professionals is essential as different perspectives and experience contributes to a comprehensive assessment which aids in treatment.

Bipolar disorder can also be incorrectly diagnosed when occurring alongside alcohol and drug addiction and should be given careful consideration. A review of the following article titled Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse may be helpful to better understanding the complexity of assessment and treatment of a condition consistent with these symptoms.

NSIGHT Psychology and Addiction is a mental health and addiction treatment program that specializes in treating emotional issues that often precede and reinforce alcohol and drug abuse.

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