Seeking help for mental illness or instability is a hard yet courageous step to take. Finding out that you have a psychiatric disorder or chronic mental illness is a scary time for most people, yet finding out years later that you were wrongly diagnosed in the first place can be even more frightening.
Misdiagnosis Occurs 69% of Time
Health Line reports wrongly diagnosing personality disorders as a bipolar disorder occurs 69% of the time. In addition to this erroneous diagnosis, more than 33% remain misdiagnosed for a decade or more; the remainder live with the incorrect treatment for a period of between 6 and 7 ½ years. Because some psychiatric or mental health issues may be hard to pinpoint depending on the phase or cycle of the disorder, it is critically important to find a qualified and experienced mental health practitioner.
Misdiagnosis Brings Serious Consequences
Brown University reported on a 4 year study showing 40% of patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder were later correctly identified as having a borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, antisocial personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or with having an eating and impulse disorder. One major consequence of having a wrong diagnosis means that it is followed by the wrong treatment. Bipolar disorder may be treated with a mood stabilizer, yet treatment for borderline personality disorder follows a different path. Prescribing bipolar medications to someone without bipolar disorder needlessly exposes the patient to serious medication side effects that include a medical impact to renal, hepatic, immunologic and metabolic functions that can have life threatening consequences.
True Bipolar Disorder Also Misdiagnosed
Bipolar disorder is a biological illness where specific medications are essential for treatment. It is a chronic illness that requires life-long treatment and monitoring. Health Line reports that while many patients are misdiagnosed with bipolar disease, it is not uncommon for a bipolar diagnosis to be missed as most patients will seek out treatment during the depressed phase of their bipolar cycle. Mental health professionals may see the depressed state as just that and give a misdiagnosis of unipolar depression, or some other form of depression. Finding a qualified psychiatrist or mental health professional who is capable of making the correct diagnosis is important in that it will point the way to the right effective treatment – not to years of suffering through an incorrect treatment plan.
Atlanta Diagnostic Psychiatrist
Misdiagnosis is a common problem that can impact not only the patient’s life, but their family’s lives for 5 to 10 years before the correct diagnosis and treatment is discovered. Dr. Darvin Hege is a highly regarded Atlanta psychiatric doctor with decades of experience and decades of developing a successful treatment plan for his patients. Call for an appointment today – help really is only a phone call away.