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Correct Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type Directs Treatment

Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million adults. People with bipolar disorder suffer through periods of intermittent elevated manic or hypomanic behaviors, often experienced along with periods of depressed states that directly interfere with normal daily activities. With bipolar disorder, symptoms may vary from one person to the next, and a proper and correct diagnosis is often difficult to make — even for trained mental health professionals.

Statistics Show Bipolar Disorder Often Incorrectly Diagnosed

Some alarming statistics surround misdiagnosis. Around 70% of those who have bipolar disorder have received at least one misdiagnosis. For another 25% it took up to 3 years before correct diagnosis. Finding the right mental health professional who can pinpoint the disorder and start treatment immediately can be essential to moving toward a healthy life.

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Falls into Four Basic Types

The primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder is not only difficult to establish, but four basic types of this disorder also need to be considered when developing a successful treatment strategy and plan. An experienced and thorough mental health professional will typically use the DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a guideline for proper diagnosis.

The four basic types of bipolar disorder are:

  • Bipolar I Disorder is defined by manic or mixed episodes that continue for at least a 7-day period, or by manic symptoms and behavior that are so severe that immediate medical and psychiatric care is needed. Depressive episodes are also seen, lasting for at least 2 weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorder where a pattern of depressive episodes with hypomanic episodes are exhibited. There are no severe episodes noted.
  • BP-NOS, Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is a diagnosis given when symptoms of the disorder do exist but they do not meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar I or II. Symptoms and behaviors demonstrated are outside of a person’s normal range of behaviors.
  • Cyclothymia is a mild form of bipolar disorder where episodes of hypomania and mild depression occur over a 2 year period. The symptoms and behaviors displayed do not meet the criteria for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder can also include seasonal changes in mood, rapid cycling mood shifts, and even psychosis.

Atlanta Bipolar Disorder Psychiatrist with Long History of Successful Treatment

Bipolar disorder can be effectively treated and managed, affording you a functional life of work, family, social relationships and personal achievement. Find the right psychiatrist capable of making the correct diagnosis. Dr. Hege has a long history of successfully developing a comprehensive treatment plan that works.

Your life is too important to sort through a series of doctors hoping for the best. Make your first call to Dr. Darvin Hege, Atlanta’s renowned bipolar disorder psychiatrist, and start moving forward toward the healthy functional life that you deserve.