The study findings support previous research that suggests nearly half of all patients who have bipolar disorder will first be diagnosed with major depression.
Inappropriate treatment due to misdiagnosis can have a harmful effect on patients and potentially makes the illness harder to treat; antidepressants alone have been shown to induce mania or hypomania (a mild form of mania) in some patients with bipolar depression.
Furthermore, people with untreated bipolar disorder can experience a greater frequency of manic and depressive episodes, causing significant disruption in their personal and professional lives. People going years without a diagnosis, or people have been misdiagnosed may be able to seek compensation. People in this situation could employ the services of medical malpractice lawyers, like the Keating O’Gara Law Firm (keatinglaw.com), as having to live with this condition can be debilitating. Those suffering might experience financial difficulties due to loss of work, or may even sustain injuries from impulsive behaviour due to mismanaged symptoms. It can affect all facets of life, from relationships to self-care.
Many experts say people with bipolar disorder can face up to ten years of coping with symptoms before getting an accurate diagnosis but all agree that for people suffering from depression it is essential they talk to their doctors about other experiences and symptoms over their lifetime.
It seems it is only too common for many patients with bipolar disorder to receive an incorrect diagnosis, meaning years are lost to an illness that can be successfully managed when correctly diagnosed and treated.