In The Field of Psychology, Bipolar Disorder Is Difficult To Diagnose

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The importance of diagnosing people with bipolar disorder accurately is extremely important because the seriousness of this illness is indisputable.

Within the field of psychology, bipolar disorder is one of the most common major mental illnesses but one of the most difficult for doctors to diagnose correctly.  In order for a patient to receive the necessary treatment such as therapy and medication, an accurate diagnosis is critical.

Unfortunately, there are no x-rays, blood or laboratory tests that can establish an unequivocal diagnosis that would provide clearer, more accurate results.  There is no standard test available today that determines whether the patient’s symptoms indicate bipolar disorder or another mental illness.  The reason that many patients with symptoms of bipolar disorder end up misdiagnosed is the lack of analysis available.  Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that sometimes takes year to detect and diagnose properly.

Doctors often misidentify bipolar disorder psychological symptoms for other major depressive disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders that are substance induced or the result of medical conditions.  Even with extremely knowledgeable and experienced psychiatrists or doctors of psychology, bipolar disorder diagnosis is still extremely difficult for them to diagnose.

One of the most successful ways for a doctor to do bipolar testing is with a series of laboratory exams, questions, constant observations and assessments.  Some of the tests the doctor may do or ask include details about when you first started experiencing your manic depression episodes and the frequency.  Because drugs could be the potential causes of manic depression, a doctor will usually question the patient about any prescribed or illegal drugs taken in the past.  For patients that suggested they took any drugs that were not prescribed or legal, laboratory tests may be required.

Some other testing the doctor may subject you to include observing your mood swings and behavioural patterns and testing you to determine your reasoning skills, thinking skills, memory capabilities, and emotional state.  Personal history and family background is very important because studies show that some patients are genetically inclined to bipolar disorder or have a genetic vulnerability.

Your childhood environment or stressful situations may also have an affect on mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder.  It is important to seek professional help early if you are concerned about your mental state or bipolar disorder.  The sooner you seek help, the quicker you can start treatment.

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