Bipolar Disorder and the Overdiagnosing problem

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Bipolar Disorder (BD) affects about 2 million people in the United States in any given year. This troubling mental illness can disrupt a person’s daily life and often leads to thoughts of suicide or death. People who get inappropriately diagnosed with BD often get treated with medication that is unnecessary and potentially harmful. BD has become one of the most over diagnosed mental disorders, this due to the overlapping features between BP and other personality disorders. The creation of a universal assessment technique and reeducating the public and professionals would reduce the over-diagnosis problem.
Bipolar Disorder is a type of mental illness, more precisely a mood disorder which is characterized by mania and depressive episodes. Mania is a period of elevated or irritable moods and depression episodes are low or sad moods, these episodes can last from a few days to several months and can impair the ability to function in everyday life. There are several classifications of these episodes and even mixed states in which one experiences both episodes at the same time. To be diagnosed with BD you must seek a health care provider who performs a thorough exam and lab tests to look for other illnesses that may be causing the symptoms that resemble BD. The diagnosis is based on the self – reported experiences and abnormalities in behavior reported by your family members, friends and co-workers.
There is a list of criteria’s and depending on the duration of the symptoms, that is how one gets diagnosed with BD. There is no clear idea as to how many types of bipolar disorders exist, but bipolar disorder type I, bipolar disorder type II, bipolar disorder NOS (not otherwise specified), and cyclothymic disorder are the most common. Mos...

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...sts continue their path of over-diagnosing patients, the lack of reliability in psychiatrist will be the issue to follow. The overlapping features BD shares with other mental illnesses, contributes to the diagnostic errors. A universal assessment technique would reduce the issue by having a broad view of BD features. Regardless of what your take in on the issue it is evident that over- diagnosing is a problem and it must be addressed for the well being of the general public.

Work Cited
1) Ghouse, Amna. “Overdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder: A Critical Analysis of the literature.” Scientific Word Journal 10.1155 (2013): 287-297. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.

2) Mazmanian, Dwight. “Bipolar Disorders: A Shift To Overdiagnosis Or To Accurate Diagnosis?” Canadian Journal Of Psychiatry 58.6 (2013): 371-372. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Apr. 2014
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