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Bipolar Disorder and its misdiagnosis - Essay Example

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Bipolar disorder is a condition in which the patient suffers from severe mood swings alternating between an elevated state of energy level and mood, which is normally termed as mania, or at a depressive state. The disorder is characterized by one or more manic, hypomanic or mixed state episodes lasting for at least a week…
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Bipolar Disorder and its misdiagnosis
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Bipolar Disorder and its misdiagnosis

It is considered a genetic malfunction of specific neurotransmitters which lie inactive until a stressor in life triggers them. There are certain medications which can also trigger mania for example antidepressants can produce mania in some of the patients who are vulnerable to bipolar disorder. Therefore it is very necessary to treat bipolar disorder with care and caution as because a depressive episode can readily turn into a manic episode. Some other stressors as lack of sleep, frequent use of stimulants and alcohol can increase the risk of the bipolar disorder. Hence, depression and bipolar/manic depression are two very different conditions and necessitate accurate diagnosis before treating any of the disorders. Bipolar disorder is further subdivided into three types, Including Bipolar I, II and Cyclothymic disorder. Type III bipolar disorder which is not a DSM-IV recognized disorder and includes relatives of the manic depression sufferers who themselves suffered from major depressive episodes. ...
(PubMed, 2011)Carbamazipine, Lithium, Valproate, Lamotrigine and other ant seizure drugs can help reduce the severity of the situation. Antipsychotics and anti anxiety for mood problems are suggested. More than 25% patients are misdiagnosed due to overlapping symptoms of manic depression and unipolar depression. However, use of antidepressants can lead to increase risk of suicide and mania in patients of bipolarism. Underuse of effective medication and overuse of antidepressants is common among the misdiagnosed patients which is possibly a harmful treatment regimen for the bipolar patient. The patients with early onset and treatment refractory depression are the ones mostly misdiagnosed as unipolar depression instead of bipolarism. For this purpose a study was conducted in United Kingdom and approved by Cardiff and Vale University health board. It aimed to determine the extent of misdiagnosis in the primary care patients with unipolar depression who satisfy the DSM IV criteria of bipolar depression. Second aim was to investigate the usefulness of two screening instruments of testing Bipolar disorder and if patients with false positive results from these testing gears differ from manic patients in the study. For this purpose a total of 3117 patients were selected eligible from the data base of practitioners who fulfilled the criteria. Invitation sheets with HCL 32 and BSD questionnaire was sent to the participants. 576 patients replied with completed questionnaire and were divided in two groups and were reviewed according to age, gender and first diagnosis of depression and patients on continued medication. There were high scorers, scoring more than 13 or 14 in HCL and BSD’s and a group of low scorers with ... Read More
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