Bipolar disorder can be confused with other conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia, BPD, anxiety, and ADHD. Detecting and diagnosing bipolar disorder may take some time. But getting a correct, early diagnosis often results in better outcomes.
Cyclothymia symptoms alternate between emotional highs and lows. The highs of cyclothymia include symptoms of an elevated mood (hypomanic symptoms). The lows consist of mild or moderate depressive symptoms. Cyclothymia symptoms are similar to those of bipolar I or II disorder, but they're less severe.
Cyclothymia, or cyclothymic disorder, causes mood changes – from feeling low to emotional highs. Cyclothymia has many similarities to bipolar disorder.
As a consequence, Schwartz says, those with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed as having depression and may be given inappropriate treatment. “When bipolar disorder is missed, people can be put on medication that actually worsens the manic symptoms,” Schwartz says.
Patients with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed as having unipolar depression in many circumstances. The reason is related to clinicians or patients lacking knowledge about manic and hypomanic symptoms.
The main sign of bipolar disorder is extreme mood swings that go from emotional highs to emotional lows. Manic episodes cause people to seem very energetic, euphoric, or irritable. During depressive episodes, your loved one may seem sad, upset, or tired all the time.
Childhood traumatic events are risk factors for developing bipolar disorders, in addition to a more severe clinical presentation over time (primarily an earlier age at onset and an increased risk of suicide attempt and substance misuse).
MRIs and CT scans can provide detailed images of the brain and its structures. But currently, doctors don't use them to diagnose bipolar disorder. Detecting bipolar disorder is typically done through a diagnostic interview with a mental health professional.
Cyclothymia -- or cyclothymic disorder -- is a relatively mild mood disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity or duration of major depressive or full mania episodes.
Moreover, impulsivity, a hallmark of BPD, is also increased among bipolar patients, even during periods of euthymia [17, 18]. In a recent study, nearly 40% of BPD patients were found to have a mistaken diagnosis of BD , whereas other studies reported an even higher rate (56%) of over diagnosis of BD .
As mentioned previously, the most common misdiagnosis for bipolar patients is unipolar depression. An incorrect diagnosis of unipolar depression carries the risk of inappropriate treatment with antidepressants, which can result in manic episodes and trigger rapid cycling.
Our findings indicate that slow-growing brain tumors might mimic bipolar disorder.
Cyclothymia (cyclothymic disorder) is a milder form of bipolar disorder. It involves frequent mood swings of hypomanic and depressive episodes. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong mood disorder and mental health condition that causes intense shifts in mood, energy levels, thinking patterns and behavior.
Although bipolar disorder can occur at any age, typically it's diagnosed in the teenage years or early 20s. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and symptoms may vary over time.
In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, it's common to experience feelings of heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria. If you're experiencing a manic episode, you may talk a mile a minute, sleep very little, and be hyperactive. You may also feel like you're all-powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness.
To make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, your doctor will ask you about: How many symptoms you experience. Which types of mood episodes you experience. How long your mood episodes last for.
“To make a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, you have to see either a manic or a hypomanic episode,” says Ben Michaelis, PhD, a psychologist in New York City. These manic symptoms are ultimately what distinguishes bipolar disorder from unipolar depression.
The chemicals responsible for controlling the brain's functions are called neurotransmitters, and include noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. There's some evidence that if there's an imbalance in the levels of 1 or more neurotransmitters, a person may develop some symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Neglect. Sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Traumatic events. Losing someone very close to you, such as a parent or carer.
Drugs with a definite propensity to cause manic symptoms include levodopa, corticosteroids and anabolic-androgenic steroids. Antidepressants of the tricyclic and monoamine oxidase inhibitor classes can induce mania in patients with pre-existing bipolar affective disorder.
A study by Martins et al. (2014) confirms emotional abuse as a risk factor for mood disorders, including patients with BD. Moreover, patients with a history of emotional abuse have higher severity scores on all symptoms, including depression, hopelessness, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and impulsivity.
Without proper treatment, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression. "Bipolar disorder may also be present in a mixed state, in which you might experience both mania and depression at the same time.
Bipolar disorder is easily confused with depression because it can include depressive episodes. The main difference between the two is that depression is unipolar, meaning that there is no “up” period, but bipolar disorder includes symptoms of mania.
When left untreated, the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder will often increase in severity and may lead to suicide; there is a high suicide rate for people with the disorder. When treated, it's possible to control the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and enjoy a more stable and fulfilling life.