Symptoms and diagnosis of bipolar disorder an overview power quiz questions

Hyperactivity and distractibility are two of the hallmark symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD). However, they are also quite predominant in bipolar disorder, especially as it relates to children. Many children diagnosed with ADHD are later diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well.

It is very common for those with bipolar disorder to struggle with alcohol and substance abuse issues. This is often an attempt, even on an unconscious level, to self-medicate. Additionally, the effects of these drugs (such as hallucinations or the inability to sleep) can be confused with the symptoms of bipolar disorder. In addition to these concerns, alcohol may interact with the medications used for bipolar disorder.

The diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder include impulsivity, suicidal behavior, reactivity of mood, inappropriate anger, and paranoia. All of these are also associated with bipolar disorder. It is possible for an individual to be diagnosed with both of these disorders as well. (Learn more about the similarities and differences between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.)

The hallmark of delusional disorder is non-bizarre delusions, meaning the situation may be possible. Mood episodes can be a symptom but they are brief in duration and are part of the delusion. If a doctor is not aware of the delusion, the mood may appear to be incongruent to current circumstances and therefore confused as bipolar disorder.

The one thing that distinguishes unipolar depression ( clinical depression) from bipolar disorder is mania/hypomania. If a patient with depression swings into an episode of mania, the diagnosis becomes bipolar disorder. Many people who have undiagnosed bipolar disorder are found to have the disorder when medications such as some antidepressants are started and precipitate mania.

It is not uncommon for those with bipolar disorder to experience eating disorders. Moreover, depression, anxiety and irritability often result from eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme fear of gaining weight or getting fat.

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent, spontaneous panic attacks. In that these attacks are traumatic, they do create instability of mood which may be confused with the mood episodes of bipolar disorder. Furthermore, panic attacks are also common in those with bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes intense disturbances in both cognition (thinking) and emotions (feeling). It consists of two classifications of Symptoms—positive and negative. Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and thinking, disorganized behavior, catatonic behavior, and inappropriate moods. Negative symptoms are flattened emotions, lack of speech and a reduction in goal-directed behavior. The symptoms of schizophrenia are easily confused with those of bipolar disorder.

A diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder is given when the symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (predominantly mania) are both present—occurring simultaneously. If the symptoms alternate or are not present throughout an episode, a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (perhaps with psychotic features) is more likely depending on the dominant symptoms. As you would expect, there is a great deal of confusion and controversy surrounding this disorder. Diagnostic Challenges

While specific, the review of bipolar criteria is also highly subjective. As such, cases are often missed. One study presented at the Royal College of Psychiatry’s Annual Meeting in 2009 reported that more than 25 percent of people with bipolar disorder were incorrectly diagnosed and treated when seeking help from a mental health professional.

Without an exclusionary diagnosis, the likelihood of misdiagnosis and abuse is strong. A study released in 2010 showed that, of 528 people receiving Social Security disability for a bipolar disorder, only 47.6 percent met the diagnostic criteria.

One is that although present psychotic symptoms are one of the things that differentiate bipolar I mania from bipolar II hypomania, someone with bipolar II may experience hallucinations or delusions during depressive episodes without the diagnosis changing to bipolar I.

The second is that someone with bipolar I disorder may also have hypomanic episodes. In fact, they commonly do. But, someone with bipolar II does not ever have a manic episode. If a manic episode occurs in someone with bipolar II, the diagnosis will be changed.