A Long Wait: Bipolar Disorder Symptoms May Go Undiagnosed For Years

bipolar disorder symptoms

A Long Wait: Bipolar Disorder Symptoms May Go Undiagnosed For Years

Do you suspect that your teen is displaying bipolar disorder symptoms? Are you unsure of a previous diagnosis of some other mental health struggle from your child’s clinician?

A recent article by CBS News discusses a study that found that many people wait years and years after their bipolar disorder symptoms start before they finally get an accurate diagnosis. The study found that the average time people wait to be diagnosed is six years.

Why is it taking so long?

This long wait time may be attributed to the fact that early depressive phases of bipolar disorder are very hard to distinguish from other depressive disorders. Sometimes parents mistake bipolar disorder symptoms in teens with teen angst. These symptoms can be pushed aside as a teen being moody or tired.

In order to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, clinicians need a detailed life history and specific information from family members. This can take a lot of time to put together, which may put off a specific diagnosis.

It’s important for parents to recognize the early signs of bipolar disorder before symptoms get worse.

Spotting early bipolar disorder symptoms

Knowing what to look for in teens and children who parents suspect may be displaying bipolar disorder symptoms is a crucial step to getting them properly diagnosed. Bipolar disorder is often characterized by periods of mania and depression.

The most common form of bipolar disorder, Bipolar II is characterized by much less severe manic episodes than the classic form of bipolar disorder (regular periods of extreme mania and depression). For people struggling with Bipolar II, it is harder for them to recognize symptoms within themselves. That’s when parents and other loved ones should step in to get them properly diagnosed.

For those unfamiliar with symptoms of mania and depression, here are a few signs to watch out for:

Symptoms of mania- Feeling overly happy for long stretches of time, overly jumpy or twitchy, extremely restless or impulsive, risky behaviors, and talking abnormally rapidly

Symptoms of depression- Always tired, Feelings of hopelessness and sadness for an extended period of time, changes in appetite, suicidal ideation, preoccupation with death

ViewPoint Center provides accurate diagnoses

ViewPoint Center, a teen diagnostic assessment center for teens ages 12-18, provides teens and their families with accurate diagnoses through a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, as well as an individualized treatment plan.

For more information about how ViewPoint Center can diagnose your child’s bipolar disorder symptoms, call 801-825-5222 today.


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