When a patient’s bipolar symptoms are extremely classic, we can diagnose quickly. However, there are a lot of cases in which the symptoms are not, and require us to dig a little deeper to correctly identify if bipolar disorder is the cause of mental health issues.
For instance, many people with diagnosed bipolar disorder start with depression symptoms at treatment. For some, it will simply be depression. For others, it could indicate more, which is why we do our research to confirm or deny any possible conclusions.
Because 60 percent of bipolar cases are hereditary, we review the family history and a number of other indicators that suggest the potential for mania may be present in a depressive episode. This is important as treatment with some antidepressants might trigger manic episodes in vulnerable individuals.
Indicators can include symptoms occurring in adolescence; having family members with the condition; or a first episode of depression after giving birth--some women who develop postpartum depression turn out to have bipolar disorder.
Additional red flags can include unsuccessful treatments with antidepressants or having undergone severe depressive episodes with symptoms like hallucinations.
As your mental health is our priority, we make sure to review and rule out possible issues that at first may not be evident.