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Doctor insights on: How Often Is Autism Misdiagnosed For Bipolar Disorder In Kids

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Dr. Alan Ali
1,717 doctors shared insights

Bipolar Disorder (Definition)

Also known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that in its most severe form causes dramatic shifts in mood, from mania to depression. Symptoms of mania include markedly elevated mood and energy, reduced sleep and a reduced need for sleep, racing thoughts, and grandiose ideas. When mood changes are severe, psychotic ideation may be present. Symptoms of depression can include low energy, feeling sad, feelings of guilt and hopelessness that are out of proportion to the patient's actual situation, low motivation, inability to experience pleasure, and suicidal ideation. Sleep may be increased, and concentration may be impaired. Some manic patients may be extremely irritable rather than euphoric. Less severe but clearly abnormal mood ...Read more


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I would like to know if I have been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.?

I would like to know if I have been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.?

In addition: When you seek a second opinion, bring someone (family member, spouse, close friend) who can provide independent information to the consulting health professional. This "collateral" information is often very useful in helping to rule in or out diagnoses. ...Read more

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Please advise if it's common for bipolar disorder to be misdiagnosed as borderline personality disorder?

Sometimes.: Yes, on the surface. Some of the characteristics are similar such as the mood instability, impulsivity, sleep disorder especially the hypomanic states. Unlike the bipolar disorder which have distinct periods of mania and depression lasting at least a week, borderline personality disorder shows a pervasive pattern of instability with extremes of idealization and devaluation. ...Read more

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Is bipolar disorder usually misdiagnosed?

Is bipolar disorder usually misdiagnosed?

Yes and no: Bipolar d/o is a longitudinal disorder. Someone with depression may not have had recognizable manic episodes. Manic episodes associated with psychosis may not be recognized as mania. Rarely would someone be misdiagnosed with bipolar d/o unless psychotic symptoms persist in the absence of significant mood related symptoms which would likely be schizophrenia. Substance abuse may cloud the picture. ...Read more

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What kind of behaviors in a child would get diagnosed as bipolar disorder?

Multiple Problems: Bipolar disorder in children usually includes high levels of hyperactivity along with severe problems related to the mood. There may be dramatic and inpredictable mood swings, or there may be a mixture of depression with irritability or euphoria occurring within short periods of time. Impulsivity is frequently present with severe behavior problems. Temper outbursts and aggression may occur. ...Read more

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I have bipolar disorder type 1. What are the chances of me passing it on to my children. My grandfther had bipolar type 1 aswell.

I have bipolar disorder type 1. What are the chances of me passing it on to my children. My grandfther had bipolar type 1 aswell.

Available studies: Genetic transmission of bipolar disorder is not complete -- your children do not automatically develop the disease that you have. Some studies have shown that with 1 bipolar parent, there is 15% risk in kids' developing the illness; with both parents, it goes up to 30%. So there's a greater chance that your children won't be bipolar, than that they will. Healthy lifestyle helps too. ...Read more

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How can bipolar disorder be different in teens/children and adults?

Complicated answer: Most commonly, symptoms don't manifest until late teens or early twenties. Children who are diagnosed as bipolar can be very energetic, have less need for sleep, temper tantrums and aggression are out of range for the precipitant. They can also be grandiose and inappropriately sexual for their age. Often the first episode in a child is depression. Caution i f there is a family hx of bp. ...Read more

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How is bipolar disorder different in teens and children compared to adults?

Good Question: The whole issue of bipolar disorder in children is controversial, mostly because what we call bipolar disorder in children tends to look different than with adults. Chidlren with bipolar disorder tend to be more irritable, and their moods tend to be more fluctuating or mixed. There are not usually the clear cycles of mania and depression that occur more with teens and adults. ...Read more

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
623 doctors shared insights

Autism (Definition)

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Patients with autism may display significant delays in certain developmental areas while having normal or superior strengths in other developmental or learning domains. The severity of the disorder is highly variable ...Read more


Dr. Donald Jacobson
737 doctors shared insights

Manic Depressive Disorder (Definition)

Though depression is not required for diagnosis most people have both manic and depressive episodes and may have mixed episodes with features of both. Length of episodes vary, but are separated by "normal" periods of emotion and behavior. See my answers to similar ...Read more