A study conducted at the Brown University School of Medicine in the state of Rhode Island suggests that about 50% of cases diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder could be wrong.

The Overdiagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder

This report is one of the latest that has emerged at Brown University, in the United States, with the aim of optimizing diagnostic assessment involves a common front of collaborations between academic researchers and health personnel in the psychiatric field. The study was conducted based on interviews with 800 psychiatric patients using a comprehensive diagnostic test, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders. The respondents also answered a questionnaire in which they had to specify if they had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Manic-Depressive Disorder.

One hundred forty-six of these patients indicated that they had been previously diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder. However, the researchers noticed that only 64 of the patients suffered from Bipolar Disorder based on their own diagnoses through the SCID test.

Controversy: underdiagnosis under a magnifying glass

The researchers shuffled some explanatory hypotheses in front of these surprising results that suggest a disproportionate diagnosis of cases of Bipolar Disorder. Among them, it is speculated on with a greater propensity of the specialists to diagnose TB in front of other more stigmatizing disorders and for which there is no precise treatment.

Another explanatory theory attributes the responsibility in the overdiagnosis to the aggressive advertising of the drugs used in the treatments by the pharmaceutical companies. Many professionals and scientists have recently highlighted that  ADHD may also be diagnosed in excess.

Researchers insist on the need to use standardized and validated methods such as SCID to obtain reliable diagnoses.

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