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Bipolar...self diagnosis.


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Increase in people self-diagnosing bipolar disorder
Full Story

The willingness of high-profile bipolar disorder sufferers to talk about their condition has led to more people diagnosing themselves with the illness, researchers claimed today.
Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a condition affecting people's mood, which can swing from one extreme to another.
Writing in The Psychiatrist, Dr Diana Chan and Dr Lester Sireling, who both work in London, claim the increase in self diagnosis is due to greater public awareness and a willingness of celebrities such as Stephen Fry to talk about their personal experiences of the illness.
Around one in every 100 adults has bipolar disorder at a given time, but more recent studies suggest the true rate may be as high as 11 in every 100.
The psychiatrists wrote: "We have noticed in our clinical practice a new and unusual phenomenon, were patients present to psychiatrists with self-diagnosed bipolar disorder.
"Recently, we have noticed numerous GP referrals to our service where the primary request has been for a psychiatric opinion on whether the patient may have bipolar disorder, as suggested by the patient's own self-diagnosis.
"Also common, but less so in our experience, is the patient who attends reluctantly at the instigation of family members who are convinced they have finally made the diagnosis that can explain the awkward or embarrassing behaviour of their relative.
"Both types of presentation were very uncommon until about three years ago."
Explaining the phenomenon, Dr Chan and Dr Sireling added: "The increasing popularity of bipolar disorder may be attributed to increased media coverage, coupled with the high social status associated with celebrities such as Stephen Fry talking about their own personal experiences of mental illness.
"This appears to have promoted the disorder as less stigmatising and acceptable to the public, a phenomenon that may have an evolutionary basis."

Release Date 01/03/2010
Source Press Association
CountryUnited Kingdom


Well-known member
Jun 26, 2009
I think people self diagnose as they like to think of an excuse of why they are like that. It's the "in" thing to be bipolar


Well-known member
Jun 15, 2008
North West
Before my diagnosis: in my experience, if I went to doctor with episodic low mood I got told I was depressed. I lived a large chunk of life apparently in a mild hypomanic state - best years of my life. When I actually became very 'high' for the first time, I had no idea, I thought that something was different but that essentially everything was wonderful until it got TOO much and I landed in hospital. In hindsight I did have some insight early on.

Maybe some people do have so much insight that they can recognise it and put it to their GP? Maybe it's at the lower end of the spectrum? Maybe it's because most people now have an idea of what bipolar disorder is? I don't know, I can't speak from how it was for me on this one.

It does seem 'in' though. Quite how or why I just cannot understand. That I do find sick
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