Why Bipolar Disorder Is Often Wrongly Diagnosed

Bipolar disorder is missed in some people and mistakenly diagnosed in others. Find out why, and what you can do about it.

Up to 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder may be mistakenly diagnosed with depression.

About 4 percent of people in the United States experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And an estimated 2.8 percent of adults have been diagnosed with the disorder in the past year.

But in recent years, some researchers have called some of those diagnoses into question, while others have maintained that the number of people with bipolar disorder, which causes severe swings in energy levels and mood, is actually greater.

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