Best answer: Can alcoholism be misdiagnosed as bipolar?

In 2011, researchers noted that alcohol misuse can result in a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is already difficult to diagnose, as it can share symptoms with other conditions, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, and depression.

Can alcohol cause bipolar symptoms?

Alcohol is known to intensify bipolar disorder due to its sedating effects. It acts similarly to some medications, risking feelings of depression with each swig of alcohol. Alcohol also greatly increases the severity of mania, which many who suffer from bipolar find extremely pleasurable.

What can be mistaken for bipolar disorder?

As mentioned previously, the most common misdiagnosis for bipolar patients is unipolar depression. An incorrect diagnosis of unipolar depression carries the risk of inappropriate treatment with antidepressants, which can result in manic episodes and trigger rapid cycling.

What percentage of alcoholics are bipolar?

Susan C. Sonne, PharmD, and Kathleen T. Brady, M.D., Ph. D.

Any substance abuse or dependence (%) Alcohol abuse (%)
Any Bipolar Disorder 56.1 16.1
Bipolar I 60.7 14.7
Bipolar II 48.1 18.4
Unipolar Depression 27.2 5.0
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Can alcoholism be misdiagnosed?

If you cannot be honest about your drinking habits, it is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately diagnose an AUD. A health care professional is unlikely to give an AUD diagnosis during routine visits because this condition is often misdiagnosed.

Can drinking cause bipolar disorder?

There is currently no evidence that alcohol use actually causes bipolar disorder. However, a 1998 study found that alcohol can have the same effects on the brain that bipolar disorder does, prompting manic and depressive symptoms.

How are you tested for bipolar disorder?

There are no specific blood tests or brain scans to diagnose bipolar disorder. Even so, your doctor may perform a physical exam and order lab tests, including a thyroid function test and urine analyses. These tests can help determine if other conditions or factors could be causing your symptoms.

Why is bipolar disorder so commonly misdiagnosed?

Patients with bipolar disorder are often misdiagnosed as having unipolar depression in many circumstances. The reason is related to clinicians or patients lacking knowledge about manic and hypomanic symptoms.

Can you be undiagnosed with bipolar?

But bipolar disorder can be sneaky. Symptoms can defy the expected manic-depressive sequence. Infrequent episodes of mild mania or hypomania can go undetected.

Can anxiety be mistaken for bipolar?

How are bipolar disorder mania and anxiety similar? Experiences of mania and anxiety can feel similar. An episode of mania and anxiety can share symptoms like trouble with sleep, racing thoughts, agitation, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating.

How do bipolar people act drunk?

Drinking alcohol can increase the severity of your symptoms.

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Individuals with bipolar who drink alcohol have been found to be more violent, more impulsive, and more likely to engage in other types of substance abuse.

Does bipolar worsen with age?

Bipolar may worsen with age or overtime if this condition is left untreated. As time goes on, a person may experience episodes that are more severe and more frequent than when symptoms first appeared.

What are symptoms of a manic episode?

Both a manic and a hypomanic episode include three or more of these symptoms:

  • Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired.
  • Increased activity, energy or agitation.
  • Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
  • Decreased need for sleep.
  • Unusual talkativeness.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Distractibility.

Which mental disorder is most commonly comorbid with alcoholism?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), three mental disorders most commonly comorbid with alcoholism are major depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder.

What is used to diagnose alcoholism?

While there are no specific tests to diagnose alcohol use disorder, certain patterns of lab test abnormalities may strongly suggest it. And you may need tests to identify health problems that may be linked to your alcohol use. Damage to your organs may be seen on tests. Complete a psychological evaluation.

Can a psychologist diagnose alcoholism?

Many individuals with alcohol problems suffer from other mental health conditions, such as severe anxiety and depression, at the same time. Psychologists can also diagnose and treat these “co-occurring” psychological conditions.