Bipolar Disorder Can Be Diagnosed At An Early Stage, Says Study

Bipolar Disorder Can Be Diagnosed at an Early Stage
Bipolar Disorder Disorder

Bipolar Disorder Can Be Diagnosed At An Early Stage, Says Study

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a lifelong illness that leads to extreme mood swings in an individual. Researchers have reported that since bipolar disorder (BD) is a lifelong illness, it worsens with time. However, a recent study has found that the onset of bipolar disorder is possible to be diagnosed before it gets worsened.   

The researchers at the Harvard Review of Psychiatry have identified two different patterns of symptoms that may enable the diagnoses of bipolar disorder among youngsters at an early stage. This can, then, be helpful in giving an early warning to the individuals before its onset.

The results of the study are based on the evaluation of 39 different studies that were conducted in the past to identify any prodromic symptoms that indicate its onset before it gets worsened. This was done as the researchers believed that apart from the genetic and environmental factors, there is a dearth of ways to identify the behavioral traits that are responsible for the onset of BD.

The study helped researchers draw the following conclusions:

  • A range of psychopathological symptoms, behavioral changes and exposures relating to the screening of BD were identified.
  • The first pattern of symptoms was homotypic such as mood swings, major depression, and periods of excitability. These were like BD but had lower intensity, which implied that most youngsters with these symptoms did not develop BD later. Those who were diagnosed with BD exhibited moderate to high tendency of the same pattern.
  • The second pattern of symptoms was heterotypic that are found in conditions like attention disorders, anxiety, and behavioral disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These symptoms are different from BD and were also low in specificity and sensitivity. This implied that only a few youngsters with these symptoms developed BD later.
  • Individuals with confirmed diagnosis of BD had fewer heterotypic symptoms.
  • The researchers said that the findings might not be accurate and therefore, more attention should be paid on the disease.
  • A number of risk factors were also identified by the researchers from previously published data that lead to BD. These included exposure to drugs, head injuries, sexual or physical abuse, preterm birth, and stress.
  • The researchers also said, “It also remains to be explored whether different features or clusters of factors may have specific predictive value for particular aspects of BD.” They recommended that the multiple risk factors must be studied rather than focusing on single predictors.

While it still won’t be feasible for doctors to prevent the onset of BD, knowing these risk factors can enable an early intervention and prevent the disease from getting worsened.

Treatment is Possible

According to the National Mental Health Survey 2016, about 1 in 150 persons or 0.3 per cent of Indians live with bipolar disorder and 70 percent of the remaining left untreated. Therefore, it is important that the severity of the condition is realized, and the right kind of help is made available to the concerned individuals. If there is someone you know who you think is dealing with BD but would rely only on an expert’s advice, guide them about the right kind of help available in their vicinity. In case, you would like to gain more knowledge and understanding about the different forms of mental illnesses affecting people across the country, Athena Foundation is the place to be.

Athena Foundation is backed by a team of experts who can advise you about the suitable courses available to understand the human psychology and how to help one deal with their mental illness. To know the complete details about the courses available across the country and abroad, call us today at our 24/7 helpline number +91 9599093700 or drop us an email at And our experts will contact you shortly with the required details.

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