The Importance of Getting Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

The impact of not getting a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder, being misdiagnosed with depression, and treatment for bipolar disorder.

The impact of not getting a correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder (misdiagnosed as depression) and treatment for bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder commonly goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as another condition, for an average of 8 years. It's also been shown that some people delay seeking medical care for up to 10 years after symptoms first appear. And at any given time, experts say, more than 60% of people with bipolar disorder are untreated, under-treated, or improperly treated.

What does this mean for people with undiagnosed or inadequately treated bipolar disorder?

Obviously, it can mean they suffer too long with bipolar symptoms that could be treated. But there are other important reasons to explore your current bipolar treatment needs.

People with bipolar disorder can lead healthy and productive lives when the illness is effectively treated. Without treatment, however, the natural course of bipolar disorder tends to worsen:

  • Over time, a person may suffer more frequent and more severe manic and depressive episodes than those experienced when the illness first appeared.
  • In addition, without effective treatment, the illness can lead to suicide in nearly 20 percent of cases.

Lack of proper treatment can also lead to substance abuse, failing at school or on the job, disrupted personal relationships, and an increased risk of violence, including suicide.

That's a pretty grim picture. But there are rays of hope, including bipolar mania treatments that can help prevent or reduce the risk that bipolar disorder will worsen.

Hope starts with a visit to the doctor to discuss your concerns.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2022, January 3). The Importance of Getting Treatment for Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Last Updated: January 10, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info