There is growing concern about wrong diagnoses of bipolar disorder in patients being treated for substance abuse. While people undergoing addiction treatment frequently do have an underlying mental health condition, it’s important to make sure that the correct co-occurring disorder is identified. Marsee and Gross point out that a misdiagnosis can have “severe implications, including delay in receiving treatment with effective medications (e.g., mood stabilizers) or use of agents that can induce mania or rapid-cycling, such as antidepressants (2013).
Because the risk of misdiagnoses is so high, and the mental health treatment ramifications can be severe, it’s important that patients being evaluated for potential dual-diagnosis treatment therapy be properly evaluated. Dr. Elizabeth Waterman of Morningside Recovery recently stated: “There are actually many studies that came out recently to show that about 40% or fewer of people with a substance abuse disorder and bipolar disorder truly have bipolar disorder. So really there is a big trend of over-diagnosing this disorder, especially in the substance abuse population.”
>According to Morojele, Saban, Seedat, and Sorayac: “Dual disorders are often under-detected, misdiagnosed and inadequately treated in both substance abuse and mental health settings.” They conclude that “[r]outine, thorough, and integrated screening and diagnosis of dual disorders are needed to facilitate implementation of appropriate treatment” (2012).
When you have a loved one who may be struggling with co-occurring instances of mental health as well as substance abuse issues, it’s important that you find a mental health provider that uses the latest standards-based research to guide their clinical practice. At Morningside Recovery, our clinical team includes Psychologists, Doctors, Psychotherapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, CAADAC’s and other mental health professionals. Our goal is to make sure we provide your loved one with the most thorough evaluation so that we can properly diagnose any behavioral and/or chemical conditions they may have and get them the exact mental health treatment they need and deserve.
Marsee, Kevin., & Gross, Anne. F. (2013). Bipolar disorder or something else? Current Psychiatry, Vol.12, No. (2):43.
Morojele NK, Saban A, Seedat S. Sorayac (2012) Clinical presentations and diagnostic issues in dual diagnosis disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Vol. 25 Issue. (3):181-6. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328351a429.
[Current Opinion in Psychiatry]