Treatment Lag for Bipolar Disorder

The behavioral manifestations of bipolar disorder are often not understood by patients nor recognized by mental health professionals, so people may suffer unnecessarily for many years (over 10 years, according to research conducted by bipolar disorders expert Nassir Ghaemi M.D.) before receiving proper treatment.

That treatment lag is apparently not decreasing, even though there is now increased public awareness of the illness in popular magazines and health web sites. Recent TV specials, for example MTV's "True Life: I'm Bipolar", talk shows, and public radio shows have focused on mental illnesses thereby further raising public awareness.

Despite this increased focus, individuals are still commonly misdiagnosed.