What makes bipolar depression so complicated?
Bipolar disorder is classed as a severe mental illness, and bipolar 1 is the worst form of the illness on the bipolar spectrum.
People who have bipolar 1 are generally very ill with either depression or mania which is a more serious form of hypo-mania (experienced by people with bipolar 2), when all things get out of hand and the person can end up in hospital.
It is very unlikely that a person with this severe illness hasn’t seen a doctor many times over in their life before a correct diagnosis is made. Diagnosis with bipolar disorder takes ten years on average because people tend to give faulty histories and the doctor can only go by what the patient is telling them.
People don’t consciously give faulty accounts of their illness. They sometimes get confused because when in mania YOU DO NOT FEEL ILL AT ALL, so these times can be forgotten when it comes to giving an accurate history.
People are more likely to go to see a doctor when they are in a depressive episode because they feel very ill.
A person with bipolar 1 (like a person with bipolar 2) has very severe depressions which do not resemble the normal downs that everybody experiences in their life. They do not feel fed up and bored for a few days like most people do at times, their symptoms are very exaggerated when in a depressive episode.