If you think you may have bipolar disorder, you are not alone. Bipolar disorder is estimated to affect millions of American adults each year. Yet for many people with the disease, an accurate diagnosis, and, therefore, finding an appropriate treatment, may take years.
To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder you must have experienced a high period (mania or hypomania). However, most people with bipolar disorder when ill or when symptomatic experience more lows than highs. These lows are known as “bipolar depression.”
Many patients with bipolar disorder initially seek treatment for their depressive symptoms. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of bipolar disorder is oftentimes missed. One of the ways to help get an accurate diagnosis is to talk to your health care professional about all the symptoms you are experiencing, including any manic symptoms or hypomanic symptoms. (Hypomania is a less severe form of mania.)
The symptoms of major depressive disorder, also called depression, are similar to the symptoms of bipolar depression. In a national survey, more than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder were originally misdiagnosed with other disorders. And over one-third of people with bipolar disorder who were originally misdiagnosed waited 10 years or more before receiving an accurate diagnosis.
If you have unresolved depressive symptoms caused by bipolar disorder—or if you think it’s possible you’ve been misdiagnosed with major depressive disorder—be sure to talk to your health care professional about all the symptoms you are experiencing, including any manic or hypomanic episodes.
Your health care professional is trained to make a correct diagnosis based on your symptoms and a careful review of your medical history. If you are struggling with symptoms of bipolar disorder, help may be available. Use these questions to have an open and honest dialogue with your doctor about your condition and to find out if SEROQUEL XR may be right for you.
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Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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The information on this Web site should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care professional. If you have any questions about SEROQUEL XR, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your health care professional can decide if SEROQUEL XR is right for you.