BJPsych Bulletin
‘I want to be bipolar’... a new phenomenon
Diana Chan, Lester Sireling

Abstract

There has been renewed interest in the concept and diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder in recent years. Previous epidemiological studies have reported the prevalence of the disorder in the USA at 1-2% but further studies have shown that the disorder is underdiagnosed and the true prevalence may be as high as 11%. Despite the stigma attached to mental illness, we have noticed in our clinical practice a new and unusual phenomenon, where patients present to psychiatrists with self-diagnosed bipolar disorder. Here, we explore the background to this phenomenon, the diagnostic challenges and the implications for our patients and practice.

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