Priority 7 from the Bipolar PSP

UNCERTAINTY: Why does it take so long to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and how could time to diagnosis be shortened? (JLA PSP Priority 7)
Overall ranking 7
JLA question ID 0041/7
Explanatory note Not available for this PSP

None identified

Health Research Classification System category Mental Health
Extra information provided by this PSP
Original uncertainty examples For full examples, see Category ID D1 and D10 combined on spreadsheet.  Is there any way that could help speed up a correct diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder as if left untreated this illness gets worse over time? ~ How can the milder symptoms of depression and mania be identified and used to speed up the diagnostic process? ~ Would something as simple as asking 6 brief questions to establish whether there had ever been elevated mood of all patients who present with depression be enough to lead to earlier diagnosis? Questions are from table 3.8 in The Hypomania Handbook by Christopher M Doran. ~ why can it take so long to get the correct diagnosis in the first place when I knew myself in my teens my up/down episodes weren't normal but it took me telling my GP what was the cause? ~ Why does bipolar take so long on average to diagnose and how can people be encouraged to seek help before reaching crisis levels?
Submitted by Patients x 227 ~ Carers x 75 ~ Health Professionals x 15 ~ Others x 12
PSP information
PSP unique ID 0041
PSP name Bipolar
Total number of uncertainties identified by this PSP. 363  (To see a full list of all uncertainties identified, please see the detailed spreadsheet held on the JLA website)
Date of priority setting workshop 14 June 2016