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Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

Hey everyone,


I'm new here so I am still trying to figure out how everything works. A year ago I was diagnosed by a psychologist with BPD amongst other things. Interestingly, she mentioned borderline personality disorder during our first or second session and kind of pinned that label on my symptoms really early on. I had no idea what it was at the time and was desperate for help so I went along with it, not knowing any better. So that has been the diagnosis I've been 'treated' for over the past year. 

Long story short, my GP now thinks (and I agree) that I fit the criteria for Bipolar Disorder and I'm now being medicated accordingly as we await a second opinion from a psychiatrist/confirmation of diagnosis and meds review. 

I'm having such a hard time not only accepting the consequences and utter shame and embarrassment of my manic behaviours that has now overwhelmed me but also coping with the whole misdiagnosis ordeal. If the psychologist I had first seen had actually taken the time to understand and observe my mood patterns maybe this wouldn't have happened and I wouldn't have ended up in situations where I have endangered my life through risky and dangerous behaviour... (at those times of course, I thought I was completely fine)

Has anyone else been misdiagnosed like this and not treated properly? 

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

@c0penhagen hello.


Yeah, I've been misdiagnosed a lot as well.


There's not much I can say other than you're not alone.

Give yourself time to get used to your diagnosis, and try to learn from other people with similar issues.

SANE Australia has some stories you might want to read about.

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

@Tiny_leaf thank you ❤️ I'll check it out.

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

Yup, I feel like so many people get misdiagnosed with bpd @c0penhagen Smiley Sad

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

@c0penhagen I'm sorry to hear you going through some new challenges a time of general uncertainty right now. Please know that what you feel is super valid and normal; you certainly alone in this experience either. We are here if you want to listen and talk more about your journey thus far. Let us know Smiley Happy


Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

Hi @c0penhagen! Welcome to the forums!

I can totally understand your frustration about your psychologist misdiagnosing you and I'm really sorry that you went through that experience. Smiley Sad An incorrect diagnosis can be so harmful in a number of ways. There is wasted time when you could have been getting treatment for the correct diagnosis, not to mention a diagnosis can also change the way you see yourself and feel about  your condition.
I have also been misdiagnosed by professionals a few times and they were bad experiences. They all reached a diagnosis the first time I saw them without taking a history or doing any tests. One doctor told me to just wait out my symptoms when I needed emergency surgery and it could have been life-threatening if I had left it another day. Luckily, another doctor I saw disagreed with what I had been told, took me seriously and ordered a bunch of tests the other doctor was reluctant to do. My sister was also misdiagnosed for several years and I feel that if she had been treated properly by people who knew about her actual condition from the start, her condition would not have progressed to her needing 24 hour care from us now. I still hold a lot of anger about that. With her condition and a lot of others, delays in diagnosis can predict a poorer prognosis.
I think if your gut tells you that a diagnosis doesn't fit or make sense to you, then there is usually no harm in seeking a second opinion. I have always benefited from seeking a second opinion. Even if the diagnosis is correct, another professional can provide some ideas about where to go with treatment or the prognosis of the condition. Something that has helped me in the past was explaining to the doctor or my GP the reasons why I disagreed with the diagnosis.

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

I was diagnosed with gad and severe depression when I was 12. I then later on had a bad trip and was diagnosed with drug induced psychosis. Once learning more about my past and family history I was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia psychosis, gad, severe depression and ptsd. Doctors are now telling me I had bpd and some sort of psychotic disorder. I had been on several medications and now have to change everything. I’m so angry and lost in opiate addiction and confused I just seem manic everyday. I’m still on heaps of pills plus a dangerous amount of antidepressants that I should be in serotonin syndrome from!? I’m so scared and angry ahhhhhh

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

Hi @pouya , 


I'm so sorry to hear that, it sounds like it's been a pretty rough run for you. Just to let you know that we had to edit out a few details of medications and dosages, as we don't allow sharing that info on the forums. Unfortunately we can't give any medical advice here, but it sounds like it could be good to have your medication reviewed by your GP or a psychiatrist if you're concerned about the dosages that you're on - do you have a health care professional that you think you could talk to about this? It can definitely take time to work out the best medications for you and your body, and should be something that's closely supervised by a doctor. 


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Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

Hey @c0penhagen, that's a tricky situation. Sorry to hear you're having difficulty getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment. It's hard enough to live with mental health challenges even with appropriate diagnosis and treatment, so it must feel pretty tough to be needing to tackle these extra things too! It sounds like you've learned a lot about yourself by reflecting on what's happened. Hopefully by sharing your observations (of your previous mood patterns and what happened around the times you became endangered etc.) with your care team, they can understand and help you more than in the past.


Although it is only natural to feel shame and embarrassment, you aren't alone. Nor are you alone in facing difficulty with diagnoses! Mental health conditions can take a long time for professionals to diagnose, even when they are mostly on the right tracks.


Do you have an appointment set to see a psychiatrist for a second opinion? What can you do in the time leading up to the appointment to stay afloat?

Re: Misdiagnosed Bipolar Disorder as BPD

Yes, I've been misdiagnosed in the past. I was prescribed SSRIs for MDD by my GP and ended up having a SSRI induced manic episode. Long story short, it took about 3-4 months before I was formally diagnosed with Bipolar I.