Is Bipolar Disorder More Commonly Misdiagnosed in Black People?


- Advertisement -

Bipolar disorder — a mood disorder with alternating periods of extreme highs (mania) and deep lows (depression) — affects 2.8 percent of U.S. adults. Although Black people experience bipolar disorder at the same rate as white people, decades of research show Black people are more likely to have their bipolar disorder misdiagnosed as another condition.

A review of scientific evidence, published in March 2018 in Bipolar Disorders, found that people of African ancestry with bipolar disorder were more often misdiagnosed with another condition, such as schizophrenia, than people of non-African ancestry.

Several factors contribute to the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder among Black people, such as conscious or unconscious bias in the healthcare system, stigma around mental health care among Black communities, and difficulty accessing care.

Misdiagnosis can have various health consequences, such as diagnostic and treatment delays, says Joyce Balls-Berry, PhD, an associate professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and a coauthor of the aforementioned Bipolar Disorders review.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this

No posts to display