Perhaps her teacher was busy mistaking papers

In the diagnosing of mental disorders, if it isn’t this or that, it must be bipolar disorder. According to a press release in FitCommerse.com:

Researchers have recently found that as many as 69% of initial diagnoses of people with bipolar disorder were incorrect, underlining the importance of seeking a second opinion.

This is the era of letting a thousand “mental illness” labels blossom, and so a lot of second opinions are like first opinions–very limited and limiting.

“Accuracy” in the fine art of diagnosing, psychiatrists call it an art, has always been problematic. We don’t have bacterial cultures in petri dishes, or germs under microscope slides, but we do have professional opinions. As an article about Bipolar Statistics on Bipolar-Lives.com website explains.

Other DBSA bipolar disorder statistics from 2000 shows that people with the disorder suffer through as long as 10 years of coping with symptoms before getting diagnosed accurately.

Only 1 person in 4 receives an accurate diagnosis in less than 3 years!

We could spin a roulette wheel to come up with a “proper” diagnosis, but coming up with a diagnosis a patient is alright with, that’s an art. Take this case from Wales, in a silly little BBC piece, Board game aids understanding of bipolar disorder.

Ms [Jocelyn] Duncan’s bipolar disorder was triggered aged eight by a major trauma in her life.

She describes receiving her diagnosis finally at the age of 57 as “one of the best days of my life. I now had a face to my enemy.”

After 49 years Ms Duncan has found a diagnostic label that suits her.

Just in case Ms Duncan doesn’t know what afflicts her, there is a book out there, Bipolar Disorder for Dummies. Should she buy a copy of this book, she can fixate on having this disorder to her heart’s content. She will anyway have gained a good working understanding of her new found identity. It may not fit a pocket, but if she has a convenient niche on a shelf somewhere about the house, it could have found a home. Gee, wouldn’t it be nice for her to know how she should be behaving?

I’m afraid there is no Mental Health for Dummies book out there. Consider the benefits of reading how to achieve mental health over how to acquire a mental disorder. I would think the merits of such a book incalculable. Unfortunately, as both professional human service workers and drug company executives know, mental health doesn’t bring home the bread and bacon, nor does it pay the bills.