Famous bipolar disorder sufferers like Stephen Fry who talk openly about their condition have prompted more people to diagnose themselves as having the illness, say researchers.
Two London-based psychiatrists have claimed the rise in self diagnosis is due to greater public awareness and a willingness of celebrities to talk about their personal experiences.
Dr Diana Chan and Dr Lester Sireling noted many GP referrals to their service which involved a request for a psychiatric verdict on the possibility of bipolar - after the patient’s own suggestion.
They wrote in The Psychiatrist: “Also common, but less so in our experience, is the patient who attends reluctantly at the instigation of family members who are convinced they have finally made the diagnosis that can explain the awkward or embarrassing behaviour of their relative.”
Around one in every 100 adults have been found to have bipolar disorder at a given time, but more recent studies suggest the true rate may be as high as 11 in every 100.