Diagnosis Guide for Bipolar Disorder

Testing for bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder go through intense emotional changes that are very different from their usual mood and behavior. These changes affect their lives on a day-to-day basis.

Testing for bipolar disorder isn’t as simple as taking a multiple choice test or sending blood to the lab. While bipolar disorder does show distinct symptoms, there’s no single test to confirm the condition. Often, a combination of methods is used to make a diagnosis.

What to do before diagnosis

Before your diagnosis, you may experience rapidly changing moods and confusing emotions. It can be hard to describe exactly how you feel, but you may know that something isn’t right.

Bouts of sadness and hopelessness can become intense. It can feel as if you’re drowning in despair one moment, and then later on, you’re optimistic and full of energy.

Low emotional periods aren’t uncommon from time to time. Many people deal with these periods due to everyday stresses. However, emotional highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder can be more extreme. You may notice a change in your behavior, yet you’re powerless to help yourself. Friends and family may also notice changes. If you’re experiencing manic symptoms, you may not see the need to get help from a doctor. You may feel great and not understand the concerns of those around you until your mood shifts again.

Don’t ignore how you feel. See a doctor if extreme moods interfere with daily life or if you feel suicidal.

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