Diagnosing bipolar disorder typically involves a thorough examination of your physical health — to rule out a physical cause or other health concerns. It also involves an assessment of your mental state and the careful piecing together of details from your life and experiences.
To diagnose bipolar disorder, a doctor performs a physical exam, asks about your symptoms, and recommends blood testing to determine if another condition, such as hypothyroidism, is causing your symptoms. If the doctor does not find an underlying cause of your symptoms, he or she performs a psychological evaluation.
There are no specific blood tests or brain scans to diagnose bipolar disorder. Even so, a doctor may perform a physical exam and order lab tests, including a thyroid function test and urine analyses. These tests can help determine if other conditions or factors could be causing your symptoms.
If you think you might have bipolar disorder, reach out to your primary healthcare provider. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist who will evaluate your health and symptoms and assess your personal and family history. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you'll get the tools you need to manage your condition.
A blood test therefore could help identify those with bipolar disorder experiencing depressive episodes. A 2021 study of a new assay test showed it's possible to diagnose low blood mBDNF levels in people with MDD or bipolar disorder within an accuracy rate of 80 to 83 percent.
Bipolar disorder, especially subtypes I and II, are difficult to diagnose. In fact, during the first year of seeking treatment, only 20% of patients are correctly diagnosed. The usual time span between a misdiagnosis and an accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder is 5-10 years.
The manic episodes associated with Bipolar may not be obvious. They can be mistaken for other behaviours such as those commonly found with ADHD (rapid speech, inability to concentrate) because the person may not have had a manic episode until later in life.
To specifically assess for the presence of manic symptoms consistent with bipolar disorder, a comprehensive Mental State Examination by a mental health professional trained in clinical assessment is required.
Cyclothymia symptoms alternate between emotional highs and lows. The highs of cyclothymia include symptoms of an elevated mood (hypomanic symptoms). The lows consist of mild or moderate depressive symptoms. Cyclothymia symptoms are similar to those of bipolar I or II disorder, but they're less severe.
A stressful circumstance or situation often triggers the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Examples of stressful triggers include: the breakdown of a relationship. physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
You can develop BD at any age, but it's more frequent when people are in their 20s. Research indicates one-percent of kids ages 14 to 18 also meet the criteria. However, psychiatrists are cautious about making the diagnosis in teens for two reasons: First, doctors have to rule out other mental health conditions.
Although bipolar disorder can occur at any age, typically it's diagnosed in the teenage years or early 20s. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and symptoms may vary over time.
Bipolar disorder can cause your mood to swing from an extreme high to an extreme low. Manic symptoms can include increased energy, excitement, impulsive behaviour, and agitation. Depressive symptoms can include lack of energy, feeling worthless, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
Approximately 20 percent of people with ADHD also suffer from bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness characterized by depressive and manic episodes. Since both conditions share symptoms, but ADHD is more common, bipolar disorder is often missed or misdiagnosed.
To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person must have experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. Mental health care professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose the “type” of bipolar disorder a person may be experiencing.
The main sign of bipolar disorder is extreme mood swings that go from emotional highs to emotional lows. Manic episodes cause people to seem very energetic, euphoric, or irritable. During depressive episodes, your loved one may seem sad, upset, or tired all the time.
Cyclothymia, or cyclothymic disorder, causes mood changes – from feeling low to emotional highs. Cyclothymia has many similarities to bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder can be an elusive disorder for doctors to identify because the symptoms can vary widely and is often masked or exacerbated by other factors such as concurrent drug use or remission of symptoms. Stigma makes it even more difficult for people to get help.
The GP can play a pivotal role in early identification of this serious and common condition. 1 School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
Absolutely. In fact, bipolar disorder is considered to be one of the few mental health conditions that is highly likely to cause a significant and long-term psychosocial disability.
Without proper treatment, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression. "Bipolar disorder may also be present in a mixed state, in which you might experience both mania and depression at the same time.
Bipolar disorder is easily confused with depression because it can include depressive episodes. The main difference between the two is that depression is unipolar, meaning that there is no “up” period, but bipolar disorder includes symptoms of mania.
Bipolar disorder usually starts in early adulthood, though the symptoms can develop at any time. Research indicates that the symptoms tend to emerge later in females than in males and that females are more likely to experience the first symptoms in their 50s .
Talking rapidly, sudden changes in topic, or “leaps of logic.” Having more energy than usual, especially if needing little sleep. Being intensely focused, or finding it hard to focus. Involuntary facial movements, such as twitches or mouthing.
Severe changes in mood — either extremely irritable or overly silly and elated. Overly-inflated self-esteem; grandiosity. Increased energy. Decreased need for sleep — able to go with very little or no sleep for days without tiring.