What tests will the doctor use to make a bipolar diagnosis? Your doctor may have you fill out a mood questionnaire or checklist to help guide the clinical interview when they assess mood symptoms. In addition, your doctor may order blood and urine tests to rule out other causes of your symptoms.
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.
Bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings. These can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). Episodes of mania and depression often last for several days or longer.
There is no medical test for bipolar. Instead your GP or psychiatrist will usually complete an assessment focusing on your mood swings. They will ask questions about your family history and background, your sleeping pattern, your diet and your behaviour.
Cyclothymia, or cyclothymic disorder, causes mood changes – from feeling low to emotional highs. Cyclothymia has many similarities to bipolar disorder.
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.
Although bipolar disorder can occur at any age, typically it's diagnosed in the teenage years or early 20s.
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.
When left untreated, the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder will often increase in severity and may lead to suicide; there is a high suicide rate for people with the disorder. When treated, it's possible to control the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and enjoy a more stable and fulfilling life.
First-line treatments for bipolar depressive episodes include lithium or lamotrigine monotherapy. For more severe cases, can add second mood stabilizer (e.g., lamotrigine combined with lithium or divalproex). Atypical antipsychotics can be added for patients with psychotic features (e.g., delusions, hallucinations).
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.
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.
In making the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the psychiatrist or other mental health expert will ask you questions about your personal and family history of mental illness and bipolar disorder or other mood disorders.
As summarized in Table 4, bipolar disorder should be suspected if prominent behavior problems, anxiety, and substance abuse were present during childhood in someone with recurrent depression and a family history of affective disorders.
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 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.
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.
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.
Bipolar disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition. Bipolar disorder is the most likely psychiatric disorder to be passed down from family. If one parent has bipolar disorder, there's a 10% chance that their child will develop the illness.
No one knows exactly what causes bipolar disorder. Research suggests that a combination of factors could increase your chance of developing it. This includes physical, environmental and social conditions.
People with bipolar experience both episodes of severe depression and episodes of mania – overwhelming joy, excitement or happiness, huge energy, a reduced need for sleep, and reduced inhibitions. The experience of bipolar is uniquely personal. No two people have exactly the same experience.
The safest and most efficacious mood stabilizer combinations appear to be the mixtures of anticonvulsants and lithium, particularly valproate plus lithium.
During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder may experience a heightened sense of sexuality. It's only when this is paired with other symptoms of bipolar mania—including risk-taking, impulsivity, and poor judgment—that it can shift into problematic hypersexuality.
You'll find more than a few anecdotes suggesting bipolar disorder can change the appearance of the eyes, generally by affecting pupil dilation, gaze, and even eye color. So-called bipolar eyes might include: dilated pupils. “sparkling” eyes, or eyes that appear more liquid than usual.