Bipolar Test (How to know if you have Bipolar Disorder?)

In this brief guide, we will look at a Bipolar test and look at some signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. We will also take a look at some Bipolar Tests that are used in clinical settings to diagnose the condition.

Bipolar Test 

If you feel that you might have Bipolar disorder, you can take this short Bipolar test which is based on the DSM criteria for Bipolar Disorder:

Do you feel that over the past 3 months you have had significant fluctuation of mood?

Do you feel that you have phases where your mood and energy are extremely high and good and phases where you are not feeling good at all?

Have your friends or family noticed that sometimes you talk too much and sometimes not at all?

Are there phases (For more than 2 weeks continuously) where you feel you can do anything at all?

After the phases mentioned in the above question, do you have phases where you feel like you cannot do anything at all?

Do you ever feel that you are not worthy or anything and that you have nothing to look forward to?

Do you feel that people don’t want good things for you or are jealous of you?

Have you lost more than 5 percent or more than 5 percent of your body weight without even trying?

Do you have phases where you don’t feel the need to sleep at all alternating with phases where you sleep far too much or don’t feel like getting out of bed at all?

Do you find your appetite going down?

Do you have phases of great productivity and feel like you are accomplishing so much and periods where you don’t have the motivation or energy to do anything at all?

Do you have phases where you find it hard to sit still and phases where you find it hard to move?

Do you find that you are extremely irritable and snappy and then suddenly very sad and upset all the time?

Do you find that all the different mood states you tend to experience last for a couple of weeks at the very least before they change into something else?

Do you find that your moods shift incredibly quickly from irritability to elation in certain periods of high energy?

If you answered more than 9 of the above questions of the Bipolar test in yes, you might have bipolar disorder, and you should look into some treatment options, as this condition can be very dangerous if left untreated.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by periods of extremely high mood and energy alternating with periods of extremely low mood and lack of energy and motivation.

The high energy phase of bipolar disorder is known as Mania or Hypomania, and the low energy/low mood state is Depression, and usually these two alternate in an individual with bipolar disorder.

Depending on the severity of mania and depression, Bipolar disorder can be of two types, Bipolar 1, which has Mania and severe depression, and Bipolar 2, which has hypomania and mild or moderate depression.

The DSM 5 criteria for Hypomania is as follows:

“A Distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day.

During the period of mood disturbance and increased energy and activity, three (or more) of the following symptoms (four if the mood is only irritable) have persisted, represent a noticeable change from usual behavior, and have been present to a significant degree:

  • Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.
  • Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep).
  • More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking.
  • Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing.
  • Distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli), as reported or observed.
  • Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation.
  • Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments).

The disturbance in mood and the change in functioning are observable by others.”

The criteria for Mania, which is more serious than hypomania, is given as follows:

“A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased goal-directed activity or energy, lasting at least 1 week and present most of the day, nearly every day (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary).

During the period of mood disturbance and increased energy or activity, three (or more) of the following symptoms (four if the mood is only irritable) are present to a significant degree and represent a noticeable change from usual behavior:

Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.

Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep).

More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking.

Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing.

Distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli), as reported or observed.

Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation (i.e., purposeless non-goal-directed activity).

Excessive involvement in activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments).

The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.”

Lastly, the criteria for the phase of depression, that alternates with the phase of Mania or hypomania, is given as follows:

“Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective reports (e.g., feels sad, empty, or hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (Note: In children and adolescents, it can be an irritable mood.)

  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation).
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. (Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gain.)
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others; not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional)nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).
  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide. 

The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational,

or other important areas of functioning.

The episode is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition.”

Bipolar Disorder Medication

The medication for bipolar disorder depends on the severity of symptoms and what the current phase is.

According to the DSM 5, most patients with bipolar disorder usually seek medical help when they are in the depressive phase, as in the manic or hypomanic phase they may not be aware of any problems due to the good mood or high energy.

Most medication for Bipolar disorder may make use of antipsychotics or antidepressants if the current episode is depressive.

Some medication commonly prescribed for Bipolar disorder is as follows:

  • Aripiprazole (Abilify) 
  • Asenapine (Saphris) 
  • Cariprazine (Vraylar) 
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)

Management of Bipolar Disorder

Apart from Medication, the management of bipolar disorder may also be done with psychotherapy, which may include techniques to help the patient with mood regulation and finding a balance between the high energy of mania and the low energy of depression.

Some common forms of psychotherapy that may be used in bipolar disorder are as follows:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at a Bipolar test and some signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. We also took a look at some Bipolar Tests that are used in clinical settings to diagnose the condition.

If you are looking for a bipolar test to get a better understanding of the disorder or to get some idea of whether you might have the symptoms, we hope that the ones mentioned here and recommended will help.

If you find that there is a chance that you might have bipolar disorder, make sure you seek help, as it can get much worse with time if left untreated.

If you have any further questions or comments about Bipolar tests or bipolar disorder in general, please feel free to reach out to us any time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Bipolar Test

How do you test for bipolar?

To test for bipolar disorder the clinician might first make the assessment of whether the individual is in a manic state or a depressive state, and they may use the appropriate rating scale once they have made the interpretation.

There are no blood tests or brain scans to diagnose bipolar disorder but in some cases the doctor may want to check the person’s thyroid function and urine analyses. 

What are 5 signs of bipolar?

Here are 5 signs of Bipolar disorder:

Fluctuating periods of high and low energy
Grandiosity and overconfidence.
Crying easily and frequent sadness.
Reduced need to sleep in the high energy phases.
Uncharacteristic impulsive behavior.
Moodiness.
Confusion and inattention.

What are the 4 types of bipolar?

The 4 types of bipolar disorder according to the American Psychiatric Association are: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder.

What is having bipolar like?

Having Bipolar disorder can feel very draining given the cycling between severe depression, and episodes of mania and the person may often feel completely exhausted by the experiences of overwhelming joy, excitement or happiness, huge energy, a reduced need for sleep, and reduced inhibitions. 

Having Bipolar disorder is different for different people due to the personal nature of the problem, and no two people may have the same experiences.

Citations

https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm/educational-resources/assessment-measures

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5)

https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/bipolar

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

Leave a Comment