In this guide, we’ll look at the details of bipolar disorder and how to self-test for bipolar disorder symptoms. It will also provide a range of treatment options for bipolar disorder.
Am I Bipolar?: Self-Examination for Bipolar Disorder
Although there are no reliable online platforms that offer “Am I Bipolar Disorder” tests, some websites provide quiz and scales to give initial symptoms or indication that you may have bipolar disorder.
Online tests typically have questions regarding a person’s moods, behaviors, and usual lifestyle choices. It is necessary to check the authenticity of these quizzes because self-diagnosis can be problematic. Therefore, if you suspect you might have bipolar disorder, then you can observe your behavior for more than two weeks for the followings signs:
The bipolar test is given below if you are currently experiencing symptoms; note that if you have these symptoms for more than a week, then consult your doctor to confirm.
Keep count of the questions where you answered Yes in the following sections.
- Are you experiencing unusually high energy and/or activities?
- Are you abnormally overjoyed, although nothing in life is adding to it? The happiness may have started with something special, but the feeling lasted longer than usual.
- Do you have an unusually expansive mood?
- Are you unusually irritable for no reason?
These symptoms should show a noteworthy difference from your typical behavior experiences.
- Are you feeling rested with only a few hours of sleep?
- Is your self-esteem increased than usual, or are you experiencing grandiosity?
- Are you having racing thoughts, or are you speaking rapidly, switching topic to topic, or a flight of ideas?
- Are you talking more than typical, or you feel like you must keep talking?
- Are you easily distracted?
- Are you taking impulsive risks without any fear of consequences?
- Are you extremely restless or impulsively overcommitting to various projects?
- Are you having delusions and hallucinations?
- Is your behavior causing severe difficulties in your life (for instance, in school or at work)?
- Have you been hospitalized due to these symptoms to prevent harming others or yourself?
Scoring the Bipolar Mania Test
After scoring your results, it is important to read about additional critical factors.
1 Yes = 0 point
2+ Yes = 1 point
1-2 Yes = 0 point
3+ Yes = 1 point
1+ Yes = 1 point
Generally, 3 points are necessary to be diagnosed with a manic episode. Nonetheless, the occurrence of any symptoms in either section is a sign that you need mental health evaluation. In the end, it is a qualified medical practitioner who can confirm the diagnosis for bipolar disorder.
- You can have mixed episodes.
- You can be experiencing hypomania instead of mania.
- You may have other illnesses like schizophrenia or brief psychotic disorder.
It would help if you also considered the following factors:
- Did your symptoms start with the use of illegal drugs or alcohol? If yes, the diagnosis of mania can’t be confirmed, but you should take help immediately.
- Did your symptoms start after the prescription drugs or other medical treatment? If yes, a doctor’s occurrence of bipolar mania should be assessed, but immediate treatment must be sought.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four main categories of bipolar disorder:
- Bipolar I disorder: In these manic episodes last for at least seven days and have psychotic or manic symptoms. Episodes of the “extreme down” period usually last for two weeks and pose more of the depressive features.
- Bipolar II disorder: It is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in your lifetime. Common symptoms in the major depressive episode of bipolar II disorder include insomnia or hypersomnia, severe fatigue, uncontrollable crying, recurring death thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
- Cyclothymic disorder: It is the middle form of bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings. It usually develops in adolescence and stays for one year, whereas it stays for at least two years in adults. As the symptoms are not so extreme and intense, they usually function but may appear moody or difficult to others.
- Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder: It does not have any specific pattern like the ones mentioned above. Bipolar disorder and alcohol use disorder is known as ‘dual diagnosis’ and requires addressing with a specialist.
What Are The Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder does not have a set pattern of the dramatic episodes of highs and lows. Some people may feel the same (manic or depressed) more frequently before transitioning to another mood. These episodes can occur over weeks, months, and even sometimes years.
The severity may differ from person to person and change over time, fluctuating less to more severe.
Symptoms of Manic Episode.
Some symptoms of mania (high episode) are:
- Overjoy, excitement, and optimism
- Sudden transition from happiness to being irritable, angry, and violent.
- Restless behavior
- High energy and less need for sleep
- Lack of concentration and rapid speech
- High libido
- Poor decision and judgment
- Substance and alcohol abuse
- Lack of appetite
- Less need for sleep
- Easily distracted
- A large sense of self-confidence and well-being
Symptoms of Manic Episode
During depressive episode or the low phase the symptoms may be exhibited as follows:
- Feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness, and overall pessimist view.
- Loss of energy
- Not able to enjoy the things that they previously did.
- Trouble focusing
- Slow speech
- Less libido
- Inability to feel pleasure
- Uncontrolled crying
- Needing more sleep
- Trouble in decision making
- Appetite changes leading to weight gain or weight loss.
- Death or suicidal thoughts
- Attempts to suicide.
How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
If your or your loved ones have symptoms of bipolar disorder, communicate with a family doctor or a psychiatrist. They’ll ask relevant mental health questions and your family history. You’ll also get a complete psychiatric evaluation to rule out the chances of bipolar disorder or other underlying mental health concerns.
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder determines whether the symptoms are due to other conditions(alcohol or drugs) or medical issues (low thyroid). How severe are the conditions? What was the duration of these conditions? How frequently are the symptoms?
The most significant symptoms of highs or lows in moods, together with changes in sleep, appetite, energy, thinking, and behavior, can help in the diagnosis.
Diagnosis of children and teenagers can be challenging. Although the symptoms may be the same as adults, they have a risk of being misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or even bad temper/behavior.
If you are worried your child might have bipolar disorder, consult and discuss with your doctor for a referral to a child psychologist.
Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can be treated; it is an ongoing treatment as it’s a long term condition.
People with four or more mood episodes in a year, or people with alcohol or drug addictions, will be difficult to treat.
The treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications, primarily involving:
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Anti-anxiety pills
- Mood stabilizers.
Psychotherapy and counseling are also recommended along with the medication. This helps in better managing the triggers and mood episodes. Some of the options in therapy include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (ISPRT), family-focused therapy, and psychoeducation.
The more you know about your conditions and symptoms, the better you’ll be able to manage your episodes. It will be helpful to have a compassionate company to manage your condition. Support groups and friends can help you in talking through the situation.
In this guide, we looked at the details of bipolar disorder and how to self-test for bipolar disorder symptoms. It also provided a range of treatment options for bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness. Self-diagnosis and treatment can be problematic, so avoid any medication without consultation with a qualified medical practitioner. It implies that you’ll have to cope and live with it for your entire life. Therefore, the sooner you get the diagnosis, the better will be the outcomes.
If after taking the test you have doubts and need to clarify them, you can get into a Free Online Counseling Chat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Am I Bipolar Disorder Test (Features and Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder–A Complete Guide)
How do you test for bipolar?
There are no particular blood tests or brain scans for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. However, doctors perform physical examinations and lab tests, including urine analysis and thyroid function tests. The tests help determine if other underlying conditions are not causing the symptoms.
What are the five signs of bipolar?
Both the manic and hypomanic episodes of bipolar disorder may include the following symptoms:
Increased energy, activity, or agitation.
Decreased need for sleep.
Exaggerated self-confidence (euphoria)
Can I diagnose myself with bipolar disorder?
Yes, a few questions can help you determine the possibility of bipolar disorder. However, these questions do not diagnose; only a medical health practitioner can provide a diagnosis.
Have you experienced episodes of clinical depression that lasted for two or more than two weeks and were unable to work?
Do you experience mood cycles, you observe the ‘highs’ as well as depression episodes?
In the ups, do you feel more hyper and energetic than you usually experience during the typical happiness times?
Do I have bipolar 1 or 2?
Bipolar I disorder comprises periods of extreme mood episodes from mania to depression. Bipolar II disorder is different from bipolar I disorder in the form that the elevated mood episode does not reach the full-blown manic episode, instead it involves episodes of hypomania and extreme depression.
What are the four types of bipolar disorder?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are four main categories of bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I disorder: In these manic episodes last for at least seven days and have psychotic or manic symptoms. Episodes usually last for two weeks and pose more of the depressive features.
Bipolar II disorder: It is characterized by one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode in your lifetime. Common symptoms in the major depressive episode of bipolar II disorder include insomnia or hypersomnia, severe fatigue, uncontrollable crying, recurring death thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
Cyclothymic disorder: It is the middle form of bipolar disorder. It consists of mood swings. It usually develops in adolescence. They function normally but may appear moody or difficult to others.
Bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder: It does not have any specific pattern like the ones mentioned above.
Can bipolar people tell they are bipolar?
No, not everybody with bipolar disorder knows they have the condition. There could be many reasons why somebody with bipolar disorder may not be aware of it–or why they may deny it even if they do.