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A 24-year-old member asked:

i think i may be bipolar. how can i know for sure?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
There are many ways: Best to discuss with your doctor. Depends on your age. There are many good web sites, but the nimh & nmha probably the best to check out. A recognized screening tool is the mood disorder questionnaire. You can fill it out online if you're an adult: http://www.Nmha.Org/bipolar/questionnaire.Cfm. Print it out and take it to your doctor.
Dr. Douglas Bey
Psychiatry 57 years experience
See a psychiatrist: Not always easy 2 make diagnosis bring record of mood swings & close friend or relative who has observed u over time.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can you please explain bipolar disorder?

7 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Neurobiological prob: Bipolar disorder is a complex, neurobiologic problem that impedes temperament control and has significant mood and anxiety problems. These symptom complexes can cycle quickly or slowly. Bpd starts in childhood and persists into adulthood. It is broken down into subgroups depending on the current cycle stage. It is highly heritable and usually requires intense medical & psychological treatment.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What are the different types of bipolar disorder?

5 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Three: Generally there are 3 kinds: bipolar i, bipolar ii and bipolar nos. The difference depends on the symptoms of mania (severe insomnia, extreme energy, racing thoughts, pressured speech, elated and/or irritable moods). In bipolar i the mania lasts 3-4 days or is severe enough to need hospital stay. In ii the mania is called hypomania and is of shorter duration. In nos not all symptoms of mania exist.
A 21-year-old member asked:

So what does "soft" bipolar look like?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Depends: The term "soft" bipolar has been used by some psychiatrists to explain situations in which individuals who suffer from a mood disorder have episodes in which they experience some symptoms of mania or hypomania. For example, these individuals may have episodes of insomnia with high energy or racing thoughts. However the episodes may be very brief (1-2 days at most). This idea remains controversial.
A 28-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for a bipolar person who's on meds to still have an episode?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Yes: There many possible explanations for relapse in bipolar patients (bpd). Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, caffeine, illnesses, insomnia, psychosocial stressors, and other medications used intercurrently that interact with maintenance medications can throw bpd into imbalance.
A 42-year-old member asked:

I think i may have bipolar disorder type 2. How would i know for sure, without consulting a doctor?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Rockwell
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Look it up: One way to answer this is to read the diagnostic criteria in dsm-iv and see if 'this fits' you. However, even the best and brightest are hesitant to self-diagnose. Best to get this confirmed by a psychiatrist. Even if you think you have bipolar ii, you will still need a professional to reveal to you all your options. So go get a consult ! :-).

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Last updated May 8, 2016
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