12 doctors weighed in:
What do doctors do to test to see if your bipolar?
12 doctors weighed in

Dr. Glen Elliott
Pediatrics - Psychiatry
7 doctors agree
In brief: Clinical Diagnosis
There are no lab tests for bipolar disorder (bd).
The diagnosis is made based on history. Patterns differ, but the key is someone who has episodes of depression (decreased mood and other symptoms) and of mania (increased or irritable mood and other symptoms). Depression alone is much more common, so the key for the diagnosis is clear presence of a manic episode. Family history also can help.

In brief: Clinical Diagnosis
There are no lab tests for bipolar disorder (bd).
The diagnosis is made based on history. Patterns differ, but the key is someone who has episodes of depression (decreased mood and other symptoms) and of mania (increased or irritable mood and other symptoms). Depression alone is much more common, so the key for the diagnosis is clear presence of a manic episode. Family history also can help.
Dr. Glen Elliott
Dr. Glen Elliott
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Mazin Albert
General Practice
4 doctors agree
In brief: No tests
There are no so called "tests" to diagnose bipolar disorder.
It is diagnosed by the patient's history, however, diagnostic tests may be ordered to rule out other medical conditions such as thyroid disorders. Psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder are diagnosed using criteria found in the diagnostic & statistical manual of mental disorders (dsm).

In brief: No tests
There are no so called "tests" to diagnose bipolar disorder.
It is diagnosed by the patient's history, however, diagnostic tests may be ordered to rule out other medical conditions such as thyroid disorders. Psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder are diagnosed using criteria found in the diagnostic & statistical manual of mental disorders (dsm).
Mazin Albert
Mazin Albert
Answer assisted by Mazin Albert, Medical Student
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3 comments
Mazin Albert
A history of manic or hypomanic episodes, and depression. Manic episodes are characterized by elation or irritability greater than 1 week; with symptoms such as grandiosity, pressured speech, decreased need for sleep, flight of ideas, easy distractibility, increase in goal-oriented activity, and risky pleasurable activity.
Mazin Albert
They will ask a series of questions to determine whether you meet the above criteria. Usually, a physician won't ask you if you have grandiosity, but rather your speech will give the physician the impression of grandiosity. Same as pressured speech, this does not require a question to ask directly.
In brief: No lab test
Bipolar has no known lab test yet.
It may be diagnosed by patterns in one's history. The two crucial sets of findings are at least one episode of true depression and one episode of mild mania (bipolar ii), or at least one episode of full mania (bipolar i). If someone has had only episodes of depression it remains possible that it is part of a bipolar condition.

In brief: No lab test
Bipolar has no known lab test yet.
It may be diagnosed by patterns in one's history. The two crucial sets of findings are at least one episode of true depression and one episode of mild mania (bipolar ii), or at least one episode of full mania (bipolar i). If someone has had only episodes of depression it remains possible that it is part of a bipolar condition.
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover
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