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We are proud to announce the opening of our fourth Residential Facility: Cheyenne House
D'Amore is now in Network with MHN Health Net Insurance
D'Amore is now in Network with MHN Health Net Insurance
bipolar disorder test

Bipolar Disorder Test

Our Bipolar Disorder Self Assessment Along With Information To Help You Understand and Recognize The Symptoms of Bipolar

Table of Contents

Did you know that over 2 million Americans are currently diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

As our knowledge of mental health issues and testing improve, the number of people found to have issues such as bipolar disorder is increasing. But, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – the more diagnoses we have, the more people know what’s going on and can get the treatment they need.

If you’re wondering whether you or someone you love may have bipolar disorder, there are plenty of resources out there to help. To make it easier, we’ve created a bipolar disorder test and put together plenty of information to help you work out whether your suspicions are correct.

Take Our Bipolar Disorder Self-Test

Curious to see if you may be experiencing the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder? This test may serve you as a valuable assessment.

This test is not a diagnostic tool, nor is it intended to replace a proper diagnosis. Use it only for informational purposes. Mental health conditions should only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health professional or doctor. Regardless of your results from our assessment, you should speak to a doctor about your mental health.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental health condition. There are different types of bipolar disorder that we’ll look at it in more detail, but the overall condition is characterized by extreme fluctuations of mood. It can often be confused with depression until you or a loved one receives a proper diagnosis, but the two mental health issues are different. 

Bipolar isn’t rare. It’s also becoming more understood every year, with a lot of treatment options available. If you have a bipolar diagnosis, it’s not the end of your life, just the start of a new journey.

Different Types of Bipolar Disorder

There are three different types of bipolar disorder that you can be diagnosed with. These are bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia. Let’s take a little look at each to learn more about them:

Bipolar I

All genders are equally affected by bipolar I, and it’s defined by having at least one manic episode. People may also experience episodes that are less severe as manic episodes, known as hypomanic episodes. Major depressive episodes are also common.

Bipolar II

Bipolar II is more frequently seen in women and is more characterized by major depressive episodes. To be diagnosed with bipolar II, there has to have been an episode lasting for at least two weeks, along with a hypomanic episode of around four days. 

Cyclothymia

Cyclothymia is a combination of both bipolar I and bipolar II. People with cyclothymia experience both hypomania and depression, but with less severity than the other disorders. Gaps between episodes only last for a couple of months at the most, meaning they’re very frequent.

Atypical Bipolar Disorder

There are other bipolar disorders you may have if you don’t fit quite perfectly into any of these. Or, you could have a related mental health disorder. A lot of people who think they have bipolar actually have depression – and vice versa – so it’s vital you get a proper diagnosis to work out what you have and how to treat it.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

We’ve briefly looked at the signs of bipolar disorder when looking at the different types you can have. But, that was a quick look, and the symptoms can be a little more complex. To explain more, we’re looking deeper into each different type to give you more information:

Symptoms of Bipolar I

To be diagnosed with bipolar I, you have to meet the following requirements:

You can also experience mixed features, where you have symptoms of psychosis or depression as well as mania. These are quite common and can be treated.

Symptoms of Bipolar II

To be diagnosed with bipolar II, you have to meet the following requirements:

You can also experience psychosis with bipolar II, though only when you’re having a major depressive episode. You may also experience both depression and hypomania at the same time.

Symptoms of Cyclothymia

To be diagnosed with cyclothymia, you have to meet the following requirements:

If you have frequently fluctuating mood symptoms, you may have cyclothymia. The symptoms are often less intense than with other bipolar disorders but tend to last longer and affect daily life more. 

Understanding Bipolar Symptoms

We’ve used a lot of jargon to explain the symptoms of bipolar, which can get confusing. So, let’s break down what these different words mean so you can spot the different signs in yourself or a loved one a lot easier.

Mania

Mania refers to a moment of intense emotional high. You don’t just feel good, you feel really great. You may feel excited, full of energy, and your thoughts are racing. Some people can even experience hallucinations during an episode of mania.

Manic episodes often lead to impulsive behavior. You might feel reckless and invincible, and do things like use alcohol and drugs (or more than usual), spend a lot of money, or have unprotected sex when you should use protection. Or, you might quit your job, make an investment, or suddenly go abroad without telling anyone, just because you can.

You’re excited and feel like nothing you do can go wrong, which of course isn’t the case.

Hypomania

Hypomania (commonly seen in bipolar II cases) is a less severe case of mania. You feel the same euphoria or energy, but you don’t have the same severe impulses that are likely to disrupt your daily life. You also won’t experience hallucinations or psychosis, and your period of hypomania won’t last as long.

It’s likely that you’ll feel abnormally productive and enthusiastic during hypomania. It’s not a very obvious shift of mood, but those closest to you may notice.

Major Depression

Depression isn’t just about feeling sad. It’s about prolonged periods of deep lethargy and low moods, with feelings of hopelessness and emptiness very common. You’re not interested in doing anything, you feel worthless, and you just feel horrible all the time.

Not everyone with bipolar disorder will experience major depression, but it is very common. You may experience a few of the symptoms of depression, none at all, or all of them.

Psychosis

Psychosis is characterized by periods of time when an individual loses touch with reality. This can include hallucinations (hearing and seeing things that aren’t there) and delusions (believing things that simply aren’t true). Psychosis can cause severe distress, changes in behavior, and drastically affect daily life.

Psychosis is sometimes seen in people with bipolar disorder, but not always and it isn’t one of the most frequent symptoms. However, it is very common in schizophrenia.

The Difference Between Bipolar and Depression

Once you know the symptoms, it’s easier to see the difference between bipolar disorders and depression. Depression is characterized by frequent low moods which can last for sustained periods, and when you’re not feeling depressed you will return to a normal state. 

Bipolar fluctuates a lot more. People with bipolar can dip very low and very high, swinging between the two frequently. Depression can be a part of bipolar, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of the disorder.

Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

Because mania can be associated with positive emotions and feeling good, treating it can make you feel worse as you adjust. Treatment can level out your moods, helping you to lead a more normal life and feel better every day, rather than amazing on some days and awful on others. 

Initially, your treatment can make you feel a bit low as your normal emotional level returns to normal from euphoria. But, don’t worry, this will pass.

Luckily, bipolar disorder is treatable. While it’s difficult to cure the mental health condition altogether, it can be managed and people with bipolar can live a normal, happy life. Let’s take a look at some of the different treatment options you can look into:

Treatments for BPD

The first route for sufferers of bipolar who have had a professional diagnosis is medication. These medications are designed to stabilize your moods and reduce psychosis (depending on your symptoms, of course), effectively leveling you out.

Different medications you may be offered include:

  • Lithobid (mood stabilizer)
  • Zyprexa (antipsychotics)
  • Symbyax (antidepressant-antipsychotics)
  • Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a talk therapy method. You’ll be with a trained therapist who will talk you through your problems, identify unhelpful thoughts and patterns of behavior, and help you to change them. They can also help you uncover distressing emotions and give you methods to manage them.

This is a form of therapy that helps people to create a routine for daily habits. It can help you eat, sleep, and exercise every day at the same time, creating healthy life patterns. Balancing these basics can lead to fewer episodes and help reduce the symptoms of bipolar.

There are many more options for people with bipolar. You can explore these options with a professional, finding the right blend of treatments to help your disorder. These could include:

What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

It’s not entirely understood why some people suffer from bipolar disorder and others don’t, just as with many mental health conditions. But, there are potential causes that have been discussed in the medical and scientific industries. 

Genetics

Some people may be genetically pre-dispositioned to suffer from bipolar disorder. If your parent or sibling has bipolar, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. However, it doesn’t mean you will, just that there’s a slightly higher chance.

Brain Structure

Your brain structure could have a part to play in your bipolar disorder diagnosis. If you have irregularities in the chemistry of your brain, it could increase your chance of suffering from it.

Environment

Outside triggers can bring on mental health conditions like bipolar. If you’re under extreme stress, experience a traumatic event, or suffer from a physical illness you could develop bipolar disorder. 

Getting Help For Bipolar Disorder

If you are concerned that you or someone in your life may have bipolar, be sure to speak to a mental health professional about your concerns. 

At D’Amore Mental Health, we know how to treat mental health conditions like bipolar disorder. With a team of professionals on hand and the right facilities to create a safe, nurturing environment, we can help those with bipolar disorder learn to manage their condition and reclaim their lives.

If you are curious to learn more about D’Amore and how we can help you or your loved one, get in touch with our admissions team to speak directly with a mental health expert. When it comes to your mental well-being, treatment is essential.