A long time ago, it used to be that bipolar disorder used to be confused with depression or schizophrenia. Now, mental health has come a long way to be able to identify bipolar disorder. Through a series of tests, lifestyle choices, and family history, doctors will be able to get a clear diagnosis of whether or not you have bipolar disorder.

Doctors will take note of the symptoms you are exhibiting like the severity, length, and frequency. Having a simple mood change does not mean you are bipolar but by having unusual mood elevations or irritability as well as an increase in energy, sleeplessness, and fast thinking. Therapists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5. Doctors will ask you questions about your personal and family history if they have had a mental illness, bipolar disorder, or any other mood disorders. They will also ask you questions regarding your reasoning, memory, self-expression, and maintaining relationships.

To better prepare yourself for your first doctor’s visit to test for bipolar disorder, write down any symptoms that reflect depression, hypomania, or mania. Focus on if you are experience any changes in sleep, thinking, energy, speech, and behavior. It also helps to know your in-depth family history so that doctors can make a clear diagnosis and know what medications to prescribe to you. It can help to bring your spouse, relative, or a close friend as they might be able to point out symptoms of bipolar disorder that you have not been aware of. Keep in mind any past illnesses that you have had, medications that you have taken in the past and present, any dietary supplements, lifestyle habits, and causes of stress.

Tests work now by giving a mood questionnaire or a checklist of your moods. The doctor may order blood tests and urine tests to rule out other causes of behavior. Toxicology screenings will be done for blood, urine, or hair for the presence of drugs. Doctors can also check your thyroid stimulating hormone level since depression tends to be linked to thyroid function. If you know someone that can possibly have bipolar disorder, make an appointment with a doctor and be as detailed as possible as to why you feel that person is bipolar. A bipolar diagnosis can make you relieved knowing why certain behaviors are the way they are and you will have better control over them.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.