A bipolar test is a psychological assessment during which a health care provider asks a patient questions about mood, behavior and thought patterns to determine whether the patient fits the criteria for a bipolar disorder diagnosis, explains Mayo Clinic. The test may also include a questionnaire the patient fills out.
In addition to the main psychological assessment, a health care provider who suspects a patient has bipolar disorder may also request that the person keep a daily log of factors such as mood patterns and sleep schedules, notes Mayo Clinic. Having this information on hand can aid in determining if a bipolar diagnosis is appropriate. If the patient agrees, the clinician may additionally speak with people close to the individual, such as family members and friends, to get further insight into the patient's symptoms. It may also be appropriate to perform a physical exam and blood tests to check if there is a physical condition causing the symptoms.
Signs of bipolar disorder vary greatly according to the form of the condition and from individual to individual, states Mayo Clinic. As a general rule, the disorder is characterized by periods of depressive symptoms that can include fatigue, insomnia and feelings of emptiness, alternating with periods of manic symptoms such as racing thoughts and reckless behavior.