What Test Is Used to Diagnose Bipolar Disorder?


Quick Answer

Mental health professionals use criteria from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, called DSM-IV, to evaluate bipolar disorder symptoms. Patients discussing their behaviors, lifestyle habits and changes in mood openly with their doctors may be the most accurate way to diagnose bipolar disorder, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

Doctors must carefully take note of how frequent, long and severe symptoms are. Imaging or lab tests are not useful for diagnosing bipolar disorder. A bipolar disorder diagnosis is based on cycles of increased sleeplessness, energy and fast speech or thinking, combined with unusually heightened mood or irritability in mood, according to WebMD. A patient's capacity for self-expression, reasoning, memory and interpersonal relationships are part of the diagnosis.

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