Q:

What tests are available for diagnosing bipolar disorder?

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Quick Answer

Instead of having the patient take a single test, doctors who suspect someone has bipolar disorder typically run several tests and exams, according to Mayo Clinic. Tests may include a physical exam, psychological evaluation, mood charting and symptom comparison.

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What tests are available for diagnosing bipolar disorder?
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Full Answer

During the physical exam, which may include lab tests, the doctor looks for medical problems that could cause the patient's symptoms, explains Mayo Clinic. A thorough psychological evaluation may follow, in which the doctor talks with the patient about his behavior patterns. The doctor may also recommend mood charting, or keeping a daily record of factors such as moods and sleep factors. Finally, the doctor typically compares the patient's symptoms to the current criteria for bipolar disorder listed in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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