Use this brief bipolar self-test to help you determine if you may need to see a mental health professional for possible help with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder symptoms are characterized by a person cycling between extreme mood swings — mania (or hypomania) and depression — over a long period of time. Bipolar disorder can sometimes be confused with clinical depression. This bipolar test can help you see if seeking mental health treatment might be helpful.
For each item, indicate how much you agree or disagree with the statement. This takes most people about 2 minutes to complete. Take your time and answer truthfully for the most accurate results.
Learn More About Bipolar Disorder
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are characterized by cycles between depression and mania. A person with this disorder has experienced at least one episode of depression and also experienced at least one episode of mania or hypomania. A manic episode is characterized by, for over a week at a time, feelings of: hyperactivity, irritability (especially in younger people), racing thoughts, needing little sleep, and an overall sense of happiness and ability to accomplish anything, instantly. A hypomanic episode is characterized by similar symptoms, but they only need be present for four (4) or more days.
A depressive episode is similar to that experienced and diagnosed for clinical depression, and is characterized by loneliness or sadness, lack of energy or interest in things, and lack of pleasure in things that normally bring a person joy or happiness. There is often an overwhelming sense of hopelessness during a depressive episode.
The cycling of depression can be fast or slow; some people can cycle between episodes within days, while others may have weeks or even months in-between different episodes.
Learn more: Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Learn more: Causes of bipolar disorder
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is typically treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medication is used to keep a person with this condition maintain more consistent moods, keeping future manic or hypomanic episodes at bay. Treatment for the depressive episodes tends to be more complicated. Most people with this disorder usually find a personalized medication regimen that works for them, one that often needs to be maintained through a person’s lifetime (much like a person with diabetes takes insulin throughout their life).
Learn more: Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Living with Bipolar Disorder
For most people with this condition, it is a chronic concern. Therefore, learning the best ways to cope and maintain their lifestyle can be helpful to people with this disorder. We’ve compiled an amazing list of resources and tips on how to live with bipolar disorder successfully, throughout every stage of one’s life.
Learn more: Living with bipolar disorder
All rights reserved. For personal, educational or research use only; other use may be prohibited by law. Based upon the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder in the DSM-5.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Caponigro, J.M. & Lee, E.H. (2012). Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. New Harbinger.
Fink, C. & Kraynak, J. (2015). Bipolar Disorder For Dummies. For Dummies, New York.
Miklowitz, D.J. & Gitlin, M.J. (2015). Clinician’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder. Guilford Press.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2019). Bipolar disorder. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml on May 22, 2020.