Bipolar Disorder

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

To diagnose26 bipolar disorder, your healthcare provider and/or mental health specialist will take a thorough inventory of your medical history, which includes your symptoms, life history and experiences, and, in some cases, your family history.

People with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek professional help when they are experiencing a depressive episode than during a manic or hypomanic episode. This can lead to bipolar disorder being mistaken for depression.

It is important that healthcare providers discern carefully between the diagnosis of depression and bipolar disorder, as certain antidepressant medications have the potential to trigger a manic episode in those with bipolar disorder¹¹.

Bipolar disorder test (h3)

There is no one particular test used to diagnose bipolar disorder. Instead, a healthcare provider may use the following27 to determine whether you have bipolar disorder:

  • Physical exam: Your provider may perform an exam to rule out any underlying medical issues that may be causing or worsening your symptoms.
  • Psychiatric assessment: You may be referred to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional who can discuss your thoughts, feelings, and patterns of behavior.
  • Mood tracking: Your provider may ask you to chart a daily record of your moods or sleep patterns.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1–800–273–8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

You may also reach out to the Samaritans: Call or text (877) 870-HOPE (4673).

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.