Your local GP is unlikely to be able to diagnose bipolar disorder. If he suspects you may have the condition, he will send you to s mental health specialist for testing. Children will be referred to an expert in children's mental health.
There is isn't a specific test to determine whether you have bipolar or not. The diagnosis will be made following an assessment during which you will be asked a number of questions. The mental health specialist or psychiatrist will ask about your symptoms, how you felt during a manic episode, and how long such episodes last. You will also be asked whether you had thoughts of self-harm during these manic periods.
During the assessment test, you will be asked about your medical background and your family history. The psychiatrist will be interested if anyone else in your family has ever suffered from bipolar.
Although your GP won't test you for bipolar, he may test you for other conditions that my be causing your symptoms. One of the most common tests carried out in such cases, is a test for thyroid disease. Amongst other things, thyroid disease can cause feelings of depression and anxiety. Many women are suspected of suffering from bipolar disorder only to find out that they actually have a thyroid problem.
The internet has provided us with access to a wealth of medical facts and advice at the touch of a button. Although, this helps people understand medical issues, it also allows them to attempt self diagnose. With the right information, it is possible to test yourself for bipolar disorder. You can assess whether you meet the general criteria for bipolar sufferers
However, such self testing, is invariably a mistake. It may be acceptable in cases of minor health conditions such as a colds and flu but it can be very dangerous in cases of serious mental health issues such as bipolar disorder.
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