The primary and most important step to diagnosis of bipolar disorder is to seek medical help, when you suspect behavioral and mood changes. People who suffer from mood changes in bipolar may not notice it to report themselves. The changes are mostly noticed by people around them.
The medical professional, may check medical history, conduct physical examination, laboratory testing and finally a psychological evaluation. Bipolar disorder cannot currently be identified through a blood test or a brain scan, but these tests can help rule out other contributing factors, such as a stroke or brain tumor.
Your healthcare provider (HCP) may discuss any family history of bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses and get a complete history of symptoms. Your HCP might suggest you to see a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, who is experienced in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder.
A detailed medical history assures that bipolar disorder is not mistakenly diagnosed as major depressive disorder. The psychiatrist may want to talk to your close relatives or friends; this will give them a clearer idea of your symptoms.
This includes measuring your height and weight; checking your vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature.
These may include blood and urine tests. These tests rule out the possibility of physical problems that could be causing your symptoms.
You can maintain a diary or use some app in phone or computer, to record your moods, sleep patterns or other factors that could help with diagnosis and finding the right treatment.
Your Daily Mood Chart, Year: 2013, Month: April
Last Reviewed on: July 30, 2014
Reviewed By: Dr. Akshya Vasudev, MBBS, MD, MRCPsych, PG Cert Med Edu