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How to Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 03:14 PM

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by unusual changes in mood and energy levels.

For a proper diagnosis, the sufferer should consult a physician. The physician may conduct a physical examination along with certain blood tests, EEG, or CT scans. These tests help rule out any medical illnesses like a brain tumor or epilepsy.

Further, help should be sought from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist who can help determine whether the patient is bipolar. Diagnosis of bipolar disorder is based on self-reported behavioral changes. Abnormal behavior observed by family members and friends is equally important information for  a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

During evaluation, to help diagnose bipolar disorder, experts check for certain symptoms. The criteria that are most widely used to diagnose bipolar disorder are those laid down by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) and the World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10). A bipolar spectrum diagnostic scale is available for rating bipolar disorder symptoms. The duration and presence of maximum symptoms both are important for diagnosing bipolar disorder depression.

A thorough evaluation rules out any chance of misdiagnosing bipolar disorder as unipolar depression disorder in which the person does not experience mania. This helps the sufferer seek timely treatment.

For more on bipolar disorder, see below:

Tell-Tale Signs of Bipolar Disorder

How to Help a Child With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder: Top 5 Drugs

Bipolar Disorder: Role of Diet

New Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

Diet Advice for Bipolar Disorder

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