Advertisement

What tests will my primary care doctor use to diagnose bipolar disorder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
To make a bipolar disorder diagnosis, your doctor will perform several examinations and tests. Some of these tests will rule out more serious health problems that can cause similar symptoms. Other tests will be done to review your mental state to determine whether your bipolar disorder mood symptoms fit the criteria for bipolar disorder outlined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Tests and exams may include: a physical examination that includes height, weight, vital signs, and other necessary evaluations; laboratory tests that include a complete blood count (CBC) to see if you are anemic, a thyroid blood test, and other blood tests that may check for kidney and liver problems; a urinalysis to check on alcohol and drug use; a psychological evaluation in which a doctor or mental health provider discusses your mood swings and thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns; and psychological self-assessments and questionnaires. With your permission, family members or close friends may provide information about your symptoms, including descriptions of mania or depressive episodes.

Continue Learning about Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Is it possible to diagnose bipolar disorder incorrectly?
Ms. Julie A. FastMs. Julie A. Fast
It’s possible, if the diagnostic person isn't sure of what they are doing. Bipolar disorder is no...
More Answers
How does a psychiatrist help to diagnose bipolar disorder?
Sheri Van DijkSheri Van Dijk
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has gone on to specialize in psychiatric illnesses. They diag...
More Answers
How do I know if a bipolar disorder diagnosis is accurate?
Sheri Van DijkSheri Van Dijk
Bipolar disorder is a complex illness that presents differently from person to person, and can even ...
More Answers
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?
How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.