There are no lab tests for
bipolar disorder. Instead, your doctor will ask
detailed questions about your symptoms, including how long they last and how
often you have them. He or she will discuss your family history and may do a
mental health assessment.
health assessment tests your emotional functioning and your ability to think,
reason, and remember. It includes an interview with a health professional, a
physical exam, and written or verbal tests. During the interview, the health
professional assesses your appearance, mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning,
memory, ability to express yourself, and ability to maintain personal
Navigating any romantic relationship -- whether it's dating or marriage -- can be a tricky endeavor. Add bipolar disorder with its roller-coaster ride of emotions
into the mix, and relationships become even more challenging.
When Jim McNulty, 58, of Burrillville, Rhode Island, got married in the
1970s, everything seemed fine at first. "It was an absolutely normal
courtship," he recalls. "We got along well."
Then the mood swings began. During his "up" or hypomanic states, he would
Blood and urine tests, such as a test of your
thyroid, may be done to make sure another problem is not causing your symptoms.
toxicology screen examines blood, urine, or hair for
the presence of drugs.
The earlier bipolar disorder is diagnosed and
treated, the better your chances of getting the illness under control and
improving the quality of your life. Early detection and treatment can help
reduce your risk of complications, such as alcohol and drug abuse or
About 10% to 15% of people
with bipolar disorder will die from suicide.3 Up to
60% of those with bipolar disorder develop drug and alcohol abuse problems,
which interfere with successful treatment of the disorder.9