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Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens - Exams and Tests

There is no lab test that can diagnose bipolar disorder. Doctors make the diagnosis through a combination of:

  • A medical history, asking questions to help identify other past and present health conditions that could cause the symptoms.
  • A family history to identify bipolar disorder, other mood disorders, or drug or alcohol problems in close relatives. (All of these conditions are linked to bipolar disorder.)
  • A physical exam, which can rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.
  • A mental health assessment, which can help identify your child's current mental state and the severity of depression or mania.
  • Other written or verbal mental health tests.

Before prescribing medicine to treat bipolar disorder, your doctor will ask questions about possible suicidal behavior.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 23, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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