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How Do You Get Diagnosed With Bipolar

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Types And Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

HOW I FELT BEING DIAGNOSED WITH BIPOLAR II DISORDER..

There are two different types of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder I have severe manic episodes, whereas those with bipolar disorder II experience milder episodes.

Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, and research suggests that certain genes may increase the risk. The condition is usually diagnosed before age 25, although some people experience symptoms for the first time later in life.

Some people with bipolar disorder also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which usually develops before bipolar disorder. Other psychological conditions, including anxiety disorders, may accompany bipolar disorder.

It can be difficult to distinguish between depressive episodes that occur due to regular, or unipolar, depression, and those that occur due to bipolar disorder. NYU Langone is home to nationally renowned psychiatrists who specialize in identifying bipolar disorder. A correct diagnosis is essential to the appropriate management of bipolar disorder. Medications to ease symptoms of unipolar depression can actually trigger manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.

To diagnose bipolar disorder, a doctor performs a physical exam, asks about your symptoms, and recommends blood testing to determine if another condition, such as hypothyroidism, is causing your symptoms.

If the doctor does not find an underlying cause of your symptoms, he or she performs a psychological evaluation.

How To Diagnose Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose because an individuals mood swings can vary. And yet, the longer it goes untreated, the worse the disorder can get as episodes may happen more frequently or become more extreme.

As mentioned, a diagnosis of bipolar I requires a person to have either one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes. Bipolar II, on the other hand, involves one or more depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania.

If a person is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it is important to see a licensed healthcare professional. Seeking professional help ensures that the person will get an accurate diagnosis and receive correct, individualized treatment. The right treatment for bipolar disorder can make it possible for a person to lead a healthy and productive life.

The evaluation for bipolar disorder is examined through several tests and exams and may include:

  • Physical examination
  • A doctor may complete a physical exam as well as lab tests to determine any extenuating medical problems that could be contributing to your symptoms.
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • A medical professional may refer you to a psychiatrist, who will talk to you about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns. You may also be asked to complete a bipolar test via a psychological self-assessment. With your permission, family members or close friends may also be asked to provide information about your symptoms.
  • Mood charting
  • Types Of Bipolar Episodes

    The main difference between bipolar disorder and conditions such as depression is the possibility of experiencing the overly excited state called mania, says Amit Anand, MD, a professor of medicine at the Lerner College of Medicine, vice-chair for research for the Center for Behavioral Health, and the director of the Mood and Emotional Disorders Across the Life Span program, all at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. People who are manic are unusually outgoing or happy. In some cases, mania also causes intense irritability and restlessness. During depressive episodes, intense sadness or hopelessness may lead to fatigue, trouble concentrating, and thoughts of suicide.

    But bipolar mood swings are not always extreme, Dr. Anand notes. For instance, some people experience a less severe form of mania, known as hypomania. Those who are hypomanic may not feel anything is wrong, making diagnosis more difficult, he adds.

    Complicating matters is that its possible to experience both mania and depression at the same time, known as mixed features. When this happens, you may feel overly energized yet be extremely irritated, sad, hopeless, or empty.

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    Kids With Bipolar Disorder

    There is so much controversy and misunderstanding about bipolar kids that it is hard to know where to begin. The first thing you should know is that even the experts cannot agree on how best to diagnose bipolar disorder in young people. There has been many years of debate on whether kids should be diagnosed using the same criteria that is applied to adults, or if bipolar disorder in kids has different symptoms and should therefore be assessed along different lines.1

    I have to come out at this point and let you all know something about me I am skeptical about young children and tweenies having bipolar disorder. This is a matter of personal opinion and it is also the reason why there is not more information about bipolar kids on Bipolar-Lives website.

    1. A two thousand year history of manic-depressive illness being understood as manifesting in the late teens/early twenties. Research studies consistently show an average age of onset is 25 years old. In fact, age of onset is regarded as in itself an indication of whether it really is bipolar. The Bipolarity Index scores patients higher is their age of onset is in the late teens or early twenties.

    2. The unlikelihood that the dramatic recent increase in diagnosis is plausible as a matter of simple math and common sense.

    3. The exposure of childhood bipolar expert Dr Joseph Biederman as acting in collusion with a drug company for financial gain based on phoney bipolar related research.

    Reminder

    Depressive Symptoms In Children

    How To Diagnose Adult Bipolar. Diagnosis Guide for Bipolar ...

    With bipolar disorder, symptoms of depressive episodes in children can include:

    • moping around, acting very sad, or crying frequently
    • sleeping too much or too little
    • having little energy for usual activities or showing no signs of interest in anything
    • complaining about not feeling well, including having frequent headaches or stomachaches
    • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    • eating too little or too much
    • thoughts of death or suicide

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    Exploring Bipolar Disorder Treatment Options

    If your doctor determines that you have bipolar disorder, he or she will explain your treatment options and possibly prescribe medication for you to take. You may also be referred to another mental health professional, such as a psychologist, counselor, or a bipolar disorder specialist. Together, you will work with your healthcare providers to develop a personalized treatment plan.

    Getting An Accurate Diagnosis

    Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step in your bipolar disorder treatment. And it isnt always easy. The mood swings of bipolar disorder can be difficult to distinguish from other problems such as major depression, ADHD, and borderline personality disorder. For many people with bipolar disorder, it takes time and numerous doctor visits before the problem is correctly identified and treated.

    Making the diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be tricky even for trained professionals, so its best to see a psychiatrist with experience treating bipolar disorder rather than a family doctor or another type of physician. A psychiatrist specializes in mental health and is more likely to know about the latest research and treatment options.

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    Going On Maintenance Meds Once Stable Helped

    The process of settling on that cocktail of meds took a long and difficult time, but once I had the right diagnosis and the right meds, I was able to cut back to seeing a psychiatrist four times a year to get renewals on my maintenance medications. The process that stabilized me also allowed me and my doctor to make tweaks to the dosages to correspond with increased or lessened symptoms.

    Challenges With Getting A Diagnosis

    Bipolar Disorder Symptoms & Treatments : How to Diagnose Bipolar Disease

    The symptoms of bipolar disorder can overlap with other mental health problems. Different people may experience or express their symptoms in different ways. And professionals do not always get it right.

    Because of this, you might:

    • Not get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder when you feel you should have one.
    • Get a diagnosis of a different mental health problem, which you don’t agree with.
    • Get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder that you think is incorrect.

    Even if you think your diagnosis is correct, you may still feel that it doesn’t completely fit your experiences.

    If you are unhappy or concerned about your diagnosis, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor.

    You can make sure your voice is heard, seek a second opinion and take steps if you’re not happy with your doctor. For more information, see our pages on:

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    Can People Tell They Are Bipolar

    People can often tell that something is wrong , but may not always be able to accurately label it as bipolar. For example, it is frequently easy for people to know when they are depressed, but sometimes symptoms of mania go unnoticed, or feel good, so they are not as easily seen as an issue, says Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

    What Are The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder

    There are different types of bipolar disorder.

    What is bipolar disorder I disorder?

    A diagnosis of bipolar I disorder means you will have had at least 1 episode of mania that lasts longer than 1 week. You may also have periods of depression. Manic episodes will generally last 3-6 months if left untreated. Depressive episodes will generally last 6-12 months without treatment.

    What is bipolar II disorder?

    A diagnosis of bipolar II disorder means it is common to have symptoms of depression. You will have had at least 1 period of major depression. And at least 1 period of hypomania instead of mania.

    What is bipolar I or II disorder with mixed features?

    You will experience symptoms of mania or hypomania and depression at the same time. You may hear this being called mixed bipolar state. You may feel very sad and hopeless at the same time as feeling restlessness and being overactive.

    What is bipolar I or II disorder with rapid cycling?

    Rapid cycling means you have had 4 or more depressive, manic or hypomanic episodes in a 12-month period.

    What is bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern?

    Seasonal pattern means that either your depression, mania or hypomania is regularly affected in the same way by the seasons. For example, you may find that each winter you have a depressive episode, but your mania doesnt regularly follow a pattern.

    There can be some similarities between bipolar I or II with seasonal pattern and another conditional called seasonal affective disorder.

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    Is It Bipolar Disorder Or Depression

    Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed as depression since most people with bipolar disorder seek help when theyre in the depressive stage of the illness. When theyre in the manic stage, they dont recognize the problem. Whats more, most people with bipolar disorder are depressed a much greater percentage of the time than they are manic or hypomanic.

    Being misdiagnosed with depression is a potentially dangerous problem because the treatment for bipolar depression is different than for regular depression. In fact, antidepressants can actually make bipolar disorder worse. So its important to see a mood disorder specialist who can help you figure out whats really going on.

    Do I have depression or bipolar disorder?

    Indicators that your depression is really bipolar disorder include:

    • Youve experienced repeated episodes of major depression.
    • You had your first episode of major depression before age 25.
    • You have a first-degree relative with bipolar disorder.
    • When youre not depressed, your mood and energy levels are higher than most peoples.
    • When youre depressed, you oversleep and overeat.
    • Your episodes of major depression are short
    • Youve lost contact with reality while depressed.
    • Youve had postpartum depression before.
    • Youve developed mania or hypomania while taking an antidepressant.
    • Your antidepressant stopped working after several months.

    What Are Your Treatment Options

    How Much Do You Really Know About Bipolar Disorder? Get ...

    Treatment will depend on which type of bipolar disorder you have, and what your symptoms are. Most of the time, youll need medication to manage your symptoms, along with therapy. Medications that may be used include:

    Antidepressants Antipsychotics Mood stabilizers Anti-anxiety medications

    Sometimes traditional medication therapy isnt enough. At Boston MindCare, our doctors offer a unique treatment option when nothing else has worked. Ketamine infusion therapy can help the symptoms of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It works by inhibiting glutamate in your brain to stabilize your mood.

    Like many of the other medications used to treat this disorder, ketamine comes with some side effects, so its important to talk to our doctors to see if this treatment is right for you.

    You dont need to deal with bipolar disorder on your own. If youre looking for help, call our office at 701-207-9841 or book an appointment online today.

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    Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder In Adults

    Bipolar disorder, also known as manicdepressive illness, is a medical condition that causes a person to experience intense mood swings that alternate between depression and mania. These mood swings can last for hours, days, or even weeks.

    Mental health specialists at NYU Langone Psychiatry Associates, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, can help determine if a person has bipolar disorder and, if so, how best to manage symptoms.

    How Is Bipolar Diagnosed

    Bipolar disorder is a clinical diagnosis. This means that a qualified professional like a psychiatrist diagnoses an individual based on observed and reported behaviors and symptoms. However, the journey to a bipolar diagnosis often begins before the initial visit to a psychiatrist.

    Although bipolar is not always dangerous to an individual, it is usually a lifelong, incurable diagnosis. However, it can be managed successfully. Thus, it is important for individuals with bipolar disorder to seek out mental health services as soon as they suspect there is something wrong.

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    Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

    During a depressive episode, a person may experience irritability, persistent sadness, or frequent crying. He or she may have thoughts of death or suicide and lose interest in activities that were previously enjoyable. Other signs include a low energy level, fatigue, poor concentration, and a change in eating or sleeping habits.

    During a manic episode, a person may seem unusually happy or excited. He or she may also talk too much and too fast or appear distracted or overly confident and ambitious.

    Mania may also involve psychosis, or being out of touch with reality. This symptom can be characterized by hallucinations, which involve hearing or seeing things that arent there, or delusions, which involve believing things that arent supported by evidence.

    Other symptoms of mania include experiencing increased energy despite a lack of sleep, driving recklessly, being sexually promiscuous, and engaging in risky behavior, such as abusing drugs or alcohol.

    Understanding Bipolar Disorder Treatment

    Newly Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Now What?

    If you suspect that youre suffering from bipolar disorder, its important to seek help right away. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that runs an unpredictable course of ups and downs. When left untreated, these ups and downs can be devastating. The recurring manic and depressive episodes that characterize the disease make it difficult to lead a stable, productive life. In the manic phase, you may be hyperactive and irresponsible. In the depressive phase, it may be difficult to do anything at all. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you avoid these problems. An experienced mental health professional can make an accurate diagnosis and start you on the path to recovery.

    Successful treatment of bipolar disorder depends on a combination of factors. Medication alone is not enough. In order to get the most out of treatment, its important to educate yourself about the illness, communicate with your doctors and therapists, have a strong support system, and help yourself by making healthy lifestyle choices that may reduce your need for medication. Its important to stick to your treatment plan, reassessing with your doctor as changes in your life occur.

    What can I do to start feeling better?

    Educate your loved ones about bipolar disorder. The more your family and close friends know, the better they can help you to cope with symptoms, spot triggers, and handle any crises.

    Need to talk to someone?

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    Getting A Second Opinion Is Important

    Going to a different psychiatrist and finally getting the right diagnosis was, in many ways, like getting a second opinion. We dont often hesitate to get a second opinion on matters concerning our physical health . Why can it feel different when it comes to our mental health? Im not saying doctor shopping is a good idea or that a diagnosis of depression did me no good at all. It just took a different psychiatrist to put together all my symptoms in a way that made sense to me as well as to him.

    What Should I Do Before I See The Doctor About Bipolar Disorder

    Before meeting with your doctor to clarify a diagnosis, itâs helpful to write down the symptoms you notice that may reflect depression, hypomania, or mania. Particular attention should focus not just on mood but also changes in sleep, energy, thinking, speech, and behavior. It is also useful to get an in-depth family history from relatives before meeting with your doctor. A family history can be very helpful in supporting a suspected diagnosis and prescribing appropriate treatments.

    In addition, consider bringing your spouse or a close friend with you to the doctorâs visit. Oftentimes, a family member or friend may be more aware of a personâs unusual behaviors and be able to describe these in detail to the doctor. Before your visit, think about and record the following:

    • Your mental and physical health concerns
    • Symptoms youâve noticed
    • Causes of stress in your life
    • Questions you may have about bipolar disorder

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    Testing For Other Disorders

    Doctors need to take time with the testing process, as other mental health conditions may cause similar symptoms. Monitoring and testing helps ensure that the person receives the correct treatment for their condition.

    Doctors will often perform a physical examination when the person first visits them. This may not help with a bipolar diagnosis, but it may help rule out physical issues that can cause similar symptoms.

    For instance, issues with the thyroid gland may cause similar symptoms to those of manic or depressive episodes.

    Some symptoms that may seem similar to symptoms of bipolar disorder may also appear in a few different mental health conditions.

    For instance, symptoms such as impulsive behavior and mood swings may appear in conditions such as:

    • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
    • notes that 8090 percent of people with bipolar describe family members who have had mood disorders.

    Genes: Some genes may play a role in bipolar disorder.

    Properly diagnosing bipolar disorder is crucial to get the person medical treatment and help them live a balanced life.

    Anyone who feels that they may have bipolar disorder should talk to a doctor or mental health professional first and foremost.

    A doctor may perform a physical exam to help them rule out other conditions or deficiencies. After checking for other conditions, doctors will typically refer the person to a mental health specialist for an evaluation.

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