How was you diagnosed with bipolar disorder

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?

The psychiatrist takes time for
diagnosing bipolar disorder

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have bipolar disorder, you should seek professional help. The family doctor can be your first point of contact. He will do an examination and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist. You can also contact a specialist in psychiatry directly.

The doctor can only diagnose bipolar disorder in a detailed discussion. He will ask you a lot of questions about this. Some doctors use standardized ones Questionnaires, to the Medical history (anamnesis) to grasp completely. It is helpful if close relatives or friends take part in the discussions in order to express their point of view. Because many sick people perceive their behavior differently than the immediate environment. The doctor should hear both sides if possible. This gives him valuable information for his diagnosis.

Physical exams are needed to rule out other conditions, such as thyroid malfunction. These include blood tests, EKG (electrocardiogram), EEG (electroencephalogram) or sometimes a CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance tomography) of the brain.

This is important when talking to the doctor

You may find it a little uncomfortable to talk about your feelings and your emotional state. Your doctor will understand this and will make time for you. Do not be afraid to address anything that seems "strange" to you about your behavior:

  • Make a note of all symptoms in advance, along with information about their duration and severity. An app with a diary function like the Personal LiveChart (PLC) system of the German Society for Bipolar Disorders (DGBS) e.V. can be helpful.
  • Make a list of your illnesses and the medications you are taking for them. This also includes funds that are over-the-counter.
  • Describe what stress you may be exposed to at work or in family.
  • Describe your sleeping and eating habits.
  • Be honest about how much alcohol you drink and what drugs, if any, you use.
  • Tell the truth and don't hide anything.
  • Let yourself be accompanied by a family member or friend who can share their impressions of your behavior and moods.

Only when you fully and honestly state all of your symptoms and perceptions can your doctor make the correct diagnosis. The sooner a bipolar disorder is detected and one therapy is initiated, the better the chances of success.