Not Sure If You Have Bipolar Disorder?

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • I recently answered a question here on HealthCentral by a person who doubted whether the Bipolar II diagnosis received in 2007 was correct for him or her. The questioner was worried about taking a specific bipolar medication if it wasn't really needed.


    I know there are people out there who aren't sure they agree with their diagnoses, so let's take a look at Bipolar Disorder from that perspective.


    The articles Diagnosing a Manic Episode and Diagnosing a Hypomanic Episode give you a good look at the criteria for mania and hypomania. Look at these symptoms and see if these apply to the times you feel either really high or really irritable (far more than at other times), or felt that way before you started taking medications. You can use either article as a checklist, if you want, to talk to your doctor about.

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    You might also want to look at The Differences Between Bipolar I and Bipolar II.


    Then take a look at the article Diagnosing a Depressive Episode. Again see how many of the symptoms fit the times when you feel really bad (or felt that way before you took medication), and use this as a checklist to discuss with your doctor if you don't think you have enough symptoms to fit major depression.


    If your symptoms suggest that you have hypomanic episodes but your depression isn't severe enough to be major depression, check out Cyclothymia: Overlooked and Misunderstood to see if that illness (sometimes called Bipolar III) fits you better.


    Still don't feel that the diagnosis you have makes sense? Well, now you should have concrete things to discuss with your doctor.

Published On: September 29, 2011