Reviewed by Aaron Horn, LMFT
Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, is a common mental health disorder characterized by periods of depression and mania or hypomania. According to the Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance or DBSA, 5.7 million adults aged 18 and older in the United States live with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder varies in levels of severity and can worsen without treatment. If you’re looking for an online bipolar disorder screening, assessment, or test, you’re likely wondering if you could have bipolar disorder. This article will talk about the different types of bipolar disorder and what a bipolar screening can and can’t tell you.
About Bipolar Disorder
A person with bipolar disorder will experience highs during manic or hypomanic episodes, and lows, which occur during depressive episodes.
Symptoms of mania may include:
- Heightened or increased energy levels
- Impulsivity, which may present in the form of excessive spending, gambling, substance use, reckless driving, and other impulsive or reckless behaviors
- Grandiosity or inflated self-esteem
- A decreased need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Unusual talkativeness
- Irritability or agitation
A hypomania is a lower-level form of mania. Someone experiencing hypomania may experience the same or similar symptoms as a person experiencing a full-blown manic episode but on a lower level. If a person has a full-blown manic episode, they may experience psychosis, though this is not always the case. If you feel that you may be in a manic or hypomanic episode, it’s very important to contact a medical or mental health professional.
Symptoms of depression may include:
- A low or depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities one usually enjoys
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or disproportionate guilt
- Sleeping too much or too little (hypersomnia or insomnia)
- Changes in appetite
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Excessive crying
- Emotional numbness
Someone living with bipolar disorder may also experience mixed episodes. Mixed episodes occur when a person experiences symptoms of both hypomania or mania and depression. This means that someone may experience irritability, increased energy levels, depressive thoughts, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and other symptoms all at once. Mixed episodes can be particularly dangerous for those with bipolar disorder, so if you think you are in a mixed episode, be sure to reach out to a medical or mental health professional. Note that a person with bipolar disorder may also experience periods of a baseline state. This doesn’t mean that they no longer have bipolar disorder; what it means is that they aren’t currently in an episode. Someone with bipolar disorder might also experience rapid cycling, which occurs when an individual alternates between manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes four times or more in a period of one year. While the ups and downs affiliated with bipolar disorder can be hard to live with, treatment can help.
Types Of Bipolar Disorder
Now that we’ve covered mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes in bipolar disorder, let’s talk about the different types of bipolar disorder and the distinctive characteristics that set them apart.
Bipolar I, which is diagnosed in individuals who experience the highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder, has experienced at least one full-blown manic episode.
Bipolar II, which is diagnosed in someone who experiences the highs and lows associated with bipolar disorder, has only experienced hypomania and has never experienced a full-blown manic episode. The primary difference between bipolar I and bipolar II is that bipolar I disorder people have experienced a full-blown manic episode, where people with bipolar II have not.
Cyclothymia Or Cyclothymic Disorder, which is characterized by hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms lasting for two years or more that do not meet the criteria for a manic, hypomanic, or depressive episode defined under bipolar I disorder or bipolar II disorder.
In the most recent version of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders or DSM, the DSM-5, bipolar disorder is listed under “bipolar and related disorders.” Unspecified bipolar and related disorders, other specified bipolar and related disorder, substance/medication-induced bipolar and related disorders, and bipolar and related disorder due to another medical condition are also potential diagnoses.
Bipolar Disorder Facts and Statistics
Here are some facts and statistics about bipolar disorder that you may not know:
- The average age of diagnosis for bipolar disorder is 25.
- Bipolar disorder can impact people of all genders, but women tend to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder later than men do.
- Although there is no known direct cause for bipolar disorder, a family history of bipolar disorder is a known potential risk factor for developing the disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health or NIMH, if one of your parents has bipolar disorder, you’re at an increased risk of 15-30%, where if both of your parents have bipolar disorder, you’re at an increased risk of 50-75%.
- According to the National Alliance On Mental Illness or NAMI, almost 83% of cases of bipolar disorder are classified as severe.
- Comorbid or co-occurring mental health conditions are common in those diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Some common comorbidities are anxiety disorders, substance use disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD.
- Research conducted by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1997 suggests that up to a third of children and teens in the United States with depression might be experiencing early-onset bipolar disorder.
- While many other statistics regarding bipolar disorder focus on adults aged 18 and above, it can be diagnosed in people under 18.
Is There A Cure For Bipolar Disorder?
There is no known cure for bipolar disorder, but there are well-researched and effective treatments available. A person with bipolar disorder can live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. Many people with bipolar disorder choose to see both a psychiatrist and a therapist or counselor for treatment. Forms of talk therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT or interpersonal therapy are advantageous for many people living with bipolar disorder. For all information regarding specific treatments and therapies, please consult a medical or mental health professional.
To find a therapist or counselor, there are several routes you can take. You might ask your primary care physician for a referral to a counselor or therapist in your area, or you might call your insurance company to see which providers they cover near you. Many people also choose to use an online mental health provider directory to find a provider or counselor in their area. If you’re struggling to find a therapist or counselor, consider using the provider search tool located in the upper right-hand corner of the Mind Diagnostics website. Bipolar disorder can impact your relationships, career, schooling, and other important areas of your life, so it is essential to reach out for help if you believe that you might it.
What A Bipolar Disorder Screening Can And Can’t Tell You
A bipolar disorder screening or online test can give you insight into your symptoms. It can help you gain clarity on if you may be experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder. What it cannot do is provide you with an evaluation or diagnosis. To receive a diagnosis or to get evaluated for bipolar disorder, you must visit a medical or mental health professional who is qualified to diagnose mental disorders. You can contact a psychiatrist in your area or make an appointment with your general doctor, who will listen your symptoms and will likely provide you with a referral to a mental health professional who can help. Remember that if you have bipolar disorder, you are not alone. Again, it is considered a common condition, and while it’s not easy to live with, you aren’t the only one living with it. Forms of peer support, such as support groups and online support forums, can benefit people living with bipolar disorder. While they do not replace treatment from a psychiatrist, therapist, or counselor, they can provide you with a sense of community and understanding that can be life-changing.
Take The Mind Diagnostics Bipolar Disorder Test
Are you wondering if you might have Bipolar Disorder? If you’re searching for “bipolar test free,” “bipolar assessment,” or “bipolar ii tests,” consider taking the Mind Diagnostics bipolar disorder test. The Mind Diagnostics bipolar disorder test is free, fast, and confidential. While bipolar disorder can impact those under 18, the Mind Diagnostics bipolar disorder test is for those aged 18 and older. While it isn’t a replacement for a medical or mental health professional diagnosis, taking the Mind Diagnostics bipolar disorder test might just be the first step toward getting the help you need.
Click here to take the Mind Diagnostics bipolar disorder test.