How Accurate Is An Online Bipolar Quiz?
By: Dylan Buckley
Updated August 27, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault
Let's imagine for a second that you believe you might have bipolar disorder due to some tell-tale signs that are typically associated with the mental health disorder. If you think like the average individual, the first place that you will go to is the internet as it is packed with information about the disorder and will provide you with a variety of symptoms that may or may not indicate that you are bipolar.
In addition to the myriad of guides and articles that you will find regarding this topic, there are also many bipolar quizzes that you will be prompted to take as you scour through the pages of your chosen search engine. At its core, an online bipolar disorder quiz is a well-meaning offer that is designed to help you get a better idea of whether or not you may be affected by this common mental health issue, but the question remains…
How Accurate Is An Online Bipolar Quiz?
This is an important question to ask as you may be receiving the wrong information and potentially self-diagnosing a disorder that doesn't exist within your or misdiagnosing a disorder. This article will serve to help you to understand better what purpose the bipolar questionnaire plays in the grand scheme of things and whether or not you should rely on its accuracy (if it is an accurate tool at your disposal).
If you've been asking the internet, "how do I know if I'm bipolar?" and want some feedback on your bipolar quiz choices or results, let's dive in.
Straight To The Heart Of The Issue: Are Online Bipolar Quizzes Accurate?
The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you would think as there are a lot of factors that play into the accuracy and credibility of the quiz that you are taking. Here are some of the factors that will affect a quiz online should you choose to take one.
- The Quality And Reliability Of The Website Where The Quiz Is Found
Ask the question, "am I bipolar?" to Google, and you are certain to get a host of search results that provide you with links to bipolar disorder quizzes. As an experienced internet user will know, however, is that not every website listed is relevant or trustworthy, and this reputation extends directly to the quiz that is being provided to you.
A great example would be taking a bipolar test on Psychology Today and then taking a similar test on a lesser-known, poorly maintained psychology website that provides you with no indication of whether or not the people who are creating and posting these tests have psychology experience and credentials.
Bipolar tests from high-quality, reliable websites are going to yield much better results in terms of accuracy than tests from unknown and untrustworthy places.
- Your Responses To The Questions On The Quiz
If you are trying to figure out how to tell if you're bipolar, it is obvious that you aren't sure, even if you do have a hunch that you might be. This uncertainty lends itself to the overall lack of accuracy of some quizzes and makes it harder to get a clear read on some people. Say, for example, that a quiz phrases things in a complex way or in a way that makes you doubt your feelings or feel uncertain about them. If you do not have a clear answer for each question or are unable to gauge your emotions properly, this is going to make the accuracy level of any quiz plummet and will alter your potential results.
- The Scope, Depth, And Presentation Of The Questions
While you are one half of the equation in regards to helping determine whether or not you are bipolar, the quiz is the other half of the equation and is responsible for helping you to get there. Not every quiz is built the same, and you will not see important questions phrased or presented in a certain way in every quiz that you encounter. For example, if you search results that stem from, "I think I'm bipolar," you are going to receive many different results than you would if you searched, "am I bipolar or depressed?" The quizzes that pop up in one category will most likely tackle different issues and will not be as comprehensive as quizzes that come out of your second search.
To put it, the way that your quiz phrases and forms your questions, the way it presents them to you and how it accepts responses, and how well they are examining the disorder all play into the accuracy of your quiz.
This brings us to another important topic: the scope of bipolar disorder. Even though bipolar disorder might sound like one issue across the board, bipolar disorder is like many other mental health problems as there are various types of this disorder, and they will affect individuals in different ways. What are the differences? Let's take a look at some variations of this disorder that you might be affected by…
Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar I Disorder is a disorder in which affected individuals will typically deal with manic episodes that will last seven days or more or will feature symptoms so severe that immediate hospitalization is required. These manic episodes will alternate with depressive episodes that will typically last two weeks or more. In some instances, individuals will experience depressive episodes that will feature manic symptoms.
Manic Symptoms Are Defined By:
- Feeling extremely high or elated (not as a result of drug use)
- Feeling very energetic and having increased activity levels that aren't typical
- Feeling as though you are jumpy as if you had drunk many energy drinks
- Experiencing trouble sleeping
- Talking fast and cycling through topics
- Becoming agitated or irritable
- Feeling as though your thoughts are racing
- Engaging in risky behaviors
- Feeling as though you can take on multiple tasks or projects at once
Depressive Symptoms Are Defined By:
- Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless
- Feeling fatigued and having little energy to do anything
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too little or too much
- Experiencing no enjoyment in any activity
- Feeling anxious
- Having trouble concentrating and forgetting things easily
- Overeating or undereating
- Thinking about suicide or becoming preoccupied with death
Bipolar II Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder is a disorder in which someone will experience a pattern of alternating manic and depressive episodes but not to the degree that one would experience in the previous disorder. Those with Bipolar II Disorder will often be able to function better in their daily lives because of this.
If you are familiar with dysthymia, you may have a clue as to what cyclothymia is. Cyclothymic disorder is a disorder that is characterized by the alternating of many manic episodes and depressive episodes that occurs for two years or more. These symptoms will be more manageable and may not be as noticeable to some people as they carry on with their day-to-day lives, which is why this disorder may go unnoticed for some time until people reach out for help.
Bipolar Disorder With Various Specifiers
The first two types of bipolar disorders are the most common, but there are also other types of bipolar disorders that have varying qualities known as specifiers. Some of the most common specifiers include:
- Bipolar disorder with mixed features, which is a disorder in which manic symptoms are experienced at the same time as depressive symptoms
- Bipolar disorder with melancholic features, which is a disorder in which one is unable to experience pleasure, and this concern makes up the bulk of the problem
- Bipolar disorder with psychotic features, which is bipolar disorder experienced along with issues such as hallucinations, delusions, or irrational beliefs
- Bipolar disorder with anxious distress, in which symptoms of anxiety are featured in the disorder
- Bipolar disorder with catatonia, which is a complex form of bipolar disorder in which an individual will become frozen in random poses or will engage in behaviors that are repetitive and serve no purpose.
- Bipolar disorder with seasonal pattern, which is a type of bipolar disorder that comes around during a specific time of year for an individual
- Bipolar disorder with atypical features, a type of bipolar disorder in which they do not portray the common features associated with their episodes (for example, sleeping less or eating more with depression)
Keep in mind that there are various variations within the disorder and the symptoms experienced, and they may not all be listed here as it is hard for all bipolar-related disorder that could be present in someone. As such, this extensive list should help you understand the scope of bipolar disorder and how it can impact you and interact with other mental health issues.
Should I Take Online Bipolar Quizzes?
All of this information will leave you with the question, should you be taking bipolar quizzes in the first place? While they can help allow you to learn more about the disorder and to help you to see whether or not you may have some of the symptoms, they are not effective ways in diagnosing bipolar disorder if you do have it.
So, how do you know if you are bipolar? The best way to learn more about whether or not you have a disease is to reach out to a mental health professional who can properly assess and diagnose you. This way, you will receive a legitimate diagnosis, eliminate the potential for error, and have access to the help you will need to take the next step in treatment and coping.
If you're looking to take the first step but don't know where to start, we recommend visiting BetterHelp. BetterHelp is an online counseling platform designed to make the therapy process easier by quickly connecting certified counselors to patients on the web so that users can get treatment on a flexible schedule and from the comfort of their own home. Sound interesting? Click on the link above to get started today!
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