Bipolar Test: An Informational Tool

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated September 11, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Bipolar disorder (BP) is a mental health condition typically characterized by extreme mood swings between emotional highs and lows, referred to as “mania” and “depression”, respectively. In severe cases, such as with bipolar I disorder, an individual must have at least one episode of mania lasting seven days or requiring hospitalization. Taking an online bipolar disorder test or mood disorder questionnaire can help an individual familiarize themselves with specific symptoms of the disorder so they can compare them with their lived experience. However, these assessment quizzes are not a substitute for the care of a licensed mental health professional and cannot provide an official diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Read on to understand why they’re informational resources rather than diagnostic tools, and to find out what to do with the result of an online BP assessment.

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Recognizing Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

An online bipolar assessment can help you understand common symptoms of this mental illness. It may ask you questions about whether you’ve experienced them recently or in other periods of life and for how long if so. Severity and duration in particular can be important in understanding which form of bipolar spectrum disorders you could be exhibiting symptoms of, since bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, and bipolar not otherwise specified (NOS) are generally differentiated by these two factors. Symptoms of bipolar disorder in general that a quiz may touch on include the following.

Common Symptoms Of Mania

  • Feeling “up,” hyper, or elated
  • Having much more energy than your usual self
  • Feeling irritable 
  • Feeling jumpy
  • Changes in sleep patterns (typically needing less)
  • Racing thoughts and speaking
  • Unusually high productivity
  • Legal troubles due to manic episodes

Common Symptoms Of Depression

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling lethargic or restless
  • Changes in sleep patterns (getting much less sleep or more sleep than you typically do)
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of interest in most activities

What Online Bipolar Disorder Tests Can Be Used For

It’s important to note that the only way to definitively know whether you may have BP is by connecting with a mental health professional for evaluation and diagnosis.

They can use their training and experience to figure out whether your symptoms may be indicative of BP, another mental health disorder, or both concurrently during the same period of time. If you do receive a diagnosis, they can recommend a treatment plan they deem appropriate for your unique situation. 

An online assessment, quiz, or questionnaire is not a substitute for professional medical or mental health care. The results of any online testing should not replace the advice of a mental health professional.  However, these methods can still be useful to describe symptoms at the moment. For one, they can help an individual familiari ze themselves with common symptoms of BP. For another, they can help make them feel more confident in seeking the help of a professional for an accurate diagnosis based on their answers.

What To Expect With An Online Bipolar Disorder Test

There are many different types of BP tests and quizzes available online. Most take the form of multiple-choice questions that have you answer or rate how often you experience a specific symptom. they may also ask about your sex, energy levels, how self-confident you are, whether you feel easily distracted, and other factors. Some are more in-depth questionnaires that will ask detailed questions about the number of symptoms and their duration. Others are quick quizzes designed to provide a basic sense of whether your experience may line up with general BP symptoms, such as have you experienced a traumatic event, are irritable and have started fights, have you telephoned friends or a parent in the middle of the night, or do you feel like thoughts raced through your head recently? Either type can provide useful information. The more important factor when choosing an online bipolar disorder assessment is typically quality and whether it comes from a reputable source. Mental Health America is an example of a well-known, respected organization that offers a BP screening test online. Tests from unknown or untrustworthy sources may be a liability and contain incorrect or even harmful information or advice and may lead to you spending money on tests that are not valid.

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What To Do After Taking An Online Bipolar Disorder Test

In general, an online bipolar disorder assessment will either suggest that you may have BP, or it will suggest that you likely do not. Here’s what to do with either result.

If You Receive A Positive Result

If an online bipolar disorder assessment tells you that you have BP, remember that this does not constitute an official diagnosis. Instead, you can view it as a sign that you may benefit from meeting with a mental health professional for an official, clinical evaluation. A therapist or psychiatrist can ask you questions to get a better idea of the specific symptoms you’ve been experiencing and then determine whether they constitute a diagnosis of some form of BP or another mental health condition. They can then suggest treatment accordingly. While there is some cultural stigma associated with mental health conditions like BP, remember that this disorder is treatable and manageable, and that those experiencing it can and do live fulfilling, healthy, autonomous lives. After being diagnosed with BP your doctor or therapist may provide treatment options so that you can feel more like your normal self.

If You Receive A Negative Result

Receiving a negative result in an online BP assessment does not definitively mean you do not have this or another mental health disorder. If you are experiencing concerning symptoms, a recommended next step is typically to meet with a mental health professional for evaluation. They can get an overview of any mental health challenges you’ve been facing and ascertain whether they may point to BP or another condition. 

Seeking Treatment For Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder Or Other Conditions

Again, online bipolar disorder tests are unable provide an official diagnosis of any mental health condition. If you suspect you may have BP or another condition, it’s typically best to meet with a healthcare professional. Meeting with a primary care provider is a common next step, since they can conduct an evaluation to see whether there may be a physical health condition that’s causing your symptoms. If not, they may refer you to or suggest that you meet with a mental health professional. A qualified mental health care provider can then evaluate your symptoms to decide whether a diagnosis of BP may be appropriate. If you receive such a diagnosis, treatment typically involves psychotherapy, sometimes in combination with medication. Other times, only one type of treatment may be needed. The right treatment plan for you depends on your needs and personal development.

For those experiencing severe symptoms, meeting with a mental health professional in person is usually recommended. In other cases, an individual may seek mental health care in person or online, depending on their preference. Many people choose online care options because they’re often more affordable and reachable than traditional in-office sessions. With a virtual therapy platform like BetterHelp, for instance, costs are comparable to the co-pays of most insurance plans, and sessions with a licensed therapist can be availed from anywhere the individual has a reliable internet connection, which can reduce the stress of commuting. Since research suggests that online and in-person talk therapy can offer similar benefits in many cases, you can typically choose the format that feels right for you in your life right now.


In the past, people thought that BP was rare, however, we now know that it is common. Online bipolar disorder tests can provide some insight into common symptoms, but they are not considered an adequate substitute for diagnosis and treatment from a qualified healthcare professional. If you suspect you may have BP or another mental health condition, making an appointment with your primary care provider and/or consulting with a licensed mental health professional can be helpful next steps.

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