Is There a Bipolar Test That Will Show Definitively If I Have Bipolar Disorder?

By Sarah Fader |Updated April 1, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder, What Should I Do?

When you suspect you may have a mental condition, amateur psychiatrists seem to pop up everywhere. So many people have either had a mental illness or known someone that has that it can seem like everyone has an opinion on what your problem is and what you should do about it. When you're concerned about the possibility of bipolar disorder, it would be great if there were a test to answer this question for you. There are many different tests for bipolar disorder.

Do I Have Bipolar Disorder?

What can you do when you wonder 'Do I have bipolar disorder?' You could go immediately to a mental health professional and ask them for a diagnosis. List your symptoms and describe what you've been going through. They would be happy to provide a clinical evaluation and additional tests to determine what you are experiencing and provide you with a diagnosis. If you're having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, you should visit your local emergency room, crisis center, or doctor right away.

What if you are only having slight mental health concerns and wondering whether they could be symptoms of bipolar disorder? In this case, one of the easiest and quickest way to put yourself on the right track is to take a bipolar test.

Bipolar Test Types

Reliable tests to determine the presence of bipolar disorder are administered by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed therapist. Some of these tests are paper and pencil and require you to answer a few questions. Others may involve entering answers into a computer, which the professional will then review as part of your diagnosis and to help provide treatment recommendations. For those with concerns about bipolar disorder, testing alone isn't the only thing necessary. Clinicians must also conduct an evaluation interview for a proper diagnosis. The interview includes questions about family medical and mental health history, your background information, and information about where your present situation. This process may also include a referral to a medical doctor to rule out physical concerns and underlying medical problems.

Quizzes that are found online aren't checked for validity or reliability in actual diagnosis.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is still in its infancy, but some are very encouraged by results that demonstrate a likelihood of development of bipolar disorders. It is important to note that these types of tests can only show that you might develop it, not that it is a current issue for you. A licensed mental health clinician will examine other factors in your environment and history along with genetic test results to determine your diagnosis.

What to Do Next

After you take tests and consult with a mental health professional, you may be quite anxious for a direct answer. Your mental health care professional, psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist will discuss results with you to help you understand what these results mean for you. They will also go over treatment options should your results indicate treatment is needed.

Get Help Interpreting and Evaluating the Results

Treatment for bipolar disorders often involves medication, which requires visiting with a psychiatrist or medical doctor for both prescription of medication treatment, and ongoing evaluation to determine its effectiveness.

Your testing may reveal that you don't seem to have bipolar disorder at all. If so, you may have other issues you need to deal with. Licensed counselors are available at BetterHelp.com to teach you stress management techniques to help you overcome these problems, too.

I Think I Have Bipolar Disorder, What Should I Do?

Begin Treatment If You Have Bipolar

What if the bipolar test shows you probably do have bipolar disorder? What should you do, then? If you want to live a happy and productive life, you need to get into treatment as early as possible. Don't wait for the 'right' time. Don't wait for your symptoms to get worse. Early treatment is the best way to reduce the effects the disease has on your mental and physical well-being.

Talking to a therapist is an excellent first step whether you have bipolar disorder or not. They can prove to be a valuable resource throughout your life, whether you have bipolar or not. Everyone has problems to deal with, and for most people, those problems seem unmanageable at one time or another. Getting help with mental health challenges is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.