How is Bipolar Disorder diagnosed?

Sometimes depressive episodes are part of a mood disorder called Bipolar Disorder. In such cases, the person may have experienced at least one episode of mania.

According to the DSM-IV system, a manic episode involves the following symptoms over at least one week:


An abnormally 'high' moodCalendar with one week highlighted

At least 3 of the following symptoms:

Inflated self esteem, grand ideas; Low need for sleep; Very talkative; Racing thoughts; Distractible; Risky over-indulgence in pleasure; Agitated.

During the episode of mania, the person has problems functioning in some area of everyday living (such as at work or socially).


As with major depression, sometimes symptoms like those above can be due to a physical illness or drugs rather than a mental health problem. If you think you have the symptoms of mania it is important to consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner for a proper diagnosis.

Click here to read about hypomania.

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