As described in an earlier paper, bipolar disorder once known as manic depression is a very intricate disorder that is characterized by episodes of mania, hypomania, or a mixed mood that alternates with episodes of major depression (Admin, D., D., Lane, C., Dr., 2013). In America there are approximately 5.7 million adults are affected by bipolar disorder. In a given year around 2.6% of the U.S. population 18 or over will be diagnosed with bipolar. The average onset for this disorder is around 25 years old (National Institute of Mental Health). Although children as young as 12 have been diagnosed it is less common for a diagnosis to be made during this age bracket, because of the chances of a misdiagnosis. This disorder is equally common amongst men and woman.
Before someone is officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder they are put through a series of tests and exams to rule out any other problems that may cause similar symptoms. Some of the exams and test that a person might endure are:
Lab tests: This will include blood and urine tests to help identify if there are any physical problems causing these symptoms. (Martin, B. PSY.D., 2013)
Physical exams: This will check for things such as hypothyroidism which can also affect ones moods and behaviors (Martin, B. PSY.D., 2013).
If nothing shows up here a person will be referred to a psychiatrist where they will undergo three more steps which are:
Initial Assessment: This is when a mental health professional will ask a series of questions regarding a person’s symptoms. These questions will include when the symptoms first began, how long do they last, how severe are they, are the reoccurring, have they been treated before, and if so what treatment was received? (Martin, B. PSY.D., 2013)
Mood charting: This will include a daily record of ones moods, sleep patterns, and any other factor that will contribute to the...