2013 Bipolar Update
Many doctors employ the use of a bipolar screening exam in order to quantifiably describe the level of severity of any particular bipolar case. Although it can be argued that many bipolar screening tests are largely heuristic in nature, which means that there is no definite way to consider the results as largely true, this can be used as a suitable alternative while waiting for a bipolar mood chart to be properly constructed out of a patient’s history.
The standard bipolar screening test consists of an array of questions or conditions specifically created to quantify the level of mood fluctuations that a patient is experiencing. Examples of bipolar screening tests frequently contain questions or statements like “At times, I am much more talkative than usual” or “I get into moods where I feel very irritable.” From here, the responder responds by ticking a list of options that suitably describe how often the responder feels those conditions to be true.
At the end of the test, the system compiles the score of the responder and gives a descriptive analysis of the level of mood issues that the patient is experiencing. This description is based, in turn, on a thoroughly studied correlation between the score and the perceived emotional state of the patient as well as other factors which should be documented beforehand including age, sex, and occupation which can have a profound effect on a person’s personality and may or may not be aggravating factors for the observed condition of the patient.
As mentioned, however, these bipolar screening tests are only subjected and can be influenced by other factors which can lead to false interpretation of the results. As such, doctors will almost always propose a thorough examination following the results of the bipolar screening. A thorough examination will form the ultimate basis for diagnosing a bipolar case. Consequently, the bipolar screening test will most likely not count towards the final diagnosis but will only serve as a measure to pre-categorize whether or not a patient needs to take the thorough exam.
For references, a detailed bipolar analysis test involves many facets of a patient’s personality.
•Personal history. This can include experiences, the environment where the patient grew up in, any physical or emotional trauma as caused by a previous event, and many others.
•Medical history. The doctor would also like to know if a patient has any documented ailments that may or may not be significant in the final diagnosis. Histories such as suicidal attempts, on the other hand, can help paint a clearer picture of the condition depending on other conditions surrounding the time when it happened.
It should be emphasized that bipolar screening is only a tool towards a definitive diagnosis and that only a professional medical personnel duly trained in diagnosing the condition should be allowed to use the results in a way that has medical implications. The tool is intended to help patients conduct preliminary assessment of their conditions in the hope that they can report their cases for immediate response by competent medical personnel.