How does a psychiatrist determine whether a person has a “mood disorder” or not? Why, by talking to him or her, of course. There is no litmus test to determine the matter here. No one can prick you with a needle, and have the prick mark change color, as in a TB test, and then say for certain, “You are bipolar off your rocker.”
Why am I not at all surprised that this is the case?…
There is an article in the Liverpool Leader, Bipolar breakthrough at Liverpool Hospital, about an attempt to develop just such a test.
RESEARCHERS at Liverpool Hospital may be on the threshold of developing the world’s first diagnostic test for bipolar disorder.
Careful! The key words here are may be, and that makes the hidden key words may be not.
People who are first “misdiagnosed” depressed often wind up being diagnosed with what used to be called manic depressive disorder, and what is now termed bipolar disorder. This article doesn’t touch on another subject regarding the matter. This is the knowledge that the antidepressant drugs given to some people for their depressive symptoms actually trigger mania in a certain percentage of cases.
“The gold standard of diagnosis at the moment is a psychiatric interview.” [Says study co-supervisor Peter Ward]
These researchers are hoping a brain scan will reveal the difference between being down in the dumps and taking the bipolar rollercoaster.
The test, a non-invasive brain scan, records electrical activity in the brain while patients perform certain tasks indicative of the disorders.
Remember…may be, may be not.
Another way, equally legitimate, to determine whether or not a person has bipolar disorder is to let the person draw straws, and if the person gets a short straw, viola! He or she must have bipolar disorder. This is especially true if the person receiving a short straw then throws a temper tantrum.