Bipolar disorder is a commonly missed diagnosis when assessing depression. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder depends on whether you've had at least one episode of mania or hypomania. These are the criteria for hypomania, which is less extreme than mania.
Has your mood been elevated or irritable to a degree that is definitely abnormal for you? If so, did you have any of these symptoms at the same time?
Answer these 7 yes or no questions. Most questions have more than one part, because everyone is slightly different. You need to answer yes to only one part per question in order for that question to count.
1) Elevated self-esteem. Did you feel on top of the world? Did you have unsubstantiated self-confidence or unwarranted optimism? Did you start or make plans for multiple new creative or business ventures? Did you feel you had all the answers?
2) Increased activity. Did you have an abnormally high drive to be active and to achieve goals? For example, did you take on multiple new jobs, clean your house much more than usual, or have longer work outs? Did you have increased restlessness or pacing?
3) Decreased need for sleep. Were you able to get by on just a few hours sleep and be full of energy the next day?
4) More talkative than usual. Did you talk faster or louder that normal? Did people comment on you unusual talkativeness?
5) More distractible. Did you have difficulty concentrating? Were you easily distracted, or jumping from one idea to another? Did you feel like you had racing thoughts? Did you have rapid changes in conversation? Did others find it exhausting, annoying, or hard to keep up?
6) Reckless behavior. Did you engage in reckless spending, driving, or relationships? Did you have spending sprees? Did you buy things you didn't need, or that you regretted or felt guilty about later? Did you engage in foolish business investments? Did you engage in more sexually risky talk or behavior? Were you more aggressive?
7) More social than usual. Were you more flamboyant, overly familiar, or flirtatious? Were you more friendly to friends and to strangers? Did you have increased sexual energy?
If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, then you meet the medical criteria for hypomania. If you have had at least one hypomanic episode and one depressive episode, then you meet the criteria for Bipolar Disorder II.
There are no restrictions on the printing of this document. It is provided as a public service by www.AnxietyDepressionHealth.org. For a more complete guide to depression refer to the book "I Want to Change My Life" by Dr. Steven M. Melemis.