Experiencing any of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can make taking the first step towards treatment very difficult. Taking the steps towards diagnosis and effective treatment may take time, so it is important to be patient and gentle with oneself during this process.  Fortunately, becoming educated and connected to the people and resources that can help one get well has never been easier.

How does one go about getting diagnosed?  The first step is getting in touch with a doctor.

The doctor may be one’s general physician or a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist.  The doctor should conduct a complete diagnostic evaluation.  Family history of mental illness or bipolar disorder should be discussed, along with a complete history of symptoms.  It will also be important for the doctor to talk with relatives or the spouse of the person being diagnosed to note their explanations of the symptoms and ascertain family history.  In performing a diagnosis, a doctor may carry out a physical examination, an interview, and lab tests.  Certain mental health professionals specialize in the diagnosis of mental disorders.

Local Mental Health Professionals

In addition to the Find-A-Pro feature, The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers a number of other excellent resources in education, wellness, and peer support – for family, friends, and those with bipolar alike.  We highly encourage you to explore these great resources, and those offered by other organizations.

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