At Your Appointment

Bipolar Disorder Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • How often have you felt a mood change since our last visit?
  • Have friends or family expressed concern about your symptoms or behavior?
  • What symptoms have you noticed? For example, changes in energy levels or sleeping habits, trouble thinking clearly, overwhelming emotions, seeing or hearing things others did not?
  • Have you had thoughts of harming yourself or others?
  • Are you ever tempted to stop your medicine? What triggers this?
  • What symptoms have you noticed? For example, changes in energy levels or sleeping habits, trouble thinking clearly, overwhelming emotions, seeing or hearing things others did not?
  • When did you or those around you first notice concerning mood symptoms?
  • How often do your moods change and how long do they last?
  • How often do you engage in impulsive or risky behaviors that are not normal for you?
  • Are your symptoms or behaviors interfering with your relationships or responsibilities, such as work?
  • Do you have a family history of depression or other mental disorders?
  • Do you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs?
  • Are you taking your medicine as directed? How often, if ever, do you miss a dose?
  • What is your main concern about your symptoms and managing bipolar?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • How do you diagnose bipolar disorder? What is the criteria?
  • What other possible causes could be responsible for my symptoms and behaviors?
  • What treatments do you recommend to treat bipolar disorder?
  • What are the possible side effects of bipolar medications?
  • Do I need to see a psychiatrist or another mental health provider?
  • What are the best treatment options for me? Are there other medications if these treatments don't work well enough?
  • What lifestyle changes do I need to make to keep myself healthy and prevent a relapse?
  • Are there other conditions I am at risk of developing? If so, what can I do to protect my health?
  • What should I do if my symptoms get worse? How do I reach you in an emergency?
  • Can I expect to recover from bipolar; that is, live a fulfilling life without bipolar being a major obstacle?
  • What support groups and programs are available to help people like me?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?
  • Are my new or different symptoms related to bipolar disorder or something else?
  • Why do you think a bipolar diagnosis is likely in my case?
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Last Review Date: 2018 Sep 10
  1. Bipolar Disorder. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
  2. Griswold KS, Pessar LF. Management of bipolar disorder. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Sep 15;62(6):1343-1353.
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