So you think you know all about bipolar disorder? Try this quick bipolar disorder quiz!

Answers to the quiz appear below.

1. Can I take my own bipolar test? Are reliable bipolar self tests available?

2. Can bipolar disorder be cured?

3. What treatments are effective for bipolar?

4. Are bipolar people dangerous?

5. Are SSRIs good antidepressant drugs for people with bipolar depression?

6. Who are some famous bipolar people?

7. Can people with bipolar disorder qualify for social security disability?

8. Is bipolar disorder a hereditary disease?

9. Is bipolar disorder mainly characterized by frequent, extreme mood swings from serious depression through to manic elation?

10. What is the relationship between bipolar disorder and manic-depressive illness?

11. How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?



Part of effectively treating bipolar is learning about it through tools like this Bipolar Disorder Quiz.

12. What other illnesses commonly occur along with bipolar disorder?

13. What is “kindling”?

14. Who discovered bipolar?

15. Can children have bipolar disorder?

16. Is it true there is a link between bipolar and creativity?

17. Is bipolar disorder purely a mental illness or can it affect physical health?

Bipolar quiz answers

1. Yes, the Internet has several professional bipolar tests freely available. My favorite is the Black Dog Research Institute bipolar test.

However, you will still need to take the results to a skilled clinician for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.1

2. Bipolar disorder is a chronic condition. To date there is no known cure; however, it can be effectively treated. In fact, with the right treatment, bipolar disorder is one of the most manageable of all mental health conditions.

3. A combined approach of medication and talk therapy are effective bipolar treatments. Some people manage the condition with medication alone while those who have Bipolar Type II or “soft” bipolar may try to manage the disorder with therapy alone, but medication is advisable.

People with bipolar disorder also face a significant increased risk of early death from diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

4. This is a very common misconception on the bipolar disorder quiz. What the research tells us is that people with mental illness do NOT commit more violent acts than the general population. In fact, a person with a mental illness such as Bipolar Disorder is twice as likely to be a VICTIM of violence. However, bipolar disorder can be a very destructive illness and untreated bipolar people may be very irritable or abusive, and may be prone to reckless acts such as infidelity, gambling, or spending sprees that cause a lot of damage to their families and loved ones. (This is the bipolar quiz question almost everyone gets wrong!)

5. Although there is some evidence that antidepressants are effective in the short-term treatment of bipolar depression, a large recent trial reported no benefit. Further, major studies such as STEP-BP found SSRIs can induce manic episodes. Instead of SSRIs, the evidence is that Lamictal, which is an anticonvulsant medication, or Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication, are preferred. Also, a recent survey of randomized evidence found no justification for using SSRIs as a long-term, ongoing treatment in addition to a mood stabilizer for maintenance treatment among people suffering from bipolar depression.


6. Famous bipolar people include Patty Duke, Kurt Cobain, Sir Winston Churchill, Carrie Fisher, Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, Jane Pauley, Linda Hamilton, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sinéad O’Connor, and Brian Wilson.

7. Bipolar people can qualify for social security disability, but it can be a complex process.

8. Genetics does play a role. The chances of any member of the general population developing bipolar disorder is 2%. With one bipolar parent, the likelihood rises to 10%, and with two bipolar parents, the likelihood rises to 40%. However, in identical twin studies, 57% of the bipolar individuals had a bipolar twin. If genetics were the sole determinant, this would be a 100% likelihood.


9. My guess is that this is one bipolar disorder quiz question that many readers will be confused about. It is a misconception that all bipolar people have frequent and dramatic mood swings. A small proportion of bipolar people are “rapid cyclers”, but overall bipolar people tend to get stuck in a mood (usually depression rather than mania) for longer than non-bipolar people. Also, bipolar is actually several different mood disorders and the moods may take many forms. Mania is not always extreme and is not always expressed as elation. Sometimes it can appear as irritation, for example.

10. Bipolar disorder used to be officially known as manic-depressive illness. Some people prefer “bipolar” as they feel it captures the notion of mixed episodes, others prefer “manic-depressive” because it captures the notion of mood swings, the need to have both types of episodes, and is less likely to be used synonymously for “bad behavior”.

11. Bipolar disorder cannot be detected through a blood test or x-ray. Instead, questionnaires are used to check an individual’s behavior for symptoms defined in the professional manual for mental health disorders, the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5th Edition (DSM-5). (Our Bipolar Disorder Quiz tests your Bipolar IQ – not whether or not you have bipolar disorder.)

12. Common co-morbid conditions include anxiety disorders, substance abuse, migraine, thyroid illness, obesity, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

13. “Kindling” is the worsening over time of untreated bipolar disorder. Research suggests that if left untreated, bipolar disorder gets progressively worse, with rapid cycling and more severe episodes, compounded by the disorder becoming more resistant to treatment. The theory is that more and more brain cells become highly sensitized and prone to “ignite”, in the same way many small pieces of wood can ignite serious fires.

14. In 400 BC Hippocrates linked the black bile of melancholia with the yellow bile of mania. This appears to be the earliest documented discovery of bipolar disorder. See discovery of bipolar disorder.

15. Children can have bipolar disorder, although there is a lot of controversy about diagnosing bipolar disorder in children before at least the age of puberty. In fact, this will probably be the most disputed question on the bipolar disorder quiz. See childhood bipolar disorder.

16. While it is true that there is a strong link between bipolar and creativity, the historic belief in such a connection has often been exaggerated and romanticized. See bipolar disorder and creativity.

17. People with bipolar disorder also face a significantly higher increased risk of early death from diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Did you know that 35% of people with bipolar disorder are obese? In fact, people with bipolar disorder are up to two times more likely to die from heart disease, diabetes and stroke than are members of the general population.

If you want to dig deeper than the bipolar disorder quiz, check our Bipolar Facts page.