Stigmatization of People with Mental Disorders

"Stigmatization of people with mental disorders is manifested by bias, distrust, stereotyping, fear, embarrassment, anger, and/or avoidance. Stigma leads the (public) to avoid people with mental disorders. It reduces access to resources and leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. It deters
the public from seeking, and wanting to pay for care. Stigma results in outright discrimination and abuse. More tragically, it deprives people of their dignity and interferes with their full participation in society."

--U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher (ret.)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Are You Suffering From Bipolar Disorder?

A Bipolar Disorder Screening Tool

This questionnaire should be used as a starting point. It is not a substitute for a full medical evaluation. Bipolar disorder is a complex illness, and an accurate, thorough diagnosis can only be made through a personal evaluation by your doctor. However, a positive screen here may suggest that you might benefit from seeking such an evaluation from your doctor. Regardless of the questionnaire results, if you or someone you know has concerns about your mental health, please contact your physician or another healthcare professional.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please answer each question as best you can.

1. Has there ever been a period of time when you were not your usual self and... YES NO
... you felt so good or so hyper that other people thought you were not your normal self or you were so hyper that you got into trouble?
... you were so irritable that you shouted at people or started fights or arguments?
... you felt much more self-confident than usual?
... you got much less sleep than usual and found that you didn’t really miss it?
... you were more talkative or spoke much faster than usual?
... thoughts raced through your head or you couldn’t slow your mind down?
... you were so easily distracted by things around you that you had trouble concentrating or staying on track?
... you had much more energy than usual?
... you were much more active or did many more things than usual?
... you were much more social or outgoing than usual, for example, you telephoned friends in the middle of the night?
... you were much more interested in sex than usual?
... you did things that were unusual for you or that other people might have thought were excessive, foolish or risky?
... spending money got you or your family in trouble?
2. If you checked YES to more than one of the above, have several of these ever happened during the same period of time?
3. How much of a problem did any of these cause you - like being able to work; having family, money or legal troubles; getting into arguments or fights?
No problem Minor problem Moderate problem Serious problem
4. Have any of your blood relatives (i.e. children, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) had manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder?
5. Has a health professional ever told you that you have manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder?

How to evaluate your results

Answering “Yes” to 7 or more of the events in question #1, answering “Yes” to question #2, and answering “Moderate problem” or “Serious problem” to question #3 is considered a positive screen for bipolar disorder.
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