Bipolar affects everyone differently and can be difficult to diagnose, but there are some common signs that can help you identify the illness. A mood scale - see our 'Could mood swings mean bipolar?' leaflet - will help you and your doctor understand your mood swings.

Take a completed mood scale with you to your next appointment with your doctor and tell them how you have been feeling over a period of time. If you feel comfortable you could complete the mood scale and see your doctor with someone close to you.

Sometimes your GP may refer you to a specialist – usually a psychiatrist. Diagnosis should always be undertaken by an appropriately trained medical professional. It is not advisable to self diagnose.


Your donation will help provide a range of services offering the support people need, when they need it. You can make sure there's someone at the end of the phone to listen, a nearby group to share lived experiences, a 24-hour peer forum and more.

Together, we can support the person behind the diagnosis of bipolar.