Goldberg Bipolar Spectrum Screening Questionnaire, a Screening Test for Bipolar Spectrum Disorders

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Identify signs and symptoms associated with bipolar disorder with this early 12-question self-test by Dr Ivan K Goldberg. Designed to screen for the possibility of a bipolar spectrum disorder in individuals 18 or older, the test assumes you have already had at least one episode of depression.

Completing this Psychological Screening Test

See below for an important note on flaws in this test. Also see our newer “Tri-Axial Bipolar Spectrum Screening Quiz (TABS): Test for Bipolar”, designed to cover additional factors not included in this questionnaire.

To take the questionnaire, please click the radio button next to the selection which best reflects how each statement applies to you. The items refer to how you have felt and behaved over much of your life. If you have usually felt one way, and have recently changed, your responses should reflect how you have usually felt.

Take the Quiz

Please note: This test will only be scored correctly if you answer each one of the questions. Please also check our disclaimer on psychological testing and our psychological testing privacy guarantee.

1. At times I am much more talkative or speak much faster than usual.

2. There have been times when I was much more active or did many more things than usual.

3. I get into moods where I feel very speeded up or irritable.

4. There have been times when I have felt both high (elated) and low (depressed) at the same time.

5. At times I have been much more interested in sex than usual.

6. My self-confidence ranges from great self-doubt to equally great overconfidence.

7. There have been GREAT variations in the quantity or quality of my work.

8. For no apparent reason I sometimes have been VERY angry or hostile.

9. I have periods of mental dullness and other periods of very creative thinking.

10. At times I am greatly interested in being with people and at other times I just want to be left alone with my thoughts.

11. I have had periods of great optimism and other periods of equally great pessimism.

12. I have had periods of tearfulness and crying and other times when I laugh and joke excessively.


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About Scoring this Psychological Questionnaire

Scoring:

  • 0 points Not at all
  • 1 point Just a little
  • 2 points Somewhat
  • 3 points Moderately
  • 4 points Quite a lot
  • 5 points Very much

Roughly speaking, the higher the score, the higher probability of a bipolar spectrum disorder, as opposed to major (unipolar) depression. When your quiz is scored, one of 3 different information pages will appear to describe the results for scores in your range.

Remember, this quiz assumes that you have already experienced a depressive episode.

Screening test scoring ranges:

  • 0-15 Major/unipolar depression
  • 16-24 Major Depression or a Disorder in the Bipolar Spectrum
  • 25 or Above, Bipolar Spectrum

Import Caveats: Flaws in the Goldberg Bipolar Test

While the Goldberg Bipolar Spectrum Screening Questionnaire is one of the most popular on the web — having been around in one form or another since the early 1990s — it is by most accounts deeply flawed as a stand-alone test. Why? The Goldberg test is deeply flawed for two reasons:

Assumption of a previous depressive episode
In the hands of a psychiatrist who has already directly taken a detailed clinical history, the fact that a screening instrument makes assumptions about that clinical history is not a problem. In reality, however, most people taking a screening quiz on the internet are not sitting with a psychiatrist, do not know whether they have previously experienced an episode which would have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having been a depressive episode, and will take the test anyway!
Failure to check for mitigating factors which preclude the diagnosis of bipolar disorder
It is flatly, unconditionally, entirely wrong merely to link the presence of higher numbers of symptoms such as those described in this quiz to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be entirely precluded by certain factors which this test does not ask about.

Despite it’s deep flaws, the Goldberg test remains popular, and we include it here in this section for the sake of completeness. Go ahead, give it a whirl — just beware of its limitations. For a more modern alternative, you may also want to try the “Tri-Axial Bipolar Spectrum Screening Quiz (TABS): Test for Bipolar”.

Additional Information

The Goldberg Bipolar Spectrum Screening Questionnaire was developed by Dr Ivan Goldberg, MD.

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