The Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale (BSDS)
Developed by Ron Pies and modified by S. Nassir Ghaemi. Used by permission.
Instructions: Please read through the entire passage below before filling in any blanks.
Some individuals notice that their mood and/or energy levels shift drastically from time to time___. These individuals notice that, at times, their mood and/or energy level is very low, and at other times, very high___. During their “low” phases, these individuals often feel a lack of energy; a need to stay in bed or get extra sleep; and little or no motivation to do things they need to do___. They often put on weight during these periods___. During their low phases, these individuals often feel “blue”, sad all the time, or depressed___. Sometimes, during these low phases, they feel hopeless or even suicidal___. Their ability to function at work or socially is impaired___. Typically, these low phases last for a few weeks, but sometimes they last only a few days___. Individuals with this type of pattern may experience a period of “normal” mood in between mood swings, during which their mood and energy level feels “right” and their ability to function is not disturbed___. They may then notice a marked shift or “switch” in the way they feel___. Their energy increases above what is normal for them, and they often get many things done they would not ordinarily be able to do___. Sometimes, during these “high” periods, these individuals feel as if they have too much energy or feel “hyper”___. Some individuals, during these high periods, may feel irritable, “on edge”, or aggressive___. Some individuals, during these high periods, take on too many activities at once___. During these high periods, some individuals may spend money in ways that cause them trouble___. They may be more talkative, outgoing, or sexual during these periods___. Sometimes, their behavior during these high periods seems strange or annoying to others___. Sometimes, these individuals get into difficulty with co-workers or the police, during these high periods___. Sometimes they increase their alcohol or non-prescription drug use during these high periods___.
Now that you have read this passage, please check one of the following four boxes:
|This story fits me very well, or almost perfectly|
|This story fits me fairly well|
|This story fits me to some degree, but not in most respects|
|This story doesn’t really describe me at all|
Now please go back and put a check after each sentence that definitely describes you.
Scoring: each sentence checked is worth one point. Add six points for “fits me very well,” 4 points for “fits me fairly well,” and two points for ” fits me to some degree.”
|Total Score||Likelihood of Bipolar Disorder|
|0 – 6||Highly unlikely|
|7 – 12||Low probability|
|13 – 19||Moderate probability|
|20 – 25||High probability|
The optimum threshold for positive diagnosis: a score of 13 or above. Using this criteria only about 20% of people with bipolar depression will be missed, and almost all of those identified as having a bipolar depression will have that form of depression.