This Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) for bipolar symptoms calculator screens whether the patient suffers from bipolar disorder and should need diagnosis. Below the form there are instructions on how to interpret the results and which is the positive criteria.

Part I

Has there ever been a period of time when you were not your usual self and...
... 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 you didn't really miss it?
... you were much more talkative or spoke 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 into trouble?

Part II

If you checked YES to more than one of the above, have several of these ever happened during at least a four day period of time?
How much of a problem did any of these cause you -- like being unable to work; having family, money, or legal troubles; getting into arguments or fights?

How does this Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) for bipolar symptoms calculator work?

This health tool is a self report screening tool that aims to identify patients suffering from bipolar disease and to discriminate between this and other mental health conditions.

The Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ) for bipolar symptoms calculator focuses on the recognition and prevalence of bipolar disorder signs, especially in patients suffering from depression, some already under treatment. In terms of bipolar condition, this refers to all the bipolar spectrum disorders (bipolar I, II and cyclothymia).

The MDQ is brief and comprises of 15 questions and shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to complete. At the beginning of the test, the subject is asked to reflect upon each question and to try and answer it as accurately as possible.

There are 13 straight forward questions in the first part of the questionnaire in regards to possible symptoms and the subject is asked to choose whether they have experienced or not those symptoms.

The two questions in the second part of the questionnaire refer to family history of mental disease, past personal diagnoses and the perceived disease severity.

Usually the diagnosis of bipolar disorders is made through an evaluation comprising of mental status examination and psychiatric history in terms of past episodes of mania and mood swings.

The MDQ can be used in the primary setting but as well in subsequent evaluations. It has been determined that it has good rates of sensitivity and specificity with 73% of patients positively identified and 90% ruling out success.

Bipolar disorder is defined as the mental condition characterized by the alternation of periods of elation (manic episodes) and depression with some associated psychotic symptoms:

■ manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high);

■ depressive episodes (feeling low);

■ during manic or depressed episodes.

The most common symptoms include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, lack of self worth, guilt, pessimism, delusional, very quick mood changes, risk behavior, easy distraction and disruption of eating patterns.

The sooner the diagnosis is put and mood stabilizers and therapy are introduced, the more positive the outcomes. Often the level of disruption to day to day activities is underestimated and patients don’t seek help before the symptoms are aggravated and the impairment in occupational and functional life is already very high.

Alongside with the borderline personality disorders this is a mental illness with high rates of suicide, making thus evaluation means such as the MDQ the more important in the early screening of patients at risk.

MDQ score interpretation

Once all the 15 questions have been answered, the assessor will evaluate the questionnaire and will decide whether there is a positive or negative screen. Positive screening cases need to satisfy all three of the following criteria:

■ Part I (13 questions) – 7 out of 13 with positive responses;

■ Part II (question 1) – positive response;

■ Part II (question 2) – moderate or severe response.

A correct screening in the MDQ plays an important role in increasing the access to treatment of patients with relevant symptoms in a spectrum of mental diseases in which the National DMDA studies have revealed that around 70% of patients are initially misdiagnosed and can wait even up to years to receive the right diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.


1) Robert M. A. Hirschfeld, M.D. (2002) The Mood Disorder Questionnaire: A Simple, Patient-Rated Screening Instrument for Bipolar Disorder. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry; 4(1): 9–11.

2) Lish JD, Dime-Meenan S, Whybrow PC, et al. (1994) The National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association (DMDA) survey of bipolar members. J Affect Disord; 31:281–294.

3) Hirschfeld RM, Williams JB, Spitzer RL, et al. (2000) Development and validation of a screening instrument for bipolar spectrum disorder: the Mood Disorder Questionnaire. Am J Psychiatry; 157(11):1873-5.

4) Akiskal HS, Pinto O. (1999) The evolving bipolar spectrum: prototypes I, II, III, IV. Psychiatr Clin North Am; 22:517–524.

22 Nov, 2015