They usually go on your current/past moods, past manic or hypomanic history, your family history, and if you had a reaction or no reaction to meds (especially anti-depressants). This is just to sum things, but it usually takes a few visits for them to determine stuff. At least this was my experience.
As a teen I was diagnosed with depression, but I had a few hypomanic episodes and I didn't think anything of it then. But as I got older I had less periods of depression and more hypomanic/mixed-states. In 2005, I was diagnosed as BPII for about 1 1/2 years, but I had a mixed-state in August that changed my diagnosis to BPI. But this was also after being on so many different meds and other stuff.
I hope that was helpful.
"What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story,
And the greatest good is little enough:
for all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams."
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Life is a Dream
Post Edited (olivia of course) : 3/18/2007 8:16:39 PM (GMT-6)