1. 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
...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 much 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 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?
3. 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?
Please circle one response only.
4. Have any of your blood relatives (i.e. children, siblings, parents, grandparents,
aunts, uncles) had manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder?
THE MOOD DISORDER QUESTIONNAIRE
© 2000 by The University of Texas Medical Branch. Reprinted with permission. This instrument is designed for screening purposes only and is not to be used as a diagnostic tool.
a critical need for timely and accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which can be fatal if left untreated.
The questionnaire takes about five minutes to complete, and can provide important insights into
diagnosis and treatment. Clinical trials have indicated that the MDQ has a high rate of accuracy; it is
able to identify seven out of ten people who have bipolar disorder and screen out nine out of ten
people who do not.
A recent National DMDA survey revealed that nearly 70% of people with bipolar disorder had received
before receiving a correct diagnosis. National DMDA hopes that the MDQ will shorten this delay and
help more people to get the treatment they need, when they need it.
The MDQ screens for Bipolar Spectrum Disorder, (which includes Bipolar I, Bipolar II and
If the patient answers:
1. “Yes” to seven or more of the 13 items in question number 1;
2. “Yes” to question number 2;
3. “Moderate” or “Serious” to question number 3;
you have a positive screen. All three of the criteria above should be met. A positive screen should
be followed by a comprehensive medical evaluation for Bipolar Spectrum Disorder.
Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, MD – University of Texas Medical Branch; Joseph R. Calabrese, MD – Case Western Reserve School
of Medicine; Laurie Flynn – National Alliance for the Mentally Ill; Paul E. Keck, Jr., MD – University of Cincinnati College of
Medicine; Lydia Lewis – National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association; Robert M. Post, MD – National Institute of
Mental Health; Gary S. Sachs, MD – Harvard University School of Medicine; Robert L. Spitzer, MD – Columbia University;
Janet Williams, DSW – Columbia University and John M. Zajecka, MD – Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Hirschfeld, Robert M.A., M.D., Janet B.W. Williams, D.S.W., Robert L. Spitzer, M.D., Joseph R. Calabrese, M.D., Laurie Flynn, Paul E. Keck, Jr., M.D.,
“Development and Validation of a Screening Instrument for Bipolar Spectrum Disorder: The Mood Disorder Questionnaire.” American Journal of
SCORING THE MOOD DISORDER