A prominent psychiatric geneticist at the University of California, San Diego who’s dedicated himself to identifying the biological roots of bipolar disorder, announced that he’d discovered several gene mutations closely tied to the disease and proceeded to sell bipolar genetic tests directly to the public over the Internet. Patients receive a plastic cup, which they spit into and return for an analysis of the DNA in the saliva. The doctor acknowledges that the presence of these gene variations is no assurance that someone will actually develop the disease, considering his $399 test as an aid for doctors trying to make a diagnosis.
I’d like to offer my own test that doesn’t require spitting or spending, which may be less intriguing to those with bipolar as the manic phase is accompanied by the desire to shop:
If you have intense mood swings, experiencing delusional highs and depressive lows, go see a shrink. If you’re a hyperactive shopper, attracted to mall stores and the Home Shopping Network, that’s yet another reason to worry. If you’ve ever flicked on the light late at night or pulled over while driving to call an 800 number in response to an ad on TV for an item, “available if you call right now for only $19.95,” that’s another indicator of bipolar.
My suggestions include other psychiatric disorders also. If you think this is about you and are tempted to call and scream at me for sending a cryptic message, you may be interested in my paranoia or narcissism diagnostic detectors.