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Does this sound like Bipolar?

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spacingspaces

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First of all i'm not expecting anyone to diagnose me nor am i trying to self-diagnose myself. I am going to go to talk to someone professionally about my mental health soon but for now i just wanted to ask this question to get an idea of where my mental health could lie. I'm 22 years old and since a teenager i've suffered with anxiety and social anxiety. Also i've struggled with paranoia in the sense that i always feel like people are attacking me. I find hidden meanings in certain sentences peoples use around me even if it's a totally non-hostile environment. This has caused a lot of my relationships to break down and i've lost friends over it. I have mood swings a lot and they can be quite severe but i'm not sure if they fit the bipolar type of mood swings? IT can change very quick for me and usually the reason is very subtle and something that i know if i said it to someone else they would think i'm a bit mad for changing my mood that quick over something they probably wouldn't understand. I often have times where i feel "high" like i'm on drugs and i get all these ideas coming into my head and i just need to talk to someone about them. It's usually a family member i talk to when this happens as i have social anxiety so i only really feel comfortable around them. I pace up and down and start rambling on about these ideas and it can be hard for me to get my point across sometimes because i speak too fast and my thoughts feel all jumbled up. I also have anger issues and have had pretty intense outbursts in my teenage years and even recently (within the last year and a half). Also for the last year and a half i've been overcome with an extreme amount of guilt for different things i've done in my life. This guilt haunts me and i constantly question my own morals. I can start feeling guilty for even little things too and make them out to be worse than they are. I also get alot of intrusive thoughts. I hate when i get these and i know it's my anxiety causing it. (or at least thats what i think). My mind comes up with the worst possible things i can think of and i try to push them out of my head. I end up feeling really guilty for even having such thoughts. I would never act out on these thoughts and have no desire to they are merely just thoughts that come into my head. i also go from low self esteem to really cocky at times too. I have a lot of ups and downs in my mood as well and find it very hard to finish things. I also think people are out to get me a lot or when i was a teenager i used to constantly think my friends were plotting against me to push me out of the friend group.
 
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Tabby 88

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The psychiatrist would say that bipolar includes mood swings the last for months, and personality disorder mood swings change more quickly. I don't believe that is true as mine can change within a day, and i have bipolar disorder. People with bipolar and personality disorder can have depressions that last a very long time and both can have massive highs.

Think a bit more about what you want from an appointment with a psychiatrist before you go in there and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ;) because everything you say will be taken down as evidence ;) and i cannot remember the rest.
 
Brazenh

Brazenh

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The psychiatrist would say that bipolar includes mood swings the last for months, and personality disorder mood swings change more quickly. I don't believe that is true as mine can change within a day, and i have bipolar disorder. People with bipolar and personality disorder can have depressions that last a very long time and both can have massive highs.

Think a bit more about what you want from an appointment with a psychiatrist before you go in there and tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ;) because everything you say will be taken down as evidence ;) and i cannot remember the rest.
Oath: I swear by Almighty God that I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Affirmation: I solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Jury service bored me
*Spoiler alert* she was guilty *spoiler alert*
 
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Tabby 88

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spacingspaces, seriously please think about how much you tell the gp or psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is there to treat depression or mania mostly. If you need to talk to someone about what is happening in your life before you take medication, you could see a counsellor to help you sort through it all before you go near a psychiatrist. Have a read around the net about everything and track your moods in a diary. If you are unwell now, you should speak to your gp now and get help quickly but if you are managing, it would be better to speak to a counsellor first or spend more time on a forum to talk things through. Please keep talking here also.
 
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spacingspaces

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From what you read in my post would you say i gear towards a personality disorder more or bipolar more?
 
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Tabby 88

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From what you read in my post would you say i gear towards a personality disorder more or bipolar more?
It would be impossible for me to remember all the details you have written and my answers would be the knowledge i have taken from text books. My information may be wrong and also i might attract angry responses from other people with bipolar or personality disorder. Would you be able to accept a personality disorder diagnosis? or a bipolar one? They seem very similar to the sufferer but they are treated very differently by benefits, treatments, mental health agencies, friends, family, insurance companies, dvla, everything is affected.

I will have a go:

Anxiety is common in both. Anxiety is usually only in an episode of depression for bipolar, but not always.

Social anxiety is usually only in depressed. When well, a person with bipolar would more likely be very sociable. When manic, more so.

These are text book replies and probably not true for most sufferers. Please remember that.

tbc...
 
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Tabby 88

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paranoia i have read in relation to personality d, but it can also be part of a manic episode with bipolar. Paranoia, feeling attacked, as a person, can be low self-esteem i think. I can misread things. Also, it could be due to past experiences where people have been unkind to you, so you assume everyone is going to unkind.

You see it is all so complex.

Hidden meanings, i can also read between the lines. You could be on high alert due to stressful life experiences, or just be an intelligent person. You could be more sensitive and more aware of everything. It depends on whether your finding of hidden meanings are correct or not, or whether it is paranoia.

Relationship breakdowns and losing friends many text books would say is a key part of personality disorder, however, most of mine have broken down and i have lost friends too. People around those with bipolar can get sick of them just like with personality d. People can be shits regardless of diagnosis too, and even those without one. You could have been unlucky or you could be the problem. Your problem could be bipolar or personality d.

Talking fast and having lots of ideas can be enthusiasm, hypomania or excitability associated with personality d. It could also be anxiety and panic.

Mood swings that last less than i think it is 4 days, is not hypoamnia and the mood must last all day. That is text book. Not always my reality. Depression lasts much longer and is the same all day every day with no trigger again. However, anyone can get depressed and sometimes something good can happen to make you feel a bit better in yourself, even though you are still depressed. There is depression and there is severe depression. I have had severe depression and it goes on and on until medication stops it, and also i could not function full stop. Anyone can get depressed though. Remember you can have personality d and bipolar.

You can have bipolar 1 and 2, and i think personality disorder is now called emotional dysregulation. Is it emotional changes or mood changes?

I really don't know if that has been of any help but a psychiatrist may rely on the textbook descriptions more than just getting a feel for a person. Good ones will not live by the book but by their gut.

What is the problem you have that is affecting your life too much? The biggest problem stopping you living your life?
 
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spacingspaces

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Thanks for the detailed response it helps. The main problem for me is social anxiety and pretty extreme guilt. My empathy levels change a lot based on how down i am. I have health issues that no one can find an answer for. The issues aren't life threatening but they can make me dysfunctional to the point where i won't leave the house for weeks. I dropped out of school at 16 and lived as a hermit avoiding everyone that knew me and stopped talking to my friends. It hurt me to stop talking to them but the main reason i did was because i was ashamed of what i was going through and i was terrified of any of them finding out i had social anxiety so i avoided them. Also i was paranoid that they were trying to push me out of the friend group and i felt like they didn't like talking to me a lot of the time. The health symptom i get affect how i look which is what i hate the most. It's not even a vanity thing it affects my physical appearance so badly that i end up looking like i was doing meth for years. But when my health is good and i'm mostly symptom free i look fresh and healthy and i can go out and get things done until it ends up going down again. I wonder if the health thing could actually be bipolar? Also people usually think i'm on drugs in general wether my health is good or not because i always have that deer in the headlights look going on. When my health is down my empathy definitely goes down too and i find it harder to feel for other people but i think that's because i get too caught up with my own problems and trying to get myself better so i can function again which is probably selfish too. I don't lose all empathy when my health is down... even at my lowest i can feel incredible guilt if i do something bad like have an anger outburst or something like that. When my health is good my empathy is way up i believe. Like i feel for people a lot when my health is up. Probably more than most people. I am also impulsive and usually say the first thing that comes to my head when im comfortable. By comfortable i mean when my social anxiety isnt acting up. So i guess it is emotional changes but also mood changes as well as i definitely have frequent intense highs and lows regarding my mood. One minute i good be really hyper and almost as if i'm high on drugs. Not a normal type of hyper. And the next minute i could be very irritable and just don't want to talk to anyone.
 
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spacingspaces

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Sorry i'm not very familiar with the different terms i always get psychologist, psychiatrist and counsellors confused. What i am going to go to is someone i can talk to about my anxiety and worries and also see if i have any of the disorders mentioned in this thread.
 
Brazenh

Brazenh

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I don't want to sound mean but if you go to talk to someone don't go in with the idea that something is wrong with you. You should be going to see if you have a problem not to find one.
Sort of the way road traffic accidents where called an rta by the police, but they found that it made the officers make assumptions quickly that it was an accident and they renamed them road traffic collisions.
By all means talk to someone but not with the result in mind already.
 
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Tabby 88

Guest
You mention words like impulsive, anger outbursts, empathy. These will attract a personality d diagnosis possibly. These are textbook and so a bad psychiatrist will focus on them. I am worried that you will attract that diagnosis and therefore not get the help you need with everything else. It does sound like you have mood changes to me, but you complicate the picture by added all of this other information which may not be necessary to a psychiatrist and really are personal to you and none of his or her business.

It is important you sift out the personal troubles you have from the bipolar, unless you feel strongly you have a personality disorder, in which case treatment for that might help you in your life.

A psychiatrist will hear your description of your problems and if psychological, you might be discharged. If psychiatric, like bipolar, if you focus on mood only, you will receive more help. It shouldn't be this way but it seems to be. This is why you have to be careful, i believe. You could find yourself with 6 weeks of cbt, and nothing else.

I'm sorry to paint a gloomy picture but i have seen my cousin go through this.

Your problems might be helped by medication or counselling, or need both. Have you tried any medication? Some can help with social anxiety. I understand so much of what you say by the way, and share some of those problems. It is hard to live with. I have come to accept this is how i am and work around it as much as possible.
 
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Tabby 88

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I would just like to add that anger outbursts, impulsivity and lack of empathy are not just related to personality disorder, and not all people with personality d have those problems, but textbooks show those as signs of it so many people will go by that.

My reason for replying is that i am worried for you, that you will not receive help for your problems because you will talk about psychological problems during an assessment when they may just be problems that we all have. The mood problems may also be causing them. It may have caused so many other problems in your life and be the actually cause of it. If you complicate the picture, you risk losing that focus for the psychiatrist. Maybe you should just be honest and not share my worry. You might get lucky and get a good team that will help you in all ways as you clearly need some help. Many people do help themselves though, i have, with medication. I wish you luck in whatever you do and remember that not everybody's life has to be the same so it is ok that your life isn't perfect. Many people don't have perfect lives and suffer daily with symptoms of whatever they have, so don't lose hope or feel like a failure. Guilt is also a good emotion. Also, your friends are not perfect either and if they don't accept you or make you feel good about yourself, you can find other friends as you are only 22 and have your whole life ahead of you which can be a good life. You won't always feel this way. Life is very hard, especially when young, but it does get better.
 
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spacingspaces

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Thanks i really appreciate your replies you seem to understand me. I've been to counselors most of my teen years. I started when i was 14 then moved to another counsellor when i was 15 and went there until i was 18. I was on prozac for about 6 years. I came off it myself like 2 years ago and it was hell coming off it. When i was on it i had terrible mood swings and i would skip taking it a lot and sometimes take an extra one for making up for missing a day. It was stupid of me to do that i know. I also went to a centre for people with mental health issues for a month but got sent home early as they thought i wasn't sick enough. The thing is during all my teen years i never opened up to the counsellors properly out of fear and always acted healthier then i was by not being fully truthful. I was diagnosed with anxiety and low self esteem by them but i never really mentioned the stuff i wrote here or the fact that my childhood was very difficult at times due to my parents divorcing and my dad having anger issues. I definitely don't think i lack empathy though. When i say my empathy changes from high to low i mean that relative to the empathy that I feel. I don't lose my empathy completely when im going through a hard time i still feel guilt and i still hate when i hurt someone and i still try to help people when i can but i do get a bit consumed by my own issues and sort of block out everyone else. What is personality D by the way?
 
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spacingspaces

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You're right that i shouldn't go in expecting something to be wrong with me but i already know i have social anxiety i was diagnosed with that before. Also the mood swings i get and stuff don't seem normal to me and the people around me.
 
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spacingspaces

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Also i don't know if this has any relevancy but in the past when i was a teenager i'd get so angry that i would start questioning whether i was possessed or not. I used to think i wasn't human at times or even an alien. I didn't fully believe this but it was in the back of my head sometimes as a teenager. I don't feel that way any more.
 
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