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Family think I'm Bipolar

R

Rebecca

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
2
Location
UK
Hello,

I'll preface this by stating that I plan to see the university psychiatrist, and am not seeking diagnosis solely through an internet forum.

Recently, several members of my family stated that they think I have bipolar disorder.

I’ve suffered from ‘episodes’ of severe depression since I was around fifteen years old. I am now twenty-three, almost twenty-four. In the past, when treated with various anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications my symptoms worsened dramatically. My attitude became aggressive and erratic, and thoughts were constantly racing through my head. When I think back to the worst period (between the ages of sixteen and eighteen) I consider myself to have been insane, such was my break with reality. I completely lost a sense of perspective, debated and researched suicide, dragged my nails down the wall paper, and stopped eating for long periods of time, to the extent that I became so underweight that my hair fell out in clumps. Oddly, at the same time, I was more socially inclined than ever before. I had a very active social life, and a boyfriend.

After I realized that there was perhaps a link between the various medications and the erratic, ‘crazy’ behaviour, I told my doctor that I’d rather try to live without them. My symptoms have improved greatly since then (two years ago), however, I still experience milder ‘episodes’ of depression, and people frequently complain that I interrupt them and go through phases of talking constantly (very quickly and excitedly) for hours, “like a radio”. I have phases in between when I’m just ok and can get on with things without a problem.

This has really disrupted my life. I’ve dropped out of several courses, despite being an A grade student at school up until the problems began. This year, I’ve been getting back to how I was, in terms of A grades, since things have been relatively stable. However, it’s upsetting to achieve good grades all year, and then to have things unexpectedly go badly wrong, and end up with something much lower than what I was heading for. I feel like I have no control over my life and can’t make any plans, since I have no idea how I’ll feel later on. I frequently start things which I’m excited about, then when I become depressed I just abandon them. This year I’ve also been quite reclusive. I keep contact with my friends to the bare minimum. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps I’m just regressing to the way I was as an introverted child. I suppose it’s sort of an 18th century approach – avoiding things that are emotionally stimulating.

What I really wanted to ask is, do you ever feel disconnected from your mood? For example, crying despite not feeling sad at all? I get that very infrequently, maybe once a month, but it’s quite worrying. I’m not a crying sort of person, either. I don’t feel sad at the time, but I just cry constantly for a whole day. It’s as if I know it’s just a chemical / hormonal thing.

I should probably mention that I was diagnosed with anemia a few months ago (which can cause feelings of depression), though I’ve been fine for a while. I also have polycystic ovary syndrome. I also can’t take the contraceptive pill as it always makes me ‘crazy’ and irrational.

I think / know that I have mild OCD, but it’s manageable and I feel that through this behaviour I’m less anxious in general.

I haven’t spoken to any doctors about my mental health for over a year or two, so I’m reluctant to get back into it being an issue. Especially when it seems unlikely that anything I do will have a positive impact.

I’m not remotely close to how bad I was a few years ago, or when on medication, - so I’m sort of tempted to leave things as they are. I’m really just posting this since I had one of those disconnected crying days. When I’m just slightly depressed, or happier, I feel like it’s all in the past and not a problem.

N.B. If during depressed phases I sometimes have several nights of sleeping for between fourteen and seventeen hours, would that indicate bipolar disorder? Usually it’s eight hours a night, though sometimes I’ll stay up for over forty-eight hours. I had to sit a neuropsychology exam recently after over forty-eight hours without sleep. The thing is, I’m very productive when I’m like that; I managed to write two, 2,000 word reports and do all of the revision for the final year exam during that short time. I suppose if I do have it, it has it’s good points, though I’m depressed more often than in the frantic, productive mood.

I’m sorry this is so long.
 
R

Rebecca

New member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
2
Location
UK
P.S.

No-one in my family (or extended family) has ever been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. However, both my grandfather and gran's brother (both on my mother's side of the family) had drink problems. I've been told their relatives also had drink problems, which probably indicates depression. They always seemed very cheerful.

My mother, despite passing her driving test the first time around, over twnety-five years ago has driven a car only once since. She claims it made her feel too anxious. Her mother also appears to have some sort of anxiety disorder.

My father's mood seems to go up and down quite a bit, but he doesn't seem bipolar; more just highly-strung. A few of his close friends had bipolar disorder though. Two of them killed themselves.

Those are the only genetic links I can come up with...
 
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Thalia

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
10
I think it sounds as if you are showing signs of bipolar. See a doc asap and don't worry, the first step is diagnosis.

You are certainly not insane as mad people don't recognize it!

Good luck and keep me posted x
 
Emily-Rose

Emily-Rose

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
159
Hey there,

I'm glad you're going to see the university psychologist, that sounds like a good idea.

Even though no-one in your direct family had bipolar disorder or any other mental health condition doesn't always mean you won't. I was diagnosed with bipolar even though all my family, right down to my great grandparents own great grandparents didn't have any history of mental health issues.

The symptoms do resemble those of bipolar, but then again, I'm not a professional so I can't give a diagnosis.

Keep us posted on how it goes with the university psychologist though :)

Emily.x
 
Lynnie B

Lynnie B

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
72
Location
Preston, UK
Hi Rebecca,

Mmm all sounds so familiar... Ive had severe depressive "episodes" since i was 12 and had now recently been diagnosed with Bipolar. I am 26 years old now..

My Psyciatrist said bipolar typically starts as recurrent depression in adolesants and then develops into bipolar in their 20's.. Obviously there are different cases but he calls me "classical".

Good job you made the link with the meds you were on and stopped.. and i also cant take the contreceptive pill cause that makes me crrazy too!! Mad isnt it how it does that, doctors should warn people about that before they give them out so easilly..

Anyway, i too, have started so many things and never seen them through. Or made all the plans and them backed out.. And it is so disruptin when you feel you cant plan things cause you dont know how your gonna feel when that time comes...

So are you gonna make thast appointment with your doctor?? He will probably refer you to a psychiatrist... Its good you are recognising all these different moods and thoughts.. Might be a good idea to write them down for when you see they doctor..

Let us know how you get on xx Good Luck xx :)
 
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