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Getting a cyclothymia diagnosis

G

GorillaK

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Hi,

I am 18 and I think I have cyclothymia. I have been struggling with bouts of depression for about 5 years. They aren't bad enough to be considered major depression though. I am usually really creative and motivated but when I am depressed I just don't want to do anything, feel worthless and have suicidal thoughts. Before lockdown it got very bad due to stress and I also experienced hypomanic-like symptoms lasting from a day to four days at a time. I felt so amazing and hyper and sang 24/7, but I could sleep. I do now remember having moodswings before this though, but my memory is still very bad. Since I am still functioning, I am scared that a psychiatrist or doctor won't take me seriously. However my mood swings are making my family hate me.

I also don't know if I even want medication, as I do have periods of "normal" mood for like a week here and there.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for the help in advance!
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Have you seen your GP about this?
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Cyclothymia can get worse with each swing. Depression in particular can become dangerous and so some people take a low dose of a mood stabiliser.
 
G

GorillaK

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I phoned my GP in March, but he says in order to get a diagnosis I have to see a psychologist and they are all very expensive - I feel like I can't ask my parents. I wanted a diagnosis before meds but now I don't know.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I don't think you will get a mood stabiliser from a GP, it will need to be a psychiatrist. You could explain your symptoms, say you would like to try medication but would like confirmation first. I think a referal for a one-off appointment is a reasonable request for a better quality of life.

If an illness is affecting your work, you are more likely to get a referral. You don't need to be 'under' the mental health community team, but just speak to a psychiatrist.

How old are you?
 
G

GorillaK

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Okay, thanks for the help. I am 18 now, but I was 17 when I spoke with the GP. I am going to uni in September and I am really worried that I will get very stressed and depressed and have to leave.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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You can always see your uni GP if you are staying in a different area. You may even get more help being a student. Make sure you sign up to their counselling type services if they have them as they might help you avoid stress.

Get assignments done way ahead of time and rest lots, hopefully you will manage ok. You are very young so it is important to take good care of yourself to avoid a worsening of whatever you have. Be careful if you are offered antidepressants ever, make sure you are clear about your symptoms.

In the meantime, many people find exercise and an excellent diet helps.
 
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