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GP has referred me; She thinks I'm bipolar.. so do I?

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MisguidedGenius

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
9
Location
London
I saw my GP yesterday who said she believed I was showing the signs of Bipolar Disorder, and strongly suspected that I had it - and was currently going through an episode of depression. Due to this she couldn't prescribe me anti-depressants in case they induced a fit of Mania - and it would be worse than I usually get. So now I'm waiting to see a Consultant Psychiatrist... and even though its just day 2, I can see this taking weeks and I'm a bit edgey about it.

Here's a little background on me though.

At the age of 6 I couldn't face school anymore. I would literally fight with staff to get in. This was put down to family circumstances at the time but continued till I was perhaps 10, and I was assessed by an Educational Psychologist and put in the top 2% for intelligence. She said I would calm down when I got to my chosen secondary school - a selective grammar.

I got there and within 3 months I kicked off again. I couldn't go in anymore, I loved it - don't get me wrong. I always loved school but I couldn't do it anymore. I was bored. I was in turn reffered to a specialist school and re-integrated into mainstream education.

This took around a year, and as soon as I was full time at my chosen school I was "fine". I was still top of the class in a few subjects, and making a lot of progress in the others - despite missing a total of about 18months. However, 3 months in I couldn't cope anymore - and in Oct 2005 I was withdrawn from education.

I tried to study at home but hit depression and couldn't. I did however do an Arabic course which I loved. I also immersed myself in my programming as well as an interest in chemistry. I also decided I would go in the army at 16.

I was medically deferred from the army for counselling and therapy and needed to demonstrate a 3 year period of stability. In reality, over the course of 3 years I've needed to get help several times but refused too due to my hopes of going in the army. But yesterday I decided I couldn't cope much longer, and, it pains me to say - ruined my dreams of having a career in the military. I went to the doctors.

Now everytime I got help growing up - it would be put down to stuff that was going on in the family. Relatives had got attacked, there was family arguments.. so they never really looked at me, but the situations around me. I have often felt this has led to things not being investigated fully.

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice about these..

a)How long will my psych referral take? I don't know how much longer I can go on like this - missing days, not knowing who I am - whats an episode and whats actually my personality? Am I over confident, or do I have no confidence?
b)If I get the diagnosis and get medicated - will I lose my personality? The fact is, during the mania (well, I would say hypomania) I actually like myself, I'm sociable and clever.. I can't lose that.
c)Is there anything I can do? I want to get help asap - I've refused to get help for a long time; but I fear I need it now.
d)Work life? Is this hopeless?

Here's a little bit about my "episodes";

Hypomanic Episodes
I often feel like I don't need sleep. Like sleep is a waste of my time and that by not sleeping I can read, study and further myself. I often think of good ideas and make big plans. I study and study - I can remember copying out whole chapters of books, then making notes on the chapters - to try and commit it to memory.

I used to blow all my wages at the weekend and not think of getting through the month. I felt arrogant, over-confident - I was amazing and the world was at my fingertips. I didn't care about tomorrow.. for today was as good as I needed.

I would find myself being a social butterfly - getting on with everyone and anyone! I loved immersing myself in parties, I loved being surrounded by people.

The darkest side to this persona was when faced with a problem, It will consume me. I will LOOK for problems to solve. I NEED something to focus on, something to improve.. I live of the thrill of this.

I do photography as a hobby, and one of the defining moments was being on the top of a tower under development - 35 floors up. I just loved it. Even though if I got caught I dread to think the trouble I would've found myself in. But when I get like this I do take stupid risks, and generally find myself thinking "Ouch, that was a bit dodgy.." afterwards.

I immerse myself in guitar books as - well I could be the next Noel Gallagher! I immerse myself in programming and code as.. I could be the next Linus Torvalds! I read electrical engineering documents as I always did think about being a sparky. I get my fitness up - I could have that six pack I always wanted! There is no limits to my life; and I love it. Every breathe of fresh oxygen is another fulfilling breath of life and pleasure..

Depressive Episodes
I have no concentration - I will read a book but give up 10 minutes in as I keep reading the same paragraph. I have a list of tasks to do but have no motivation. This is the third time I've tried to write this post.. I have job applications to make but I can't get myself around to doing it. Same goes for emailing family members and friends...

I grow paranoid about people and their intentions. I think my friends are avoiding me.. yet I barely talk to them as I can't make conversation - it takes to much effort.

I question death; not suicide as such - but life. Why should I bother? I'll be in the ground 6 feet under, with nothing but a grave stone above me one day.. and thats all I'll ever be.. in a coffin.

I cant sleep.. I spend 33 hours awake then sleep for 15 hours.. losing a day.

I see no light at the end of the tunnel. I am hopeless. I have no direction and I have no dreams - only nightmares.

I worry about losing my mind and my intelligence; the one thing I pride myself on.

For me; The thought of no tomorrow is enough to make me contemplate today.
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Hi there,

There is hope, honestly there is. I had the same fears and concerns that you have expressed but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel ...

I liked a lot of the aspects of hypomania but realise now that many of the good things are actually just me; I can be fun, outgoing and engaging when well, just without going too far!

Work was tough, was made redundant last year but am three months in to a new job. It was rocky to start with due to lack of confidence and self-doubt but my employer has reiterated to me that I was employed because I am 'vivacious, articulate, passionate and have the intellect to excel'. Given I was still very depressed during the time of my interview I'm pretty pleased! Especially as pre & post diagnosis I thought I would have to give up on a job I loved.

I am still not 100% but getting closer every day. Roll back the clock 6 months and I was forseeing a gloomy future but a period of adjustment and a lot of thought and searching for knowledge has changed that.

I know it will be hard but it's early days, and you will find your way I'm sure.
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Sorry, forgot to say; help ... medical care, CBT, books, this forum ... I've thrown lots at it, some worked, some didn't for me but it has all contributed one way or another to helping me find my way back to being me : )
 
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MisguidedGenius

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
9
Location
London
Hey, thanks for the reply :)

It's nice to see that my worries about the hypomania, and the positive aspects of it at least, aren't unique to me! I do worry about losing some of the things I experience when I feel like that.

I lost a job last year which was perfect for me - offered me training and employment in an industry I love. I got the job based on personality and skills, rather than qualifications.. which I woefully lack! But I lost the job in an episode of depression, my boss told me I needed to get counselling and even gave me details of a counselling service.. but I didn't want help. Things got above me and I couldn't cope anymore. I still miss that job.. and I haven't been able to get one since. Often because I simply dont have the motivation or capability to apply - and it annoys me, a job is the one thing I want right now. So I lose my motivation.. get angry with myself.. lose even more motivation.. and I just get worse and worse.

Thanks again! :)

Apologies if this doesn't make sense, I've re-read it about 3 times but I'm still struggling to make sense of it... yet I can't "fix it"?!
 
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bluebell24

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
106
Hi there,

It all made sense and perfectly well articulated! I have the same worries about not expressing myself clearly here, I think it's quite a common worry!

From the dates and ages you've mentioned on your first post I'm thinking you're considerably younger than me (36!) and so I wouldn't worry too much about nit achieving career goals too much. I don't mean that in a patronising sense, just that I didn't find what I do now until the age of 25, and then it was my personality and social skills that opened up opportunities ... the training was willingly provided by an employer who could see my potential. If you are currently depressed then motivation is naturally tough but given the right treatment you'll be better placed to seek out openings.

Having a diagnosis at an early age I imagine willbe a good thing, just my perspective but I think it would be better to become adjusted to it sooner rather than later. I wouldn't change a great deal of my life but had I done something sooner I like to think some recent heartache would have been avoided. We live and learn as they say!

I forgot to add re: referral, and I asked the same question myself a while back ... it does depend on your local healthcare - I lived in London when first trying
to get referred and was told 3 months, moved temporarily to another area
and was seen within 2 weeks! Just keep pushing is all I'd suggest.

Good luck & keep posting, this forum has been a godsend at times! :)
 
M

MisguidedGenius

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
9
Location
London
Hi there,

It all made sense and perfectly well articulated! I have the same worries about not expressing myself clearly here, I think it's quite a common worry!

From the dates and ages you've mentioned on your first post I'm thinking you're considerably younger than me (36!) and so I wouldn't worry too much about nit achieving career goals too much. I don't mean that in a patronising sense, just that I didn't find what I do now until the age of 25, and then it was my personality and social skills that opened up opportunities ... the training was willingly provided by an employer who could see my potential. If you are currently depressed then motivation is naturally tough but given the right treatment you'll be better placed to seek out openings.

Having a diagnosis at an early age I imagine willbe a good thing, just my perspective but I think it would be better to become adjusted to it sooner rather than later. I wouldn't change a great deal of my life but had I done something sooner I like to think some recent heartache would have been avoided. We live and learn as they say!

I forgot to add re: referral, and I asked the same question myself a while back ... it does depend on your local healthcare - I lived in London when first trying
to get referred and was told 3 months, moved temporarily to another area
and was seen within 2 weeks! Just keep pushing is all I'd suggest.

Good luck & keep posting, this forum has been a godsend at times! :)
Thanks for the reply! :)

Yeah, I'm at the age when all my friends are off to uni - and had I not had these issues; so would I.

I hope that by getting help now it will save any more trouble in years to come. The sooner I get help the sooner I can be sure if there is an issue, and what it is. It's just this job would've given me a bagful of opportunities and training. Then to have lost it in such a way that was... out of my control? It just really threw my confidence, and I haven't quite picked myself up yet. Its left me with pretty poor expectations for the future.

My GP said it should take a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping it doesnt to long at all really - as everyday I seem to be questioning myself. Whats part of my personality, and whats an episode? Also, Do I even have it?!
 
M

MisguidedGenius

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
9
Location
London
Interesting turn of events.

I went to see the doctor on Wednesday - and was still low enough to cry to her. She gave me a very low dose of Zopiclone to help sleeping.

Its now Friday. I haven't slept all night.. as I've been setting up an online shop. The idea came to me and I just thought "Meh, lets do it" - Its now nearly 1030AM - hosting + domain - sorted. Now actually configuring the shop itself.

For someone who lacked the motivation to get out of bed a week ago.. this was unexpected to say the least!

Im now a bit concerned that if I'm not looking and feeling like a wreck when I see the Psychiatrist.. s/he wont take me seriously? :rolleyes:
 
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