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  1. #1

    I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    ...But first, I'd like to know if I should even bother bringing it up.

    I have a list of symptoms that I've been compiling over the last couple of hours. The symptoms I have that I think may be related to bipolar disorder are:

    • Addictive personality (from my posting history, this requires no explanation)

    • Rapid mood swings (I can go from feeling on top of the world, to sobbing, and back again in under an hour)

    • Inability to sleep regular hours (I'm always way too up to sleep; I only sleep when I'm so tired I have no other choice)

    • Wildly fluctuating interpersonal decisions (I'll ask someone if they want to do something, then twenty minutes later decide against it and make up a story as to why I can't)

    • "Snap decisions" (Last night, I decided to pierce my lip, and within half an hour it was done)

    • Absurdly high sex drive (I masturbate at least three times a day, engage in risky sexual behaviour and, for the poor guys who are the object of my lust, I talk sexual almost non-stop. It's much more extreme than it sounds, and I sincerely doubt it's a result of being a horny 23-year-old)

    • Extremely short attention span (I can't finish anything. I lose interest in even the most engaging subject matter after a maximum of half an hour)

    • No emotional baseline (I'm never just "normal"; I'm consistently and constantly either really happy or really sad)

    • Suicidal ideation (I tried to slit my wrists two nights ago in a fit of depression that lasted all of three hours)

    • Extreme black-and-white perspective on things (This may or may not be related to my Asperger's, but every thought and action is either very, very good or so bad that I beat myself up over it for hours)

    I've done a bit of looking into it, and it seems I fit quite a few of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder. The only thing I'm not sure about is how rapid the mood swings are; nothing I read said anything about that.

    Finally, if I don't have bipolar disorder, what are the other possibilities?

    Thanks, guys.

  2. #2

    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    One more thing I need to mention; there's a long, long history of mental illness in my family. Some of my great-grandparents were alcoholics, two of my grandparents were, my mother has troubles with it (she's kind of a functioning alcoholic), my uncle (who's now my aunt) suffers from Bipolar Type I and I think (though I'm not sure) both of my sisters have addictive tendencies. I also think my father may suffer from mild Aspergers as well.

  3. #3

    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    I think there is nothing wrong with you, you just have to sort things out with a good therapist.
    All the things you described are true to me as well, except for the suicide thing.

    I think you just have to learn.

  4. #4

    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    The danger of self analysis is that you may unconsciously alter your behavior to conform to your diagnosis. We all have mood swings, are you exaggerating yours to conform to your diagnosis? By all means seek professional help, but even there the danger exists that you will unconsciously try to influence his decision. "Doctor, I have wild mood swings, etc."
    I suggest that before seeing the doctor you attempt to control they symptoms. Avoid mood wings, snap decisions. etc.
    It is not unlike the danger of self diagnosis of physical ailments. If you convince yourself that you have a brain tumor, you are likely to feel pains as you imagine it growing in your skull. etc.
    I think that your frequent masturbation my also influence your mood swings, as is alters your hormonal balance. Take a look at the "Guilt after masturbation" thread in this forum. Are you going to tell the Dr about your masturbation?

  5. #5

    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    Coward92 and Benvolio,

    What I posted above sounds extremely mild compared to what I go through on a daily basis. I'm barely functional even when I'm stone-cold sober. Because of what I outlined above, I'm extremely unreliable to friends, family and work, and when I do manage to keep a commitment, I end up doing such a piss-poor job that I might as well not have shown up at all. I've tried exceptionally hard to break these behaviours, but so far all of my efforts and therapy have been for naught.

    And yes, I will tell my psychiatrist about my frequent masturbation and risky sexual behaviour. I don't believe in withholding information from any doctor; any detail, no matter how small, can be the vital piece that makes or breaks a diagnosis, especially with mental illness.

    I actually wrote down the list of symptoms above before I did any looking into bipolar disorder. Aside from a few redundancies that I eliminated ("Wild fluctuations with decisions" is so similar to "inability to properly maintain relationships" that I eliminated the latter), the list above is exactly what I wrote down, except for the details added in parentheses.

    Despite that, though, I appreciate the alternative view. It helps me think about my possible illness, it makes me question it and helps me understand it a little better so I can talk to my psychiatrist about it.

  6. #6

    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    I talked with my family doctor, who has monitored me very closely over the last three years (I've seen him an average of once a month), and he's unofficially diagnosed me with Bipolar Type I. I'm following up with my psychiatrist on Friday. He's recommended I up my dose of anti-psychotics until then. He gave me a comprehensive explanation of treatments for bipolar disorder, and I'm going to be researching them online and discussing them in detail with my psych on Friday.

  7. #7
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    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    Your psychiatrist will ultimately be the one to finalize the diagnosis but the thing that doesn't fit is the speed and the broad range of the emotion. There are exceptions but bipolar disorders tend to have longer periods of depression and mania. It's not typically something that varies from day to day (if it were most of the human race would be diagnosed as bipolar).
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  8. #8

    Re: I'm pretty sure I have bipolar disorder; seeing a psych about it

    OK you said you wanted an alternative explanation so here it is. From my experience and research I see the labels they put on these behaviours to be a mental illness myth. Ie., see what you do above, you list a series of behaviours and you from there assume it must be 'bi-polar'. This is exactly what the so-called experts do round a table. There is absolutely no medical science to back these diagnoses up however--NONE. It is subjective. They look at lists and then presume you have the label they choose, and they even put these in their psychiatric bible they call the DSM, and it gets bigger and bigger every new issue and this makes bigger and bigger profits for the pharmaceutical industry, because more and more of our human behaviours become classes as mental illness, and by this they mean biological disease which needs their medical treatment.

    Now I want to make this very clear. When I say mental illness myth, I am not in any way claiming that you are not going through what you calim, or people don't get depressed, anxious, obsessed, addicted, cant pay attention, hyper-active, see visions, hearing voices etc etc etc. Of course this happens, and it is real, but it is NOT biological or genetic disease because there is no medical science that supports these diagnoses! Don't believe me, do the research for yourself, and then you will see what I am saying.

    So what is the 'solution' your psychiatrists are giving you. They are labeling you with a disease and prescribing 'antipsychotics' which suppress what you are feeling, and suppression is really not real healing, and these drugs can be harmful, especially if they keep you on them for a long time as happens with many people classed mentally ill.

    So what is the alternative?

    Really it would be loving support to help you express what is going on with you, along with intelligent advice about good diet, nutrition, and exercise. I admit though that in this culture for many this kind of support can be hard to find, especially if you have little money. And also especially because the mental health movement is so powerful and is based on the model of bio-psychiatry and coercive use of psychiatric medication.

    This guy offers space for an alternative look and approach to so-called bipolar, and he speaks from experience. I dont agree with his Wilburian hierarchical ideas, but it is cool that he understands mental illness is not biological disease and is rather a natural healing process which needs encouragement and NOT suppressing.

    Last edited by ludolfo; January 31st, 2013 at 01:50 PM.

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