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Bipolar? - May 15th 2011, 01:56 AM

Hopefully this is the right forum for this...

Anyway, I'm 15 and I was diagnosed with clinical depression back in December. I've been seeing a psychiatrist and I'm on an antidepressant [Zoloft], but I think there might be more. I get very severe mood swings - I go from happy and laughing to wanting to self-harm in just a few seconds. Nothing really triggers it, it just happens. There have been days, like yesterday, when I'll see things that aren't really there. It isn't like people, but dots and stuff. I've heard voices [probably only a total of three times] when I was completely alone. There's also times when I won't feel like myself, like I'm floating outside of my body. I don't really know how to explain it, it's so weird.

Could this be a bipolar disorder or something? The only part of this that I've mentioned to my psychiatrist is the seeing things part. I'm not sure if this is something that needs to be brought up with her or not...
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Re: Bipolar? - May 15th 2011, 05:09 AM

Well from the sounds of it, no. Mania is more than just "happy", first of all. Second, there are various causes for seeing dots and hearing voices, so I suggest you mention that to your psychiatrist.

If you're concerned, only your psychiatrist could tell you, but I don't think it sounds like Bipolar Disorder. It could even be Depression with mild psychotic features, or something to do with the Xoloft even. So talking to the person treating you would do a whole world better than getting amateur advice online.

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Re: Bipolar? - May 15th 2011, 08:40 AM

Seeing dots may not be a psychiatric condition depending how it presents. It could be myodesopsia (eye condition), scotomas (eye or neural condition) and other eye conditions. The two that I mentioned present with seeing swirls or small dark spots depending where you move your eye gaze. It could even be an uncommon side-effect of some medications. However, hearing voices and depersonalization/derealization (i.e. feeling like you're floating out of your body/world is not real) are usually psychiatric conditions. There is a form of depression known as psychotic major depression or major depression with psychotic features, where treatment is a mix of anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications (or only anti-psychotic medications).

The difficulty with the sudden manic-like mood swings is that it's a common side-effect from Zoloft. As a result, it's not feasible to determine whether you may have bipolar or simply a side-effect. The only true way to know is for the psychiatrist to take you off Zoloft and wait until the discontinuation symptoms you may experience to also dissipate. Unfortunately, it's not a method psychiatrists like because it has a huge risk of worsening depression, which is particularly dangerous if you have suicidal thoughts/actions or self-harming behaviours.

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Re: Bipolar? - May 15th 2011, 03:00 PM

Typically with Bipolar Disorder, you don't go from those extreme moods in just seconds, it's usually a gradual swing, even with rapid cycling. However, I'm not a psychiatrist and I think you should definitely discuss all of your symptoms with yours. The Zoloft can actually worsen Bipolar if you do indeed have it, so there is a possiblity that it's there.

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