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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
BriannaDawn2012 Offline
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Am I Bipolar? - July 16th 2011, 12:24 PM

Hi, my name is Brianna and I'm 17-years-old. I've been wondering for awhile if I'm Bipolar, or not. I've been looking it up for the last couple of nights, and it seems that I may be? I'm not quite sure, though. I'm getting mixed thoughts about it, and was wondering if anyone here could possibly help me? It would be greatly appreciated.


Well, for starters, my mother was Bipolar, so it does run in my family.

I'm in my teen years, so it's extremely confusing as to whether it's just the normal teenage emotions running their course, or if it's something else going on.

I find myself jumping from one emotion to the next. I can be so happy one minute, laughing, joking around, and then depressed the next; and the drepressive state stays with me for about a day or two. I've also have mini fits ( a few months back, I tossed a pillow into my closet, and I've pounded my fist into my mattress). I'm not normally one to have fits, never have been. I find myself losing control of my emotions quickly, and wanting to snap at people/explode. I've been on antidepressants (Zoloft when I was 6, and Paxel when I was 11), and they didn't work. Since about a year ago, it's gotten worse. I snapped at my dad last year, not even realizing it until it had happened. I also have times where I will cry myself to sleep for no apparent reason, and I often feel useless/hopeless. I've looked up Bipolar and Bipolar II, and the latter seemed to fit, but I don't exactly want to 'self-diagnose' myself.

Is this the normal teenage angst/emotional course, or is it something else? If anyone can help me, I would be grateful for it.

Thanks in advance!


~Brianna


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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 16th 2011, 02:29 PM

We cannot diagnose you here, nor can we tell you what you have. Only a licensed mental health physician can do so, so if you think you might have something like bipolar you should get an appointment with someone that can properly recognize what you may or may not have. Typically, both states (manic and depressive) usually have to last more than a couple days. Based on what you said, I think it COULD be normal teenage things but it could also be something more. I don't have bipolar myself, but I'm sure someone with more experience will also reply to this.



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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 16th 2011, 04:41 PM

Never, EVER attempt to diagnose yourself. You may overlook other factors that could result in a different diagnosis (ex. a personality disorder instead of a mood disorder, or no diagnosis instead of a diagnosis of mental illness). Like the previous poster said, if you suspect something is wrong, arrange to see a psychological professional. Since you have a family history of mental illness, I doubt your regular doctor would hesitate to give you a referral. It might not be a bad idea to schedule a regular medical check-up as well. Sometimes, what we think is the result of a mental illness could just be the result of a hormonal imbalance.

Everyone's situation is different, but since my ex-stepmother has bipolar disorder, I figured I'd offer some insight based on what I witnessed. My ex-stepmother's moods lasted for longer than a few days at a time. Generally, the mania lasted for a week, while the depression lasted for a month or more. From what I've read, that's pretty typical of individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder, so you may be experiencing regular teenage emotions, a lesser intensity of bipolar disorder, or something else altogether (ex. a personality disorder, such as borderline personality disorder). Again, only a psychological professional can diagnose you, after you have been thoroughly assessed based on your family history, your previous and current states of mind, biological and environmental factors that could be contributing to your current state of mind, etc.






Last edited by PSY; July 16th 2011 at 04:46 PM.
   
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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 16th 2011, 04:50 PM

Because your mom had bipolar makes you more susceptible to not just bipolar, but to all mood disorders. What you desscribed sounds like normal teenage hormones or if anything mild depression (remember I am not a doctor or any sort of health professional! I am an electrician and I am just speaking from experience from being in hospitals and from having bipolar since I was 8). What you described doesn't include any sort of elevated mood, and the episodes you call depression are too short (they're supposed to last two weeks except for in the cases of dysthymia, rapid cycling, or brief depressive disorder (which I'm not sure is an actual diagnosis yet or if it will be)). The periods of anger and explosivity you've described can be part of any sort of depression and while they are often confussed by people to be part of some sort of elevated mood they often aren't.

If you're worried though (especially seeing as your mother had bipolar) it can't hurt to see a professional and be screened for mental illness. Make sure its a mental healt professional and take everything with a grain of salt. Even if they say something is wrong with you, its only a problem if you think it should be. Often times doctors will look for something to diagnose you with just because they get bonuses for prescribing new medication. Doctors also makes mistakes, so if you do get diagnosed with something, get a second opinion.


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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 17th 2011, 02:50 AM

Look up cyclothymia too.

That your mother has it means there is a good chance you have it. The fact that anti-depressant medication didn't work is also a good sign.

If you see a psychiatrist, be very careful about taking any sort of anti-depressant medication, especially SSRIs or SSNRIs. They can make it much worse.

So yeah, you could be bipolar. I don't know. I will say though that, if you are bipolar, it sounds mild at this point (unless there is a lot you didn't mention), and that means that you will have a much easier time treating it if it turns out you do have it (which is good). There are other things you can do besides medication as well.



   
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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 18th 2011, 05:42 AM

One thing about the medication...

If antidepressants don't work, it doesn't necessarily mean Bipolar Disorder. If the antidepressants caused any extreme mood swings that Bipolar Disorder has, by triggering it, then it'd be more likely to be Bipolar. If the antidepressants just didn't help the Depression bit, either there is nothing to fix, or it was simply a medication not working.

As Rick said, it doesn't seem likely because it doesn't fit. And to me, this seems pretty much like teenage angst. I mean, my siblings and I all went through it (now my sister is 19, my brothers 25 and 27). I've seen my brother flip out on my parents and almost get kicked out. I've seen my sister slam her doors in a fit many times. Ya know? It's relatively normal, teenager stuff.


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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 29th 2011, 01:18 PM

I know it may seem hard, but the only person who can diagnose you is a mental health specialist. Yes, that means telling a parent or guardian. Since you're under 18, I'm pretty sure you're parents have to be there or something...

good luck


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I'll just keep holding on to what i believe and oh I believe in you. Give me the strength for the fight and the heart to believe cause I've got to believe in you. I feel so alive.

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Re: Am I Bipolar? - July 30th 2011, 09:33 AM

Your mother having bipolar does not mean you will, it simply increases the chances. One way an inheritance factor is measured is by concordance rates:
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/...ct/161/10/1814

I'm inclined to suggest it's not bipolar because the episodes do not last at least 4-7 days long nor have they required any immediate intervention. Throwing a pillow around to me doesn't seem like a fit, it's more of an acute burst of anger, stress or frustration.


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Re: Am I Bipolar? - August 4th 2011, 07:24 PM

It's not bipolar. Even rapid cycling bipolar doesn't switch between episodes that quickly. If you're convinced that something's wrong, then maybe borderline? None of us can diagnose you here though.

Last edited by Coal; August 4th 2011 at 08:07 PM.
   
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Re: Am I Bipolar? - August 9th 2011, 05:41 AM

bipolar disorder is a serious one that affects an individual sometimes for more than a month. it creates depression and other psychological problems. it was a nice post.
   
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