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Do you think I might be bipolar?

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I've been suicidal on and off since I was 15 (I'm 18 now). It's not just the depression, but otherwise I'm a high energy person, hyperactive to the extent that I hop/ jump around instead of walking and I tend do tend to talk fast. I've always thought that these were just random bouts of depression, but when I googled 'the only person I cry for is myself' (apart from anime characters, but even then it's usually when the circumstances remind me of myself) one of the first results lead me to a forum for bipolar people, so I was researching on the symptoms shown by bipolar people, and I could really relate to their experiences: long periods of depression, excessive sleeping, constant crying, suicidal thoughts, cutting(that's kinda stopped now), ceased communication with the world, tendency to fight with family/ friends and feeling worthless in general.
When I'm normal(?): hyperactivity, less or no sleep, excessive studying(10-14 hours without a break), I tend to listen to a lot of music, I like painting/ drawing and I obsess over deceased scientists (like Einstein and Feynman).
And my aunt does tell me that I think I'm smarter than I am. I've been called selfish by my family members as they think I only talk to them when I want to or when I'm happy.
My mum has told me on several occasions that I have extreme mood swings determined by what happens with my friends in college, which is not entirely true but if I claim otherwise she keeps probing and I don't have an exact answer so she doesn't believe me anyway.
I can't afford to go to the doctor by myself, and my parents ...well they wouldn't understand; probably claim that I'm imagining things or 'giving' myself diseases (I got late treatment for my dust allergy and astigmatism as a result of those 'beliefs'). I've never had a good relationship with them.
These mood swings last from anywhere between a few hours to a few months.
I have my finals going on (my next exam is on tomorrow) and I can't concentrate on a thing. I usually do really well in academics but I can't seem to get anything done.
Bipolar seems the closest thing to what I'm experiencing, but no one in my family is bipolar, so I'm not really sure about it.

I'm sorry if this was too long :S
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replied March 18th, 2012
Experienced User
Firstly, I'm hoping you can get from "kinda stopped" cutting to not at all. That only hurts you.

Mood swings, regular mania, suicidal ideation, sleep disturbances, those are all good indicators of possible bipolar disorder. That no one in your family has it doesn't mean you can't, there are numerous possible causes (environment, hormones, neurotransmitter imbalance, etc.).

Do give your parents a try on the doctor, don't just write them off with a "probably." Failing that, try the local crisis line or dial 211 (not sure on coverage area for that), either should be able to put you in touch with some reduced cost or possibly free services. You need to get some help, and it's on you to do so.

(no, that wasn't so terribly long, and hats off for the Feynman reference, he's one of my heroes)
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replied April 11th, 2012
The mania is what jumped out at me. Hyperactivity, not sleeping, studying for 10-14 hrs straight. Add that in with suicidal thoughts and cutting and bouts of depression.

I'm not sure I've ever heard of a more textbook example of someone that needs to be evaluated.
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replied March 18th, 2012
Experienced User
Agree mostly with Oz,

Cutting isn't something I am aware of as a bipolar trait though but yes, it must stop. To me it sounds more like something you are doing to get your parents attention and thus medical help.

Do you have a school counsellor you could telk to about this. If you do they will certainly suiggest doctor time and they will convince your parents if you can't.

In other words, do whatever it takes to get medical help.

I'm not entirely convinced it's bipolar as you haven't mentioned the real highs but you certainly meet the depression criteria, which in itself is serious enough to require urgent docs diagnosis at least.

Go for it, and get to see that doc.
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replied March 19th, 2012
The school counsellor is my vice-principal, and I'm not really comfortable going to her. I guess I'll have to talk to my parents :S
Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it!! Smile
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replied March 19th, 2012
Experienced User
OK. Please don't keep it hidden as it will show itself in time and by then it could be very powerful. Like mine. I ignored it for 25 years and it's never going away now. I can control it now and am at peace, content and fear nothing. But still a step away all the time.

Look after you and talk to someone. I understand about not having teachers know. That would become obvious then by how they treated you wouldn't it? Get a real shrink, one you can relate to and like and talk with and discuss before agreeing to anything.
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replied March 26th, 2012
I believe u are bipolar...I go through the same things and i still don't understand fully as to why i feel the way i do sometimes. All i do is try to maintain and hold on to what sanity i have left, and prayer always works for me. I hope u find the help u need.
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replied April 14th, 2012
Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition characterized by severe disturbances in mood. People suffering from bipolar disorder, a term which has replaced the outdated ‘manic depression‘, go through episodes of mania (exaggerated highs) and depression (debilitating lows) that they cannot control. Although doctors do not know the exact cause, it is believed that chemical, genetic and environmental factors all play a part. For the most part, bipolar disorder is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. If certain neurotransmitters are not properly balanced, the brain is unable to regulate moods the way it is meant to.
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