Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

Accurate bipolar diagnosis ?

I have been suffering from something for a long time. I am not sure exactly what the clinical diagnosis would be, but when I was younger I was diagnosed with ADHD & Depression. I quit taking my medication and haven't been in therapy in years. My life sucks, but my family is terrific and really supportive in everything I do, so I am a lucky person there. I know it's not ADHD, at least I don't think it is. Right now, I am living with my father and I'm 24 years old, so of course life sucks. My finances are crap (bankrupt), and I haven't had a steady job in about a year. The present is not what I thought it was going to be. I am at a community college right now, working on an A.A. degree. I am taking 2 courses online, and the college is great because I am able to finish the entire A.A. 100% online. But, it's not what I want. I want to be able to go into the classroom and meet people to discuss what we're working on, and find some other writers my own age. I have anxiety because my parents are both mentally ill. Father (schizophrenic) is a genius with an IQ of 170, and my mother is bipolar and was in special ed when she was younger, but doing really well now (average IQ). I am always on edge, and it is like I can't think straight sometimes, especially when writing a long research paper for a class. What I want to do is freelance journalism, but I am not even sure that I will be able to handle the stress of a little job like that. My ideas race through my head, but it's not like when I speak I don't make sense. When I speak the expressions are rational and well thought out. However, I do get crazy ideas from time to time like what business venture I can start next on Ebay, or Craigslist and the stress of it all is just piling up. I think I had a nervous breakdown a couple months ago (I wrote my grandmother a nasty e-mail that I would have liked to retract). Do I just tell the psychiatrist what I said here, or will he need more information to go on? Right now I cannot hold a job and I really need to find something out about where to progress so that I can.

Thank you for your time,

A concerned mind.
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replied September 7th, 2009
Also, I am not sure if my stress is just from the family problems I am facing, or if there are personal emotional problems. I would really like some clues. Thanks again.
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replied September 16th, 2009
Tell your psych everything you can - just my advice. BP diagnosis should partly have to do with psychosocial history, not just how you show up behaving in that office on a particular day.

Symptoms are symptoms - ie, explain your racing thoughts and how they make you feel. It doesn't actually matter if they are verbalizing, if they disturb you or affect your daily life often, that's a sign.

If you can, go to a counselor/psychologist and develop a relationship. A longer term course of working together is much better than seeing a psych and getting medications and an occassional follow-up.
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