So for years I have been diagnosed as depressed, a diagnosis which I have accepted, that is until recently. I would go to the GP, fill out the statutory mood form (how depressed have you been in the last two weeks) and given SSRIs. But never have I or the GP explored the other symptoms which as a result may have changed the diagnosis to bipolar?
When I have bouts of depression it's not just depression but periods of highs which are on the same level as coming up on amphetamine ( yes I did it in my younger days), the feeling of immortality, greatness, grandiose racing thoughts wanting to do things that I don't usually do and I get really silly and talkative. These periods last for a few weeks at a time maybe a couple of times a year. One minute I am imagining I am the best looking guy in the world and everyone is looking at me, that I am going to be a world beater at my chosen sport ( which when it happens feels 100% real) to I am worthless, bored and contemplating or idealising suicide. The whole period adrenaline rushes through my body, weather it's feeding crippling anxiety or feeding my over inflated imagination. Throughout my life I have had these ' peroids' and they have worsened or lessened in severity depending on what triggers them or how my life is travelling in the moment. I have been delusional, thinking people are out to get me, get me sacked from my job or sabotage me in some way, paranoid to an extent I wouldnt go out of the house and hallucinated ( in my late teens, young adult hood). This was coupled with risky sexual behaviours, however I don't experience the latter as much now. Until I have really though about it, I have played down these feeling as normal and kind of ignored them when I am not in the moment. I have over the last year had a really difficult couple of episodes which have lasted approx 6 weeks each and habe been harder to cope with than in recent years.
At the moment I am working with a psychologist, exploring the possibility of bipolar? I am not sure what I am really wanting to ask on this forum but, can someone please provide a clear sort of indication of what bipolar is, how many mania/ hypermania you typically experience in a year and does this period of mania/ hypermania also consist of depressive lows, obsessive thoughs, crazy anxiety as well as the highs?
Any feedback or communication, information would be great to help me understand some of what's going on 🙂
We hope that our community are able to provide you with their wonderful support and guidance.
In the interim, please have a look into SANE Australia who specialise in supporting more complex mental health conditions, like bipolar. They will be able to provide more context and insight into what you are experiencing.
Please stay safe, and if you need more support, our counsellors are always happy to work with you through some of these bigger feelings.
Welcome to the forums.
I'm very glad you have been talking to a psychologist. They can answer these questions & help you with your symptoms.
Even with my limited knowledge, what you say it seems clear to me - but my opinion is not a diagnosis. It usually takes quite some time & for a therapist, such as your psychologist, to get to know you, & someone who will look at your concerns - not just some, but all, to properly diagnose any condition.
You might like to investigate a little yourself. I'd suggest going to Healthdirect Australia or to RANZCP (Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatry). But for information about your own condition, it really is best to keep talking to your psychologist. They can get to know you better than anyone here can.
There is a thread here called 'This bipolar life' where many people have come to chat over the years. I'm sure they would welcome questions from you, & share their own experiences. You can use the search function above, or find it in this section, 'Long-term support over the journey', where you posted this thread.
I hope this helps.
mmMekitty thankyou for taking the time to reply.
I am working with the psychologist who has supported the possibility of bipolar and is now in the process of assessing me on the information I have provided regarding past and present behaviours. I have approached a couple of family members about this and the have replied that they are not surprised, I thought I masked it well but apparently not 😆.
I will keep an eye on some of the forums on here including this bipolar life and will keep investigating. I feel like I am over reacting a bit sometimes entertaining the possibility of bipolar ( I have always played down the severity of my mental health), but the research I have done so far suggests I pretty much tick all the boxes.
Once I get a diagnosis I can start therapy and begin to learn techniques to keep myself well during an episode. I have developed techniques over the years which include excessive exercising and cutting back on alcohol.
Thank you again 😊