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Hi,

this is my first time posting about my problems ever. So, i've always been an emotional person since i was young and now it's making me vulnerable. I think i have symptoms that sounds like bi-polar but I don't think its that severe. I'm very insecure, I get very depressed with little things like when people don't text me back and I can't focus on things that matter like school, but when they text me back nicely it would just make me so relieved and changes my mood completely. I smile and laugh too much and when people don't smile at me, I can't help feeling like they don't like me. Everyday my mood and thoughts about other people change. I know I think of how other people think about me so much, its extreme. What ever I do I judge myself and unconsciously think about how other people are judging me. I try not to be like this but I just can't, I feel like its buried in me so deep into my personality that I don't know how to change it. My new roommate just told me that i am so pessimistic and i got angry at first but then I agree and that kind of stuck with me but before she told me that, my best friend used to say that i'm a happy person, but I've moved away from her recently. I'm 22 and I've moved a lot, i've lived in 3 different countries and went to 9 different school from kindergarden till now, i'm in college. I think that might be the cause of my problem too. I just don't know what to do. I get headaches a lot, and really bad acne, i'm on accutane right now. So, i kind of have hormonal problems too... I don't know if I'm over thinking all this or this is normal. do I really need to see a doctor?

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Hi Catherine: Much of what you describe are things I have experienced in my life--there are many similarities.  I, too, was on Acutane, and I know this is a powerful drug that does have side effects.  However, I think you may be correct in looking at the possibility of being bipolar.  As a person 22 years old, you are at the age when many of the symptoms of bipolar disorder begin to come on.  This is definitely something you should consult a psychologist/psychiatrist about further.  I am 36, and even at my older age my "diagnosis" was changed from major-depressive disorder to bipolar disorder, although doctors had suspected prior to that, when I was younger, that I could perhaps be bipolar.  There are also various "types" of bipolar disorder, so it can be complicated. Like you, I was always a happy child and am a peaceful person.  I then started having bouts of depression in high school and college.  As I got older, I had more and more wild mood swings--I would go from laughing to crying all in a short period of time. Also, I started to get concerned because I would feel agitated, angry, and annoyed at things that I never used to.  Even the "nicest" and most considerate person can have angry outbusts, fits of crying, etc., and this is primarily due to a chemical imbalance in the brain that can often be addressed with medication.  This is not something to be ashamed of, but, again, you defintiely should consult w/ a physician to discuss your symptoms.  There may be medications or therapeutic techniques that can help you feel more "normal" (like your old self).  These symtoms are common for bipolar people, and they are not your fault.  I can relate to most of your story, so I hope this helps you in some way.  Good luck, and I hope things improve.  Zach

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