advertisement
Question
Posted by: Seesaw | 2011/03/06

Bipolar

I think I have bipolar disorder, more specific cyclothymia. My moods change rapidly and not for any reason. I also find it extremely hard to control my emotions when I notice the shift! Logically I tell myself how to act, but I cant control how I feel even though I try.

I looked up the diagnostical criteria for cyclothymia and under every diagnostic I could answer :Yep, 100% me" . My boyfriend says that theres no balance in how I act. He says everything''s going good and then suddently i''d get erratic or sad. It''s true, though and its completely nothing that he does, but my uncontrollable emotional changes and insecurity or over-security in some of my phases.

I do not smoke and haave never used any drugs. I do drink once every week or two weeks and then I drink up to 5 glasses wine or brutal fruit or ciders. And the day after, or when the alcohol wears out my behavior is also very very bad. Logically I tell myself it doesnt make sense, but I still act like a seesaw.

I am a rollercoaster ride.

Its not severe depression like that I want to kill myself every week or cant have a laugh or cant stand up in the morning (although I do get times where I am so demotivated that I cant get myself to dress and go out- so bad that Ive frequently skipped school in high school and classes at varsity). At these times I find it difficult to concentrate, my self esteem is low and I have low energy. I sometimes think about death a lot too. This mild depression lasts from 3 days up to 2 months and the mild mania I experience lasts just as long.

And sometimes I feel just calm, just balanced and then I think my world is turning right. But it is never, it never lasts.

The mild mania I experience makes me want to tell jokes and laugh and jump around. But sometimes this also makes me very very irritated even though I have a lot of energy and drive. My sleep doesnt get affected too much, luckily. Sometimes I will wake up at 3 in the morning and stay awake for about an hour or maybe two but then i''ll sleep again. Ive never been a late sleeper. I usually sleep from 9 or 10 o clock to 7 o clock (being awake in the early morning at times) and when Im having a down phase, i never sleep later than 9 o'' clock. My sleep is not disturbed too much. I do get episodes of erratic eating, where I just never feel full. But then I get times where I don''t want to eat much at all and am luckily at a normal weight.

I think I had my first real manic (and biggest manic) episode in grade 11 (I am now 24 and I have been experiencing mood swings and unusual behavior since middle grade 10). At the end of my grade eleven my academic average was 75%. That is actually very good. I remember believing things that arent real, as If living in a delusion and not being able to settle myself down, thoughts racing and feeling like the world''s coming to an end if I do not do something about myself. In fact there was nothing wrong with me. I was standard nine, I had no clue what i really wanted to do with my life but i got the strange idea that i HAD to become a medical doctor, that i am not going to pass matric and not going to be able to go to varsity and that the only way i could correct myself was to go back in time. So i found a way to do it. I convinced my mon that i needed to do grade 11 over again!!!! She gave in because i am good at convincing (and i also dont think she gave very good guidance while i was growing up because i didnt have boundaries). I had to go to the head of education in my district to ask for permission to do the grade over. I manipulated him into believing that i had to do it (i was so delusioned in thought, he probably thought id break apart if i couldnt do it). I did the year over and i got an average of 69 at the end of that year!!! It was mostly a depressed year and I started to frequently not go to school. In my matric year i was in school for about one day every week. In varsity i was in about one class every week! In 3 to 4 classes in a good week. If you dont go to class it becomes a habit and even when you feel better that day you dont even go - because thats what you do.

Luckily I got my B.Sc degree in Psychology &  Nutrition (it took me 2 years longer than it should have,but i got it). This year i am doing my honors degree (in psychology how ironic is that). I want to be more balanced, i want to use my full potential. I want to feel like a whole and fully managed human being. My sister was diagnosed with bipolar 2 two years ago and I think my mom also has it because of the way she acts and responds. I havent noticed it in myself until now (when my boyfriend said that im like a rollercoaster it got me thinking and i tried to deny that there can be anything wrong with me ,but the more i went through the facts about bipolar and accepted responsibility for myself the more it scared me -I seem to be a text book case of cyclothymia.

I am afraid of using my patients one day because i need them, not just because i can help. The healer seeking to be healed or a distraction from facing my own problems. I am changing my area in which i am doing my honors degree from clinical to industrial. I should stay with things such as sport psychology, working conditions and not with severe emotional disorders where i am more likely to let my issues get in the way of therapy. But i am hoping to lead a normal and balanced life- without hang ups and seesaws!!!!

What you''re probably wondering now is what my question is. Can you please give me your opinion on what i just said to you. It will be my first opinion, i havent seen a psychiatrist yet but am going to phone tomorrow. Do you also see a resemblance of cyclothymia in what i mentiones and do you also think my grade 11 experience was strange and probably my first big mania episode?

Thanks in advance

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Gosh, this message is so long, I think I'll need to stop for a cup of coffee and a short lie-down after reading it. Do try to edit your questions, folks, not only out of kindness to me, but because the exercise is in itself useful for you.
Alcohol ( and the amount you describe drinking is rather a lot, though infrequent ) adds to mood instability, notoriously.
Anyhow, if I understand what your question eventually was, it sounds wise to focus on useful but less emotionally demanding areas of psychological work, as you have outlined.
Cyclothymia may indeed be a valid diagnosis. What puzzles me is that in your whole lengthy saga, there is no mention of any form of treatment or evn of any proper assessment by an appropriate expert. If so, why not ?
DO ( especially while it could be arranged through your educational institution ) see a really good shrink for a full assessment, and a discussion of treatment options.
Cyclothymia is less responsive to medications, but could be more amenable to CBT-style psychological interventions.
Now I just need a damp cloth to wrap around my forehead ....

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/03/07

Gosh, this message is so long, I think I'll need to stop for a cup of coffee and a short lie-down after reading it. Do try to edit your questions, folks, not only out of kindness to me, but because the exercise is in itself useful for you.
Alcohol ( and the amount you describe drinking is rather a lot, though infrequent ) adds to mood instability, notoriously.
Anyhow, if I understand what your question eventually was, it sounds wise to focus on useful but less emotionally demanding areas of psychological work, as you have outlined.
Cyclothymia may indeed be a valid diagnosis. What puzzles me is that in your whole lengthy saga, there is no mention of any form of treatment or evn of any proper assessment by an appropriate expert. If so, why not ?
DO ( especially while it could be arranged through your educational institution ) see a really good shrink for a full assessment, and a discussion of treatment options.
Cyclothymia is less responsive to medications, but could be more amenable to CBT-style psychological interventions.
Now I just need a damp cloth to wrap around my forehead ....

Reply to cybershrink

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
advertisement