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Question
Posted by: just me | 2006/04/17

i think they diagnosed me wrong

hi, i just need a bit of advice. ok to cut it short i self harm and theres been times when i have ended up in a psychiatric hospital and stuff. ive been diagnosed with depression but im confused, sometimes i get REALLY happy. one of the main reasons why im confused is that im 16 so i dont know if these are like normal teenage moodswings but they feel so intense and i cant control them. when i get low its like really low and i cry lots and have suicidal feelings and yea just the whole depression feelings and stuff (i guess thats why they diagnosed me) but the thing is like i can get too happy sometimes. obviously i dont mind being happy but it cause me problems, sometimes it makes me fall out with friends, it can leave me embarassed and sometimes i can get and have gotten in trouble aswell. for example yesterday i was in a very busy and crowded hugh street and i started getting hyper, i started shouting stuff like "come guys lets go pick pocketing....look theres out next victim" and i would start nudging members of the public. or i would walk into a shop and say really loudly "shall we steal something? we can just grab stuff and run" i wasnt actually going to do any of that, i just got all hyper again and started being stupid, i was finding it hilarious and i stopped my friends at one point while walking down the road and shouted quick lets run ive just stolen that womens phone and people around us were looking worried and looking around for a victim. and like when i get hyper everything feels like its on fast forward, at school the other day i was running up and down, sliding on the floor, lying on the floor pretending to be dead although i didnt convince anyone because i couldnt stop laughing and some people thought i was high which i wasnt and then i crawled to class and i couldnt concentrate on the work and then the next minute i was like at rock bottom, i felt so low and i started crying and then i started thinking all negatively again. i just dont know what to do anymore. i mean how can someone who is suffering from depression be gettin so happy? havin so much energy and acting really silly? i just dont understand and im kind of scared to go to my psych about it in case he gets angry or thinks why are you telling me this for its normal or somethng so i wanted to ask on here.
thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hello jm,
An interesting and complicated question. Self-harm may be about Depression or mood swings, and I understand that in some circumstances, people in distress find that it can make them feel a bit better for a time. But it has many disadvantages --- embarrassing scars that last much longer than your moods, and it distresses other people out of all proportion to the actual dangerousness of the injuries, and can thus lead to rather fierce responses. It is so much wiser to learn better ways of responding to one's distress, from a good counsellor.
This all sounds more like behaviour problems, which a cousnellor / psychologist, especially one working with the brilliant modern CBT (C0gnitive-Behaviour Therapy ) form of counselling can greatly help you to deal with ; more than a simple Depression, just as you suggest.
If your psych is anything remotely like well-trained and competent, he should never get cross because you tell him seomething true about yourself --- he may, indeed, feel more cross to find that you were NOT telling him things that were significant. if you don't tell him, it's like you facing a maths exam, beign asked for the answer to a problem, with half of the numbers hidden from you. I am sure he would appreciate you telling him about this other stuff, these other feelings and behaviours, and asking him politely whether these are part of the Depression he's been thinking about, or whether the diagnosis ought perhaps to be widened, and more open to counselling help.

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.

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Our users say:
Posted by: j-cat456 | 2006/04/17

Hey there,

- ask your shrink to tell you more about Bipolar Disease, in particular the rapid cycling form of it, where you go from completely down o absolutely high back to down within a few hours. Most people see the depressed side of BP first, as it's the most scary, and after all, it's good to be happy. But if you are feeling that your "happiness" is overboard, and innappropriate - and if it's embarrassing your friends, it probably is - then it might be worth finding out more about BP in general, mania (so that you can handle it), and the rapid cycling form, because it sounds a lot like what you say about yourself.
Good luck - I'm BP2, which means I never get the manic part, and whenever I tell my shrink that I'm so down that mania would be great, he tells me not to be stupid, that treating mania is 10 times harder than treating the depression...
j

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