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04/21/2012 01:31 PM

Am I really bipolar?

EmThom64
Posts: 3
New Member

I was recently diagnosed, and I know I'm at least prone to major depression.

But the mania? Is it really?

As I'm answering my doc's questions (waiting for a second opinion), I might have just been answering to fit the questions. And I've looked up symptoms, but it all sounds like normal teenage things.

I took time to write it out, to explain these feelings as best I could, but after reading it, could I really still be bipolar? Or is it a teenager thing? I thought that maybe others who live with it could share their experiences with it.

I was so high on life that I needed very little sleep. I was just filled with so much energy that I had to constantly do something. I usually slept for two or three and felt completely rested. Life had millions of fascinating opportunities, and I had to experience everything the world had to offer. My thoughts were meandering in my brain—bouncing wildly against the walls of my mind at light-speed. My head was clogged with fast-paced background noise. Due to these racing thoughts, it was very difficult for me to cling to the same thought for too long. But these grand ideas were constantly flowing in and out of my conscious mind. These were amazing ideas for original music compositions and prose ideas that would break convention as well as new ways to kill time.

I always had a clever response to everything and wasn't afraid to meet new people. Public speaking was laughably easy, and making connections came naturally; I just always knew the right thing to say. I was practically a social butterfly, especially to people I thought to be interesting. I wasn't afraid to meet new people. If you were interesting to me or had an interesting topic, I would just not shut up. (Usually, I don't initiate conversation, but when you do, I don't shut up.)

Sometimes, people would talk to me and I would suddenly change to another, almost-related-but-not-quite topic. There were just as many times when I would abruptly insult or criticize the person I was talking to, right to his face. My train of thought would just change or derail in a fraction of a second, occasionally causing me to talk fast to keep up with my own thoughts. Freudian slips littered my conversations along with the tangents. When typing things or even speaking things, I often skip entire words or chunks of words in a sentence (for example, “This cat fish.”) I'd often make inappropriate remarks and jokes during the wrong occasions, thinking I'm funny when I'm really not. I also tend to ramble because I think that what I'm saying is just so interesting and it keeps the conversation flowing; the conversation, once started, just had to keep going.

I was easily distracted. When there wasn't something better to do, I'd be distracted by everything around me—birds, wind, trees, snow. I always had an endless supply of energy and ideas, so the boring things could wait. I could only focus on the fun things. If something of greater interest came along, I would opt for the greater interest because I didn't know when I would get another chance for it. If there wasn't anything of greater interest, I would create something better to do. Often, I'll stop in the middle of something, suddenly go do something else, and come back and not remember what I was initially doing but with the distinct feeling of knowing I was supposed to finish something. Sometimes, I would eventually remember, but only because I would be so bored that I'd start something while thinking I never did but actually did. I could only sit down and focus on the things I found to be fun, and I could only motivate myself to do the uninteresting things if I had absolutely nothing else to do.

Because I was constantly restless, I always had to do something. If I didn't have anything to do, I could pace around the room for hours on end or my foot would rapidly tap the floor until I found something else to do. Sometimes, I would just get up and go for walks outside that were miles long. I was perpetually restless. The constant need for entertainment drove me to bounce between part-time jobs in a six-month period: the movie theaters, A&P, and finally ShopRite. Meanwhile, I had position in a JROTC unit, Key Club activities, and chores around the house while maintaining a class rank of 59/466 and an approximate GPA of 96. I would go on baking/cooking and cleaning sprees. I would go out shopping and buy clothes and jewelry that I didn't need.

I was on top of the world and cared not how I got there. I was excessively optimistic and knew—not felt, but knew—that everything would work out just fine for me. I lacked proper judgment which many noticed through unnecessary risks and impulsive actions: my reckless driving, sex, dangerous activities despite the risk just for the thrill, kleptomania, need to flaunt my superiority, spending sprees (clothes, jewelry, books, and food to cook) and general lack of regard for mine and other's safety. Consequences were for everyone but me. I was openly defiant to everyone and all rules whenever the chance presented, whenever I felt my freedom was being limited. Consequences hindered my ability to have fun, so I didn't even think of them when I wanted to do something. Everything would always work out to favor me and only me.

I knew I was better than everyone; therefore, everyone was a waste of my time. I was still better than the few people I actually liked. I was trying to drop out of high school for that very reason and the fact that school was not only boring, but hindering my ability to experience life. There were too many opportunities for me and only me that I couldn't experience in school.

Because of this superiority mentality and feeling impervious to consequences, I was also easy to anger once things weren't working in my favor, when something held me back from enjoying life, and exploded into a violent outburst of rage. Essentially, I expected everyone and everything to bend to my will for my convenience. I often became impatient with people and things if they weren't performing up to my standards or if I felt I was forced to do something I didn't want to do, and that impatience rapidly became terrifying, blind anger that was more akin to a temper tantrum. However, there would sometimes be an entire day or a series of days when I'm just irritable constantly for that timeframe.

Post edited by: EmThom64, at: 04/21/2012 01:32 PM

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04/21/2012 03:32 PM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16594
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Well, to me that sounds like mania what you described. Many characteristics. It's good that you are getting a second opinion if you are doubting the diagnosis. Take what you wrote here and let the person read it and if you have anything to add to it, do that also. A lot of people doubt their diagnosis at first. It sounds like you are young, in school? If you do have bipolar, I think it's great that you caught it young. Many of us have suffered years with the wrong diagnosis. Catching it young, you will have a better quality of life. Medications take some time to find. You have to get the right mix that will work for you. In time that happens. I hope you don't have bipolar, that would be great, but if you do, it's treatable and you can become stable and not have to experience the symptoms of the illness. Let us know what your second opinion says. We will be here to support you and help you in any way we can. Welcome to the group!

04/21/2012 04:18 PM
YorkieLove
YorkieLove  
Posts: 7033
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Welcome. I agree with Joy, so much so, that all I can add is that we are not doctors and cannot diagnose anyone. Take care of these problems while you are young, because they only worsen with time if unaddressed.

04/21/2012 05:01 PM
sarahtroy
sarahtroy  
Posts: 14317
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi, Welcome to MDJ. This is a very supportive, encouraging and informative group. If you ever need anything, please feel free to contact me or any other group leader via private message (PM) so we can help.

Adjusting to a bipolar diagnosis can be difficult and may take a while. I support your getting a second opinion, and even a third, if necessary.

As a new member, you may not be aware, but MDJ members may not provide medical diagnoses, treatment, or professional medical advice. We may address those issues in terms of our experiences as individuals with bipolar disorder.

Only licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists and psychologists, may diagnose and a clinical interview and mental status exam is required.

Your narrative is very good and I agree it would aid any professional with whom you are working. Your questions about discerning what is normal for teenagers (especially you) vs. bipolar would be best addressed by your doctor.

Again, welcome to our group.


04/21/2012 05:09 PM
EmThom64
Posts: 3
New Member

I know that none of you are doctors, that you can't diagnose me. I wasn't asking for that. It probably would have been better wording on my part to ask if anyone knew, beyond all doubt, that they were bipolar--if they knew it definitely wasn't a teenage thing and if they could tell me how they knew. Basically, to help me make the distinction because my current doctor hasn't and (hopefully) my next will.

Thank you, however, for your responses.


04/21/2012 05:43 PM
EmThom64
Posts: 3
New Member

I am 17, and I was diagnosed this past September after a suicide attempt. Thank you for sharing your story. I was basically asked a check list of questions, talked about things I had done in the past, and the like. I was just yammering on, and then they asked me about my family history--and yes, I know my mother was diagnosed bipolar. I suppose that's what did it for me, but I'm still confused about the distinctions between teenage hormones and bipolar, and I really cant wait to see the next doc.

Yammering again, sorry. But thank you for your story.

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