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Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder?

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:07 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: LA, CA, USA
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epibatai87 HB User
Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder?

Hi I have been doing some research and I believe this question is more relevant in this forum...

"I feel that I may have a mental disorder of some sort. My symptoms are many and have varied considerably throughout my lifetime, thus I feel like I may need aid in identifying them.

As a child it started with delusions and severe paranoia. I felt as if everyone was plotting against me, using magic dust of some sort to sap my strength and intelligence... It sounds ridiculous but it's true. This fear led to a wide array of strange behaviors such as avoiding human contact, avoiding food (or any item for that matter, such as water) that had been in contact with others that I didn't trust (which was pretty much everyone sans my parents/ grandma). I also developed some habits that can be characterized as obsessive compulsive such as an extreme fear of germs, ritualistic behaviors such as not stepping on cracks and repeating words over and over again. Interestingly enough, the strength of delusions and paranoia diminished year after year and virtually disappeared by high school.

I have been told that if you realize that your behavior or beliefs are absurd, strange, or ridiculous than you weren't considered "crazy". As I have mentioned before, by high school all of these strange delusions were all but gone. I must admit there are certain times when I feel the delusions "resurfacing" (like when someone I don't trust offers me food) but I can easily control such behaviors now.For a while, I actually believed that these paranoid, delusional episodes in my past were all a product of a vivid imagination and feelings of resurgence were simply a product of "muscle memory"... I don't believe this is the case now.

Now that I am within my adult years, I am beginning to see several negative behavioral symptoms and aspects about me that I believe are a byproduct of the mental problems of my past.

First of all, I have frequent episodes of depression that are caused by extremely strong feelings of worthlessness and inferiority sometimes followed by suicidal thoughts (Note: I am not suicidal this isn't a cry for help.). I am an excessive worrier, and I mean excessive. I often have “worry attacks” that leave me in tears. I talk to myself.... ALOT.... I even curse at myself pretty harshly... I am also highly self-conscious. Furthermore, I have trouble forming meaningful relationships, although I do make friends easily. Strangely I am passive and quite introverted toward strangers;

lack of concentration/focus being numbered top among them. I have been considered by most of my comrades, to be "lost" or stupid, which I believe stems from this lack of focus. I for one don't believe I am stupid. I receive high marks in school and will be attending one of the most respectable public universities in the world. However, I constantly find myself making mistakes. My inability to speak my mind properly (stutter) under stressful circumstances (such as being "chewed out" by a superior for a mistake) doesn't help the "lost" image of myself either. Should I be deployed (which has not happened yet),

This high lack of concentration, this dislike of activities that require concentration, also affects other areas of my life. Although I receive high marks in school, I find it extremely difficult to study for long periods and procrastinate uncontrollably. On a typical day, it is not uncommon for me to fully intend to study but wind up procrastinating 9 hours straight... I can't even concentrate when it is a necessity such as on days when I need to take a final. On such a day as the hours tick by, I would be afflicted with strong feelings of hopelessness and be filled with extreme despair.. I mumble and curse myself... grab my head.. moan and sometimes feel the need to bang my head or hurt myself.... One time I took a loaded weapon and put it in my mouth... I knew I wasn't going to pull the trigger, but I felt as if I had to go through with the motions... Thus I find myself studying in short bursts with lengthy breaks (thereby wasting time) or cramming (thereby not retaining information in my long term memory). I also daydream excessively and have trouble remembering things in the short term.

I have had a childhood that can be considered by some as "traumatic". My late father was an alcoholic by most standards and was the source for a lot of the misery in my life. He died in a car crash... didn't miss him much.

Most of my friends would consider me to be a normal guy. Perhaps a few may believe that I'm tad bit eccentric but not overtly so. All of them would be shocked at how deep my mental illness reaches (or has reached), which further reinforced my initial belief that there was nothing wrong with me.
Anyone have any idea as to what I am afflicted with? Can anyone help me out?"

I have set up an appointment with a graduate student counselor of psychiatry at a university mental health center, because I can't afford a real psychologist due to lack of insurance. There is absolutely no way I can bring myself to disclose my issues to my superiors... "

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Old 06-06-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
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Location: Russellville, AL, USA
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brads1baby HB Userbrads1baby HB User
Re: Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder?

Hi and welcome!

First of all, I am not a professional and cannot obviously give you an accurate diagnosis. I will say this, however. I was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and a borderline personality disorder about five years ago. After reading your post, it sounded as if I could have written it myself. Certain aspects of it though seemed out of character for a mere bipolar disorder which leads me to believe that you probably have some other issues going on as well. Through all my research and dealings with professionals, it seems that it is quite common for a person with one mental disorder to have others or symptoms that mimic other disorders.

You have done yourself a favor by being open and talking about it. Most people in your shoes would crawl into a hole and stay there without asking for any help. You did not choose to do that which means that you are probably a very intelligent person who chooses to "come out of the closet", for lack of better verbage, then rather to sit around and allow any mental disorders to consume you until you are paralyzed with fear and can no longer ask for assistance. It is a good thing that you have set up an appointment with someone to whom you can speak. I know you said you were uninsured, but there are plenty of public assistance programs out there who will help with medications and therapy, if needed. Speak with your selected person and be as totally honest and upfront as you were in your posting. A therapist can not help you if you hold back for fear of being seen as a wacko.

I wish you good luck with your therapy. Be sure and ask him or her about public assistance programs before you leave so you can continue to talk this through and be provided with an accurate diagnosis and/or appropriate medications. All is not lost as long as you continue to ask for help.

Keep in mind, also, that there are a lot of other people out here (myself included) who are very compassionate because we have walked in your shoes. There will always be someone here for you to talk to about anything without fear of being labeled. Please feel free to repost if you have anything further to say or just want to chat openly. Best of luck to you, Sherri.

Old 06-06-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Az,USA
Posts: 571
CarenR HB User
Re: Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder?

welome to the board,,,,,, you dont sound like you have the highs of Bipolar.. it is good that you are seeking help.......

Caren- bipolar 1

Old 06-06-2008, 09:58 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,915
seaturtle HB User
Re: Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder?


Good that you are seeking help, sounds like as soon as you can is a good idea. I won't go into any of the details you give, since it's only an evaluation by professional that will tell you what your disorders are.

What's clear is that you're very troubled and need help -- and that you are reaching out for it. Good work!

There are other boards here for support for other disorders, you may want to turn to them, depending on your diagnosis. For the moment, keep in touch, let us know how the appointment goes. When is it?

And if you find yourself feeling too awful , maybe going to the ER is a good idea.

Welcome here.

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