Am I Bipolar?

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

Q: Basically, I fit a lot of the negative (depressed) traits of BPD. I get, “persistent sadness, frequent crying, depression, loss of enjoyment in favorite activities, frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches or stomach aches, low energy level, poor concentration, complaints of boredom, major change in eating or sleeping patterns, such as oversleeping or overeating.”

I go from wanting to be around people to taking walks by myself in the rain just to get away from everybody. When it comes to friends (even my family) I’ve never fully opened up to anybody. Never been completely  true with people. I often fake being sick to stay home from school. I have horrible headaches and stomach aches that seem to come from nowhere, and I often wake up early in the morning, or have difficulty falling asleep. When I do get up and out of bed, I feel tired all the time and my joints ache even when I’ve been sleeping well. I also tend to get furious for no reason. It just takes one little thing to set it off, and then I feel as though my blood has been spiked with some sort of  crazy energy. I get restless and feel the need to move. This often ends with me punching a wall or door to pull myself together. The pain seems to bring me back. I don’t really do this to intentionally hurt myself (like in a cutting sort of way), but I have made several dents around the house and scarred my knuckles.

As for the “manic symptoms of BPD” I have less. As of late, I’ve been more spontaneous and impulsive (even though I’m a fairly cautious person), and thought more about sex (apparently a BPD thing?). Also, on some days I’m extremely goofy and love to entertain, while others, I just want to sit quietly and be left alone feeling irritable. The distractibility, fast talking, and spastic topic changing could be  ADD. While I’ve never been diagnosed, my older brother has.

Does this sound like BPD? Or, am I just your average overly emotional teenager?

A: Hello and thank you for your question:

While it certainly sounds like you are prone to mood swings, you should never try to diagnose yourself over the Internet or with a checklist. If you have a copy of the checklist, you should take it to a psychiatrist, not a therapist, but someone who is licensed to diagnose and prescribe medications

You didn’t mention whether or not you use drugs or alcohol, or if you play video games. These can have a profound affect on your mood and ability to get along with others. I would strongly suggest you go to a professional and have him/her determine what is wrong and if you need treatment.

Best of luck,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

 

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 May 2009

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2009). Am I Bipolar?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/05/20/am-i-bipolar/

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