Things Went From Bad to Worse

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Well first off. I’m a sophomore in college. I just got out of a breakup. She left me with someone else in kind. I was diagnosed Bipolar II w/ psychotic features (depression prominent). I now get upset over the smallest things, and I get hung up on little words when people talk about me. I have a horrible memory, and it takes me forever to remember names. If I don’t write down my schedule, I will have time periods in the day that are kinda just blank. I am having trouble talking to people I don’t know in person. I can talk to new people online though. I am seeing strange things, like shadows, and such. I am afraid to sleep in the dark. I am afraid to be in the dark. I hear people talking and I assume it’s about me, and it makes me more depressed. I am getting ready to start back at college, and it stresses me out more. I am beginning to hate life. It seems as if I have no real friends, just pretenders. I wanna get help, but I have no insurance.
What should I do? What could be wrong with me?

A. It is difficult to determine exactly what is wrong. It may be that stress is making it difficult for you to concentrate. It may also be that stress is bringing on a possible psychotic episode. You describe having memory problems, paranoia and visual hallucinations. I am concerned about your current state of mind and that the upcoming school year is causing you distress.

You asked what you should do in this situation. You do not have health insurance but as a college student, you should have access to student services which can include psychiatric assistance. These services are free. Make an appointment to see one of the mental health professionals on staff. They should be able to help you and provide medication if necessary. I would also recommend contacting your primary care physician or the professional who diagnosed you with bipolar disorder. He or she may be able to provide advice for you in this situation. If you are experiencing symptoms of psychosis then you will likely need medication to help treat your symptoms. Please do not ignore your symptoms. They may become worse and you want to avoid this outcome, if at all possible.

If your symptoms become overwhelming, go to the local hospital for an evaluation even though you do not have health insurance. Hospitals recognize that a certain number of individuals without health insurance will utilize their services. Many hospitals have funds set aside to cover uninsured patients. Two other options include contacting a local community mental health center for services or calling the local health department. Explain your situation and ask them to connect you with free or low-cost services for individuals without health insurance.

What’s most important is seeking help and not letting your symptoms become so overwhelming that it leads to a serious psychotic episode. When it comes to psychosis, or any other mental health condition, it’s best to be proactive and take steps to prevent more serious problems.

I hope you are able to access the help that you need. Please be proactive and get help sooner rather than later. Please take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Sep 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Things Went From Bad to Worse. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/09/03/things-went-from-bad-to-worse/