Wondering if I have bipolar/depression

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am 17 and for the past couple of year I have been tried ALL THE TIME yet I cant sleep because I get really fidgety and have too many thoughts in my head.

For the most part I feel constantly numb and flat…like I have no emotions.
But sometimes this is punctuated by feeling hysteric and hopeless/pointless; seriously low self-esteem and binge drinking. I get easily irritated, I find it impossible to be excited about anything, I have to force myself to do the things I like -other wise I get really mad at myself for not doing them and I feel really disconnected from myself and others.

Then on the flip side, sometimes I am really happy and energetic and I feel like my thoughts/ideas flow super easily- I have a thousand ideas for potential artworks and things like that; so much so that I become really over whelmed by it because they are always way to over ambitious to actually happen. And I feel like I need to say things even if they are stupid or don’t make sense, which is annoying.

What do you think the problem is?
Thank you.

A: I am glad you took the time to write this question. I can understand why you would be thinking you are bipolar. The alternating flat affect and then flight of ideas would be consistent with the range of emotional reactions often generated with a bipolar disorder. But the only way to know for sure is to go to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. He or she is in the best position to understand the symptoms. You can get an expert opinion by an individual in a good position to offer help in the way of medicine.

I admire your ability for self-reflection and would encourage you to enlist the support of your parents or trusted teacher or school counselor in finding a psychiatrist to help. To further educate yourself here is the PsychCentral link.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Wondering if I have bipolar/depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/12/wondering-if-i-have-bipolardepression/

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