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Is This Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety?

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Q: I have suffered from depression from the age of around 15. It has gradually gotten worse within the past two years to the point where i have overdosed in the past, and even ended up in prison for lashing out.

Previously i used alcohol to try and cope and this has started again. I have tried anti depressants and anxiety tablets but neither have worked. I grew up with my dad being an alcoholic and my elder brother being a drug addict.

I was bullied really bad in school to the point were i changed school twice, ran away from home, and ended up getting taken out of school and home-schooled as i suffered from panic attacks quite bad. Since school i have found it increasingly hard to make friends. I’m extremely paranoid to the point where i find it hard going outside and have left  numerous jobs and college courses because of my insecurities.

I seem to cry all the time and i have no idea why. I get extreme bouts of depression where i feel there is no way out and i want to die. The  last time this happened i ended up in prison and i am scared of what will happen next. I have no idea what is wrong with me and i just need some answers. thanks

Is This Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety?

Answered by on -

A.

Hi, and thanks for your question. It certainly sounds like you have had a rough life so far and you are still in your teen years. My first question is, who is treating you for this problem? Is it your family doctor, or a psychiatrist? The reason I ask is that a psychiatrist would take a thorough history and prescribe the correct medications.  You said that you have tried antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, but didn’t say how they were a problem or how long you took them.

Sometimes more than one antidepressant has to be used to help people with severe depression and anti-anxiety medications alone can be depressing. If you are having mood swings and are using alcohol or other drugs to self-medicate, you may very well have bipolar disorder.

Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t the best place to diagnose someone, and I wouldn’t want to try.  Please consider going to a psychiatrist, give him an honest and thorough history and find out if you would be better suited on medications for bipolar disorder, rather than either an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

Is This Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety?

Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2018). Is This Depression, Bipolar, Anxiety?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/05/13/is-this-depression-bipolar-anxiety/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.