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Is This Bipolar?

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Hello, I apologize if this appears jumbled, I feel there’s a lot I need to add! I would like to know whether these symptoms may be pointing towards Bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety about 6 years ago. Since then, I’ve gotten married, moved cities and went to university. I’ve also had periods of depression, and auditory hallucinations. During the past three years (noticed it more recently) I’ve been irritable, feeling high and low. Irritable, in the sense that I lash out at my husband for no reason. I just suddenly get angry — when he hasn’t done anything- and start shouting. After, I feel an immense sense of guilt and I will often break down in tears. Other times, I have these sorts of daydreams — but they feel more real than daydreams, if that makes sense. The best way I can describe it is I’ll get an idea in my head and I’ll get lost in it — it can range from anything, a recent example was the idea of being in a famous band. In reality, I couldn’t do such a thing due to being so timid. In this sense I also overestimate my abilities, in believing that I can get anything done just because. When it doesn’t happen the way I imagined, I’ll become depressed and feel generally hopeless, useless. If it is of any use, my grandmother had Bipolar. I apologize if this was muddled, but I’m not sure whether I should refer to a doctor or not, or if what I am experiencing is related to Bipolar at all. Thank you for your time! (age 21, from New Zealand)

Is This Bipolar?

Answered by on -

A.

Thank you for writing in with your question. We all get angry sometimes for little to no reason and we’ve all gotten lost in a daydream, however, when I look at all the symptoms that you have listed here, I think there could be a more serious problem. I’m concerned that you have had auditory hallucinations, report periods of highs and lows and have a family history of Bipolar Disorder.

Having Bipolar Disorder could certainly account for the problems that you are having, but the only way to know is to be evaluated by a mental health professional. So, my bottom line is yes, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Even if your doctor doesn’t feel that you meet criteria for this diagnosis, he or she may help pinpoint the problem and therapy can help you better manage your moods and discover more effective ways of coping with stressful situations.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Is This Bipolar?

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Is This Bipolar?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/17/is-this-bipolar/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 17 May 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.