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I Think I Am Bipolar, Do I Need Therapy?

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My friend committed suicide two years ago. Four months later my grandpa died. For some reason the awful feeling never went away. Every day I have the feeling of grief as if it happened yesterday. It’s not that I’m still mourning, but it has affected me physically and emotionally. I have no appetite, I hardly sleep, I never want to go out, and I am exhausted all the time. My parents think I’m always in a mood but it’s physically hard for me to have a conversation. I’ve lost friends and my motivation in school is gone. I have fantasies of what my funeral would be like and who would come. When I think of my future all I can think is what’s the point? I pray that I will get hit by a car or some other random accident will happen because I don’t want to have to do it.

The bad times last the longest, but sometimes for a few days at a time the lack of sleep doesn’t bother me. I feel so motivated that I will make plans that I know I’ll never have the energy to actually follow through with. Last month I spent over $200 in clothes in one day when I usually am good about saving. I even surprised the whole family by bringing home ice cream once, when I usually stay in my room all day. I make plans with people I haven’t spoken to in weeks. When I get in these moods I feel like I could talk a mile a minute. But they only last a few days before I’m back to having no energy.

I cut myself for the first time tonight. They hardly bled but I actually liked it. It distracted me and was also comforting. I know all these thoughts and self harm are bad but I don’t have control when I’m feeling this way. I’m not close to anyone anymore. Not my friends or anyone in my family so I don’t know who to go to. I’ve been dealing with this for two years and thought I could handle it but it’s only getting worse. What should I do?

I Think I Am Bipolar, Do I Need Therapy?

Answered by on -

A.

Some of your symptoms may be indicative of bipolar disorder, but only an in-person evaluation could determine if a disorder is present.

Your reaction to the loss of two people with whom you were close may be normal but it might also indicate depression. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a world-famous expert in the field of death and dying, noted that there are at least five stages of grief that one goes through after a loss. Depression is one of those stages and sometimes people get stuck in a particular stage. Perhaps that has happened to you.

There are several things you can do. First, consider a bereavement support group. There may be some in your community.

Secondly, consider individual counseling. Choose a therapist who specializes in death and dying oriented counseling.

Third, you may want to read self-help books about grieving. There are many good books that might interest you.

Finally, you may also consider reading about near-death experiences or life after death. Dr. Kubler-Ross has written about both of these topics, among others including Raymond Moody and Brian Weiss.

It may sound counterintuitive, but many people gain great comfort in studying death and hearing stories from people who have claim to have died. People who have had near-death experiences, for instance, are profoundly moved by their experiences. In fact, it’s common among near-death experiencers, and the people who read about near-death experiences, to no longer fear death. These topics might be worth exploring. Most importantly, seek the help of a counselor and get their advice. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

I Think I Am Bipolar, Do I Need Therapy?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). I Think I Am Bipolar, Do I Need Therapy?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/10/27/i-think-i-am-bipolar-do-i-need-therapy/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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