It may not be a new illness developing, but the new voices are a symptom of your currently untreated bipolar disorder coupled with your increased stress levels because of school.
Hearing voices is a symptom of bipolar disorder. Not everyone with bipolar disorder experiences voices but some do.
The stress of school could have triggered the voices. Generally speaking, stress is a common trigger of mental health symptoms, particularly psychosis symptoms. Not being in treatment increases your risk of relapse.
Consider voices an early warning sign that a relapse may be occurring. I would strongly encourage you to consult your psychiatrist. The two of you can develop a plan of action.
You mentioned not being able to afford medication. Many psychiatrists are given free samples from pharmaceutical companies for their patients who cannot afford medicine. It’s also common for pharmaceutical companies to offer programs for free medication. There may also be other private or publicly funded programs for which you may be eligible. Ask your psychiatrist for more information.
The key to managing mental health disorders is addressing symptoms when they arise and not waiting until there is an emergency. Now is the time to seek help in order to prevent your symptoms from worsening. This is particularly true with psychotic disorders. Early treatment can prevent the development of further psychosis and thus ultimately prevent a relapse. It’s important to take action. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle