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Is This Stress or Mental Illness? Am I Misdiagnosed?

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Hello, I’m a 3rd year animation student and I’m concerned about my mental health. For the past few weeks I’ve been shifting from severe depression to a kind of mania. I might have felt this “high”once before but not to this point- especially during finals where most individuals are depressed and stressed. Instead of being depressed or even stressed out over work, I’m not. I’ve even been falling behind on work or being late to class and I simply don’t care.

I can’t focus, and for four days straight I’ve been “drugged” on adrenaline and euphoric moods. Even now my thoughts are all over the place. When I was in high school I would also have these moods but only once in a while and I would use them to be super creative. I once made a fully colored one minute animation in a week (something that takes others more than a month) and I also drew 20 pages of a comic when the teacher asked only for 10. I was the only one who did this in my class both times.That was years ago. Now, this year I was severely depressed from november to december to the point that I was unable to go to class from panic attacks and feelings of worthlessness. I would cry every day and feel horrible for weeks. Even after classes ended, winter break I continued to have these depressed moods up until class started. When class started I began to feel less depressed and more stable and that lasted from february to march when something else happened.
During the second week of march I was depressed again despite having a lot of fun during spring break. The week after however I felt this strange sort of highness and took more than I should out of a bottle of cough syrup. I got high and after that high even though I haven’t taken the drug again, I’ve been feeling crazy. Crying in public, not sleeping for days, dancing and singing.

I was diagnosed with Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was seeing a counselor and I was evaluated by the psychiatrist I had for 15 minutes only. I don’t think that was enough time…. I’m worried that I might have been misdiagnosed. I don’t want to speak to counselors anymore, I just want to know what’s wrong.

Thank you so much

Is This Stress or Mental Illness? Am I Misdiagnosed?

Answered by on -


I would concur. Fifteen minutes is not enough time for a thorough diagnosis. It would be best to consult another psychiatrist. Hopefully, they will spend more than 15 minutes with you. Your symptoms seem more consistent with bipolar disorder than depression and anxiety, but it is impossible to provide a diagnosis over the internet.

Given your mood instability, medication will likely provide the most relief but counseling can help too. Utilize the counseling services that are available to you. Ask your therapist to assist you in regulating your mood. Counseling should help while you’re waiting for another psychiatry appointment.

Counseling and medication are considered comprehensive treatments for most psychological problems. Once you find the right medication and are working with a good therapist, your mood will likely stabilize and you can return to a normal level of functioning. Don’t give up until you find the right professionals and treatment. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Is This Stress or Mental Illness? Am I Misdiagnosed?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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). Is This Stress or Mental Illness? Am I Misdiagnosed?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Apr 2018 (Originally: 30 Apr 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 27 Apr 2018
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