Oh my! You reached out for help and someone called you “melodramatic”? I don’t think so! I don’t think you are oversensitive, overemotional, or looking for attention. Anyone who truly understood how difficult it is to live inside your head wouldn’t dream of minimizing your feelings with labels like that. You are scared because it is terrifying to feel this out of control.
It’s not appropriate for me to make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. All I can legitimately do is tell you that what you are reporting is consistent with a diagnosis of Bipolar I. Please seek out a mental health professional and get an evaluation. If I’m correct, there are medications that can help control the intensity and frequency of the mood swings. Some talk therapy will help you learn to recognize when you are headed for a difficult period and will provide you with some skills for taking care of yourself.
Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with what’s available in South Africa to give you specific directions for finding help. Often a medical doctor or clergy members are good people to ask for recommendations. I hope you will follow through and soon. This is hard on both you and your daughter. You both deserve more stability and less drama.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 17, 2010.