I'm 17 and for the past few years I've been struggling with on and off depression and self harm. When my parents found out they took me to therapists, psychiatrists etc. Therapist was a joke but it really made me keep track of my emotions and symptoms, and I started to see a pattern and a cycling in my moods that just kept getting worse and more frequent. I did some research on bipolar disorder and it sounds very familiar. I told my therapist about stmptoms but she was focusing more on my cutting and didnt have an answer for me. I definitely have episodes of depression more frequently than manic episodes, but even manic is not exactly the "high" that people associate with bipolar. It's more of an out of control high, I'm not happy or overly optimistic, I'm just jumpy and hyper and all over the place and can't seem to slow down no matter how exhausted I really am. When this happens I don't really sleep much for like a week and will just stay up till 4 or 5 AM, sketching or writing, or just like wandering through the house till I'm tired enough to go to sleep. It's definitely better than when I'm depressed but it's just confusing that I'll be high and laughing but I just want to cry so badly. Anyway I went off on a tangent but I haven't been officially diagnosed because of a complication with the psychiatrist during the summer, he did mention manic depression and meds but there was no follow up because I stopped going to him. My parents think it was a faze that I went through and I'm okay now...I hate to start all that stuff all over again but I need help and don't know what to do now.
My son is also 17 and he was diagnosed at 8 with bipolar disorder. Your manic phases are classic mania...it's not always the "high" some talk about, not at all. I'm no professional, but it sounds to me like you are suffering with bipolar disorder. If the therapist you are seeing is not helping you, find another one! Not all therapists are right for all people. Even good therapists aren't a perfect fit for everyone. My son went to three different therapist before he found the RIGHT one. No big deal, just try another one if you can. The right therapist will make a huge difference.
Are you still going to a psychiatrist as well? Have they tried medications? You need to see a psychiatrist and be evaluated and they will most likely start you on medication. But...if that happens and it doesn't seem to be helping...TELL THEM...there are many different medications out there and just like therapists, no two people will react the same way to the same medciation. You just have to find the right one or mixture for you. Don't give up and don't let anyone tell you that it's all in your head or anything like that.
You're almost an adult. You have to be your own advacate! Keep going, keep talking, keep seeking help. Your cutting is just a symptom of a bigger problem, and you need to get help for that so that you can not just stop hurting yourself, but BE HAPPY and HEALTHY!!! You're worth the effort! If all else seems to be failing...go to a psychiatric ER and check yourself into the hospital and get what you need!! Again, don't give up...speak up and keep trying!
Thanks so much for responding, it means a lot to have an adults view. Currently im not seeing anyone because like I said my parents think I was going through a faze and that I'm okay now. The last time I saw someone was when they found out I was cutting myself and it really turned my whole house and family upside down so I'm kind of tentative about bringing it up again. My parents are amazing but their the kin of
People who will shrug it off an tell me I'm fine because to them I do seem fine, I'm not very expressive with them so they don't really see when I'm having difficulties. I think it may be bipolar but I really want to have my facts straight before i get help so that I could do it without unnesecary drama
Yeah, I don't know if you can be evaluated without their consent because of your age, but you do need to get help. If YOU feel like you need help, then you do! Do you have a school counselor you can talk to? Sometimes it is much easier to speak to someone that is NOT a parent first. I think that is what you are trying to get at anyway, that you want to be evaluated and THEN go to your parents. If you have someone else to talk to, do that and perhaps they can help you arrange for an evaluation before involving your parents. I would hope that if you were open with your parents they would get you to a professional. It doesn't have to be drama in order to seek help!
When you do get in to see someone, try to have things written down that you want to ask about so that you don't forget and so that you can get the best help. Keep a mood journal and write down everything! EVERYTHING...time of day, how you are feeling, how you are sleeping, eating, can you concentrate, are you thinking of self-harm, are things "getting on your nerves" more than usual or more than they should be...just everything. This will be a help not only in your evaluations, but also to you to help maybe know what might be driving your moods and changes.
Just don't try to brush this off, seek help in whatever way you think is best and don't worry about how this might look to others, or bother others, you need to worry about you and only you. Your parents are adults and I'm sure they can handle any upheaval or stress this might cause them and I know they want you to be safe and happy and healthy...that's first and foremost with parents. As I said before, be your own advocate!
Once again Thanx so much for your reply. I do actually keep some sort of mood journal, I done times feel it makes my symptoms seem a bit worse when I pay so much attention to them in order to keep track, but I know it will probably be helpful in an evaluation. I know I'm practically an adult myself but I have a hard time when it comes to speaking up with adults, I kind of end up letting them run the show and then I don't really get what I need. I'm going to try to find someone I can go to before my parents... Any other advice you can offer before? :/ like should I look out for anything specific, like important factors? Thank you so much
The most important advice I can think of when looking for help is TELL THEM EVERYTHING! Don't let them go before you tell them everything. My son tends to tell a little bit to this person, a little bit to that person and we have such a hard time getting the whole story and that has made it harder to help him. He does it on purpose though because he doesn't want anything to change, ever! He would rather suffer than to deal with the problem and change meds or anything. You don't seem like that is you at all...and that's a GOOD thing. The help is out there and it can be very effective. Sometimes though someone is trying to help you and they hear something they think they can address and they stop listening and start trying to help before they get the whole story...do you know what I mean? Just make sure you tell the complete story! That's where your journaling and notes will help you not to leave anything out. I'll be checking in to see how it goes. Good luck!
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