Am I bi-polar? So as I am older now, and have lived with my wife who has anxiety/depression and was diagnosed as borderline bi-polar, she has helped me and I myself have noticed characteristics in myself that have me wondering if I might also suffer from a similar disorder. After all, my mother has a slight case of tourettes and suffers from anxiety and depression, racing thoughts, etc. Here is what I have noticed.
I have always had a self-esteem problem. For some reason when I am in a social situation in a room full of people I do not know, I feel like lesser of a person than everyone else. Like a child almost in a room full of adults. I feel intimidated or outnumbered by others and this at times has given me a significant level of anxiety, which leads to nausea, chills, and all around feeling of being completely out of place. At times I find myself avoiding or finding an excuse to remove myself from these situations altogether which does not make my wife happy. Yet there are periods of times when I feel totally at ease in social situations, and everything is fine, but most of the time it is anxiety. I will confess that during a recent back injury, I was prescribed a limited amount of some pain killers to get me through the pain. Maybe it was me but this painkiller also eliminated all anxiety and withdrawn feelings when in one of these normally uncomfortable social situation. However, I understand that this was simply the opiate in the drug making me feel this way and will by no means be a viable solution to my problem.
I also notice my own bouts of manic episodes. It seems that I am never truly happy unless I have some quest or infatuation to fully dive into. Sometimes it is simply a subject or issues that intrigues me, yet I allow it to consume me in a way that for several days, it will be all I think or talk about. Becoming infatuated with things comes very easily. This has been a big negative when it comes to managing my finances. It seems I thrive on always having my sights set on some new gadget or toy which I feel will fulfill this need of mine. I will research whatever my latest desire is, and constantly think of ways to justify myself purchasing it. And how I will just buy this one last thing and then I will be committed to saving my money. Yet when I do finally obtain this item my fascination sometimes last only several days before I find myself losing interest and wanting to move on to something else. Many times I then look back on what I had purchased and think to myself how I shouldn’t have done that and how I really didn’t need it. I am at the point now I am willing to step forward and recognize this problem fully instead of ignoring it. Obviously living this way and purchasing these items has not brought me the happiness I thought it would.
Lastly, restless leg. Big time. Always noticed it yet never really thought about it. If I’m sitting on the couch at home in evening watching tv, at work sitting at my desk, at a restaurant for dinner, I am shaking or wiggling my ankle at almost all times. I also notice I have a hard time sitting squarely (i.e., both feet on the floor, knees bent at 90 degree angle). I always want to tuck one leg up and sit on it or I wrap my legs up underneath my seat. Sometimes I’ll bounce one leg rapidly on the floor like I am bouncing a baby on my knee. Other times I am just jittering and wiggling my ankles, almost like my feet are having a mini-seizure. I can recognize it and stop it, but once I am focused back on my computer at work or tv etc., I will without knowing it start doing it again.
So yeah, there is my long diatribe of issues. Obviously I am going to go see my regular doctor and see what he has to say. I am just afraid they will put me on a cocktail of prescrips that will make me feel even worse. I watched my wife go through this and it was not fun for her, or me for that matter. I just want to get better control of my life and enjoy it more from a social point of view as well as a financial security point of view. I want to find my true path to happiness as fulfillment in life.