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Teen Bi-Polar?

I'm a sixteen-year-old girl currently going through what I suspect is bi-polar disorder.
I've been starting to form these mood swings for a year or two now. It started off as dramatically increased irritability and over time, increased depression. That was the first year.
Now, it's becoming overwhelming. Within the past months, my emotions seem to be out of whack. I go from sobbing my eyes out to no emotions to happy at least three times a day. It's usually not immediate change though.
The moods themselves have become more extreme.
My depression phase is full of suicidal thoughts and pleas to harm myself. My self-worth floors.
My happy phase is almost hyperactive. I talk more and faster. I feel confident. I am extremely irritable though.
My emotions sometimes are a settled down a bit and I'm able to act normal. But everything seems to set me off into a spell.
I've been in a relationship for this entire time and she was the one who recommended I get help.
My emotions are tearing us apart and I don't blame her. I'm always angry or depressed and when I'm happy and loving, something she does sets me off again. She thinks it's her fault and even feels guilty.
She is really worried about me; especially in the now very very common depression phase. She believes I need to seek out a doctor.
I still see a pediatrician, so, I'm not sure how that would work. I've also been hiding 95% of these problems from my parents. I stay in my room or in the locked bathroom until I'm done with my depression phases. So they would never ever believe me.
Now, we don't have any extra money for these things. I can't afford a therapist or costly medication. We do have some medical insurance but I don't know if these things are covered.
According to everything described above:
*Should I see a doctor?
*How can I see a doctor when I'm still stuck with a pediatrician and unknowing parents?
*Does medical insurance cover bi-polar disorder problems?
*Do you think I have bi-polar disorder or something else? (I'm just going off of medical websites)

I'm sorry for the long post but I wanted you to have all the information.
Thank you so much!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Definitely see a doctor.  Something's not right, whether it's bipolar disorder or something else.

Pediatrician is enough.  You go in, ask for a referral to a psychiatrist, and they will set that up.

It depends on your insurance.  I know most Kaiser plans cover the mental health stuff, too.  After all, it is a physical illness (brain chemical imbalance) despite the fact it's emotional in experience.

You have something.  Self-diagnosis is not something I recommend, but definitely ask for a referral.  Bipolar disorder is overdiagnosed because it's so easy to slap on, especially if you're just a general practitioner as your pediatrician is.  So, definitely ask to be referred to a psychiatrist.  However, it does seem like bipolar disorder is a possibility.  Your mental health intake appointment should involve answering some question sheets with yes or no and the person who does your intake deciding what it's most likely you have.

Take care!  These things can only get worse with time.  It's best to start now and learn healthy coping skills than to wait and have taken up some unhealthy coping skills.  Try to stay around people.  Isolation only worsens depression.
2196504 tn?1351395795
Hi, I know what your dealing with and going through right now makes you feel like you are on your own, any mental illness will make you feel like that.
I have had rapid cycling bipolar disorder and Adhd since I was at least 13 years old. I struggled through my teens without medication, I don't know how I made it through if I'm honest but I did.
As I rapid cycle, my moods change between manic, agitated and depressed around every couple of weeks,  I never knew whether I was coming or going either, from what you wrote your moods are everywhere. I have to point out for the record  that teenage emotions can be very overwhelming and hormones can make you feel depressed, anxious and at times even hyper and overly happy. I am reliably informed of this and just have to point that out as going through my teenage with rapid cycling bipolar was anything but normal.
The symptoms you describe certainly sound like they need further investigation even if it's to eliminate bipolar disorder.
About your parents, could you maybe give telling them what's going on another go? My mum was no help with understanding my illness and I'll be honest with you she still doesn't. I came to terms with that along time ago,  I won't claim all parents are able to understand but I do think it can be difficult for someone who doesn't have a mental illness to really understand and parents can feel helpless when watching their children struggle with  mental illness and don't know where to start or what to say.  My eldest son who is 16 was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my youngest son has Adhd, With having an illness myself I guess I have an advantage most parents don't. I have the advantage of knowing what my kids are going through because I've grown up with a mental illness myself.  Don't write your parents off yet, please consider approaching them again, I'm sure they would want to give you any support they can,  I would anyway! :-)
If not, is there another family member you trust and feel you could talk to?   I was lucky I had an aunt I could speak to though I still never fully opened up,  which looking back I regret. Speaking is very underrated in my opinion but it gives you a platform to not only voice your worries but it can help you work a problem through,  You can take what seems an impossible problem and break it down into manageable pieces, if you can do nothing else please keep talking, parents, a friend , even  here if you need to we are always here if you need to talks. I wish I'd known that years ago. This one I can't comment on because I live in the UK and do not know much about  care system but as advised a pediatrician is a good place to start. They should at least be able to assess whether you need a psychiatrists input. Take one step at a time, looking at the whole picture is obviously overwhelming you at the moment,  try to look at one step at a time, manageable pieces. ;-D
Take care,  good luck and if you ever want a chat you can find me or someone else.
Avatar universal
Yes, this is classic Bi-Polar, however, you should not self-diagnose. You need to talk to your pediatrician. He will refer you to an appropriate mental-health professional. Your parents insurance will cover these intial meetings with a therapist, your medications (if they are prescribed), and most further appointments with your therapist. You will probably have to pay a co-pay of $20-30 for each visit and refill of your medication. Don't waste time trying to diagnose yourself, this is probably bi-polar or some combination of depression/anxiety and you need to seek professional help. Once again, talk to your pediatrician, he will refer you to an appropriate mental-health professional. And for god sake talk to your parents, they need to know how you're feeling.
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