hi all,

i am a 22 year old male and i have suffered with periods of depression that last between 2 weeks and up to 9 months at a time for most of my life. i tend to get a maximum of about 3 months of up time between depressive periods. just over a year ago i wasnt feeling down but i just didnt feel right. i started to learn about mental health and did a pretty thorough online diagnosis questionnaire that said i had a good chance of being bipolar. i then read more into it and got a little anxious that i may be bipolar. i spoke to my girlfriend and my mum who i had expected to say stop being silly your fine but instead they both said they had had conversations with friends and family about whether or not i am bipolar (both have experience of people with bipolar) and that i should go to my gp to discuss it. i spoke to my gp who reffered me for a mental health assesment. i really didnt like the assesment and didnt feel listened to. it felt like i was told off for "wanting bipolar" (which i dont, i just want to understand the way i feel whatever diagnosis that may be) and it also felt that i was being told off for previous drug abuse. he said the fact that i have a job means i cant be bipolar as people with bipolar cannot function in society and diagnosed me unipolar. the whole experience made me not ever want to see a doctor again. i decided not to get too hung up on a diagnosis and concentrate on adressing my symptoms that were problems for me. i looked into how CBT works and sort of did this type of therapy with myself for the next few months.

well basically i knew i was going to crash again since about december but about a month ago i started having these waves of severe depression that would just hit me like a train, last for about 10 to 30 minutes and then completely pass and i wouldnt feel low at all, and i mean AT ALL. this made me feel really anxious as i never really knew how i was going to feel. this went on for about a week before i went into what i believe to be an aggrevated depression (depressive period with racing thoughts, irritability, paranoia, guilt, not eating not sleeping etc…) this got quite extreme and in the end after speaking with my mum i arranged to go to my gp. at this point i really was in what i consider to be an extreme state of mind (hearing chattering/whispering that is not there). i have been referred for another mental health assesment under a different PCT and have been put onto 10mg Escitalopram daily (Cipralex)

the Escitalopram lifted alot of the depression within 24hours and i suffered with most of the physical side effects for the first two weeks (still am to some degree) but mostly i noticed that i feel like i am on speed the whole time, feel very "rushy" and it has made the racing thoughts almost unbearable. to the point where i am talking out loud saying please just stop and wanting to punch myself in the head. i have also become more paranoid and agrophobic and feel spaced out and dreamy instead of depressed although i can feel the depression in the morning and sometimes in the evening but it is controllable. for the first week i felt invincible and still kinda do. i find it even harder to go to sleep now and tend to wake up at 4 or 5ish am and be completely awake cannot sleep. i am also not eating very much now as i always seem to busy wrestling with my thoughts to go and sort out a meal. i am experiencing similar problems with making sure i wash every day.

– when i was six my mum found me banging my head off the wall saying i want to kill myself (although i had no idea about the concept of suicide) i have felt suicidal regularly throuout my life
– when i was in nursery and early primary school i would start "daydreaming" and the teachers would snap there fingers infront of my face and try to get my attention to no avail. then i would kinda snap out of it.
– i would get extremely frustrated through boredom and get very hyperactive (not allowed colours or suger etc… as would set me off really badly)
– started self harming and stopped when 12, at this point i started councelling which was very effective and went on for the next 5 years
– drug abuse from 13/14 to about a year ago including cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, various other pills/amphetamines. used cocaine heavily for 2 years (over a gram a day) but stopped this 18months ago and will not be doing it again. still smoke cannabis.
– do not drink on a regular basis
– at 14 i went through a depressed period where i barely left the house for 9 months.
– i have a very obsessive personality and i need something to generally obcess over at a time
– i have experienced visual hallucinations once, audible hallucinations on a few occasions and felt myself touched by something that wasnt there on one occasion. none of these were drug induced. i only get this if i am feeling very stressed and tends to be when in a depressive period.
– i have obsessive compultions (pull a

It sounds a lot like bipolar to me – I have a bipolar NOS diagnosis, but I dunno why the doc put down that thru the years – it's pretty clearly bipolar 2- the only full blown mania I got was on antidepressants, otherwise only hypomanias. Anxiety disorders often run along with bipolar, so my current doc doesn't even put down an anxiety disorder – just says it's part of the bipolar, and puts in my chart that I have been having anxiety problems. in my case, I'm anxious about nothing at all so cognitive therapy is useless – there are no thoughts causing the anxiety. I find exercise cuts the anxiety more than anything, and hot baths can help a lot, too. i sit in the hot bath for an hour with a novel. If you are getting racing thoughts, you probably can't read a novel, but maybe you can read short articles about favorite subjects, like in a magazine. Sounds like the meds are making you manic. I was able to work until I was almost 30 and I had severe bouts of recurring depression from age 16 or so, with hypomanias, and a full blown mania at maybe 28? but the docs didn't figure out it was mania even tho I only slept one or two hours a night for many months, because there was depression at the same time (mixed moods). I wasn't euphoric. I did have grandiose thinking, but some of it was really negative – I had a good laugh about that with my psychiatrist about that after I got discharged from the hospital – he asked why I was on an antipsychotic now, and i told him because I thought I was the antichrist, and he asked why I didn't tell him that? and I said I thought he knew! I thought it was obvious, that everyone knew.

Anyhow, I think you need another opinion, and you need to call your doc and let him/her know you are having racing thoughts, sleep issues etc. on the antidepressant, so you can taper off of it. you should be seeing a psychiatrist, not a general family doc.

all the best to you. try not to stay up all night – if you push it, you could go into full blown mania, if that is what is going on, and you don't want that. try to stay away from too much stimulation – avoid new hobbies, businesses, etc – that will amp up the mania, and you may spend all your money, money you need. and don't get into any new sexual relationships right now either – bad timing – bipolar mania really increases your sex drive, and you can get into trouble. you may have to turn over the car keys and wallet to your mom or dad temporarily if you get worse, just to keep you from impulsively getting into trouble.

although i can't answer as well as everyone
you know if something is wrong with you
take the proper steps to help yourself

WELL..U did tell us your story in NOVEL BOOK form , didn't U?
Sorry..not a criticism..Actually I DO quite understand. U said a Lot, Rambled on about this and that.. IS rambling..DON'T be so concerned I just said THAT >>rambling.
U have Chronic OCD and I am TOTALLY convinced of THAT, even though, I cannot see U.
Your words are just too convincing..and it would take a Rhodes Scholar to fool me with the contents of your question and then I doubt that, some.
I want U to FULLY understand that U are NOT, repeat NOT..Bipolar. regardless of what ANYONE says or tells U.
Some of the things U said,, particularly on self-harming DO relate to another mental Illness. however, in YOUR case, I would put it down to FRUSTRATION and the REAL dilemma U have of not just the OCD, but that vicious ANXIETY that comes with OCD.
Your OCD is so Chronic..U will do just about "anything" to appease it. Because IF U don't..U are SCARED..real scared, of something bad happening to U. >>arn't U ?????
THE Escitalopram may well have played a role in the feelings U have about being "spaced out"
Yes, I fully realise u mentioned other ""medications???""
The Combination of CHRONIC OCD and CHRONIC Anxiety IS I feel, the main factors for ALL your
Feelings..,your reactions..and your NEED to express yourself so lengthy on Q&a..U are trying so hard to get your message across to us, that to some people U may, with what U stated in the questions contents, APPEAR to be just "Raving on" OR is all U are saying REAL or >>untrue.
Yes, sorry, many may well read your question and just pass it over and NOT bother replying to it, as they form an Opinion of U, without REALLY knowing the REAL problem U DO have.
Go back to the DR. get a Referral to a Psychologist if U can..NOT, repeat NOT, a Therapist.
A Psychologist is not the same as a therapist and is much more experienced in dealing with OCD and Anxiety problems and they CAN be extremely helpful.(even a Psychaitrist)
NOW, depending on where U are..all this may reply on Insurance, a health
IF this IS a problem..Email me IF U WANT to and I will Email U back advising on OCD/Anxiety.
BUT, it will take a FEW Emails..SO, do that ONLY if u want ….I dont want your time wasted or mine on a simple Enquiry..WE/U want REAL "problem" healing..Not a trivial Chat.
NOW< I must end this answer before I get accused of "raving on"

You are entitled to ask for another opinion.

Dear Heart. do not, please, give up on the therapist. Give them time to work with you. Be completely open and honest with what you are feeling and thinking. the medication. They may have to look into making changes with that since you are having the kind of side affects you are describing.

I will vehemently disagree with the first therapist about you having a job would mean you couldn't possibly be bipolar, because bipolar people can not work at a job. that is total rubbish. I had a dear friend who was definitely bipolar and she worked. She had to work and she held some great jobs….It might make it harder to cope with people. but it is NOT impossible to hold down a job and also have bipolar disorder.

Hang in there with the therapist. we all are works in progress. some just more so than others. It may take time to see a light at the end… but you can and will get there by working at it.

I am the type of person who didn't accept what people who had higher education than me, and of course I challenged their intelligence. I found out what is the true culprit of the condition that causes mental health issue. As a matter of fact, they even tried to lock me up and through away the key. Why? Because I told them their doctors at Yale New Haven sucked and they were less than diligent or accurate when it came to actual diagnosis.

I have suffered the physical definitions of schizophrenia, just as you seem to have, and genetically proved what was slowly killing my brain in an auto immune attack known to have schizophrenic result.

The word you need and that will come up on spell check is "Celiac sprue" google it. Read these definitions and then read about schizophrenia.

When I actually did outdiagnose Yale New Haven Hospital who tried to lock me up, needless to say, they were unhappy. How did I do this? with the only thing that makes more sense than a doctor who refuses these tests as real and affordable; medical science found through genetic testing. I hold the genetic marker of the gluten intolerant.

I suggest you figure out what gluten intolerance is before you go down the road that states the only cure for your problem is their life long intervention which may but most likely will never go away. Especially if their child's college degree relies on you seeking treatment for a simple dietary screw up.

Go gluten fee young Luke Skywalker and email me. my emails are open and my services are currently free. Combine proper exersize with proper diet, would totally wipe out this lazy and greedy profession called pharmaceutical intervention.

My first thing is to say do not move forward until you have been genetically tested for the HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8 genetic modifiers of the gluten intolerant. It is big in England and you are most definately suffering from it, as was I.

I was suffering the same thing, I have found my way home and it never came in a pill.

When I read most of your question it pretty much all sounded like me. Now, I have ADHD & Bipolar Disorder 2. the thing that is throwing me off is some of the obsessive compulsive things you do but a lot of people with Bipolar Disorder have those traits too. all I can say is you need help & now. I'm not putting you down understand because I have gone through a lot of this stuff & still do. Make an appt. with a psychiatrist & not a "GP" or nurse they don't have enough experience with all this stuff you just wrote. It's the first step. good luck.

First, a person can be bipolar and capable of holding a job. I have held jobs briefly in the past. I am bipolar, but I cannot hold a job for long. however, a job coach at the local clinic in Rockford, IL is bipolar and perfectly capable of being employed long-term. If you are told someone cannot hold a job because of bipolar in general, then you were given incorrect information.

As with the first answer, please seek a second opinion. there is some in the psychology field who believe that bipolar is over diagnosed. I had to face one of these psychiatrists. he was an idiot, but he believed I was bipolar by the end of the evaluation.

General Practitioners are not psychiatrists. It would be like going to an oncologist (cancer) instead of a cardiologist (heart.) please seek a professional psychiatric evaluation. If the psychiatrist does not ask about ALL your difficulties and treat you with respect, ask a different psychiatrist. (I have problems at the local clinic.)

I went until I was 27 years old without a formal diagnosis. I had to hit bottom before it was realized. I don't want anyone else going through that.

Some notes. whether bipolar or not, I am not a professional and cannot diagnosis. however, you sound like you definitely have something more then unipolar/depression going on. in fact, some of this sounds very familiar. Given that I am bipolar, I do know the condition. however, there are other problems that can cause these symptoms. but they are psychological problems and not depression.

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