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Bipolar Disorder/Bipolar, second opinion


I have asked this previously but I just wanted a second opinion, I hope you don't mind.

19 - Male.
I believe that I have been suffering with depression 'on and off' throughout most of my life. I've never once been to the doctors about it, I don't know why, but I hate the thought of talking to someone about it. The only time I have ever truly discussed it with anyone, was when I was a small child (11 - 13yrs). I used to refer to, what I now believe was depression, as the "horrible feeling". When I was a child, this horrible feeling was an un explainable feeling I would get at night (only at night). I would feel incredibly guilty and terrified about the future (losing my parents, and the thought of me dying of old age terrified me) - I would cry on the nights that the 'horrible feeling' occurred and would quite often end up trashing my room or start acting erratically, I think this was an attempt of distracting me from this 'horrible feeling'. I hid how bad this feeling was, by only discussing the feeling now and again with my parents (I never truly told them how bad it was, again I don't know why). The only thing that eventually stopped me from having this 'horrible feeling' was reading. I would religiously read a book every night, until I was too tired to have this 'feeling'.

I then believe that my depression returned when I was 14-15, I would feel incredibly guilty, I would find things, that didn't usually upset me,  very upsetting, I would have regular panic attacks and I was just a state. It was my father who told me that he thought I had depression (that's when I joined the dots and realised that this is how I felt as a child, this is what I used to call the 'horrible feeling'). My constant depressive 'state' started to ware off after a few months but it never fully went. Going forward I would become depressed at random times during the years. My friends used to refer to these periods of times as my 'disappearances', as I would completely drop off the radar. I never told them why.

Since then, my condition has both got much better and much worse. I'm very rarely constantly depressed however, I am up and down like a yoyo.

These 'ups and downs' have only become more noticeable over the past 12-16 months and more recently, hence why I am posting this, the differences between the ups and downs have become quite frightening. Previous to the past few months, I was having periods of approximately 1 month being positive and then 1 month of being very, very negative.

Until recently, the times where I was positive were times where I felt 'normal', I would be outgoing, talkative, productive at work etc.. Etc.. As for the periods of time where I was negative, I would be very very low. Lonely, guilty, hopeless, just in a terrible state.

I am writing all of this today because for the past month I have felt amazing, I have been overly positive about everything. For some reason, I have been seeing everything in a different light and I have been looking for the positive in everything. I have been both hugely productive in college and work and I have been much more enthusiastic about life in general. I know it sounds strange but this frightens me. It does not feel like a natural positivity, I feel like I'm seeing everything in a different light, until now. What made me write all of this is that tonight, once again, I feel myself going downhill. I feel lonely, I've been crying and my positive outlook has completely disappeared. So now I'm pretty sure I'm going to have another month of feeling very very low until all of a sudden, I wake up happy again.

I'm now starting to get really concerned, as the differences between these up and down periods, appear to be getting more and more significant. Previously it was just feeling 'normal' to then feeling really really low but now it's going from feeling ecstatic to feeling really really low..

When I read up on the symptoms of bipolar, I struggle to find one that I don't have, but I hate self diagnosing myself, as I'm never too sure. So, I'm hoping you, can give me some guidance, advice or opinion on what it is that's wrong with me, if that's ok.. As I'm really starting to get worried.

Thank you for your time.

Unfortunately I can really only suggest that you make an appointment to see a mental health professional to have them evaluate you and if appropriate diagnose and treat.

Whether or not you have a mental illness, at 19 you no doubt have quite a few decades of life to experience and enjoy! Should there be a diagnosis made in the future it will be far better to have it treated sooner rather than later and stick to a treatment program consistently for the optimal outcome. I have been in the position of seeking diagnosis and know from experience about staying on my meds. Another major factor that makes a huge difference in overall outcome is maintaining relationships with family and friends - a support network. Is it always easy? No. But life never is, something we learn over the years - or at least I've learned this. If you have depression or bipolar disorder, it's an illness and can be treated. Problems and difficulties can be worked through with counseling. We simply need to be willing to seek help and take the necessary steps to get it.  

Bipolar Disorder

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I am available to answer questions of a general nature about bipolar disorder, provide online resources that address bipolar disorder in a more in-depth manner and sources to serve as a starting point for those looking for substantial information on the illness from a healthcare professional approach. I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist, my background is based in personal experience and extensive reading in my own process of understanding my diagnosis. I can also take questions that deal with the social issues surrounding bipolar disorder such as relationships; coping for family, friends, and the patient; marriage, choosing to start a family and related. Answers to questions of a legal nature will provide general information but anyone with a serious legal problem should consult an attorney licensed to practice in their jurisdiction.


I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type II in 2000; as a SSI beneficiary, have experience and knowledge of the limitations and processes involved with the program; I understand the moods, the feelings, the worries, the doubts, and a lot more that there's not enough room to express - from the personal experiences of being bipolar. I have first-hand experience with the challenges of returning to college following hospitalizations and various combinations of medications that were tried before my doctor and I finally arrived at the most effective medication program for my treatment. My family and I have learned so much about each other in the process of dealing with the highs and lows that followed my diagnosis. I've had relationships with someone who also is bipolar and someone that is not - romantic relationships are no easier on either side! I feel that many of the ideas and beliefs that people have regarding bipolar disorder and those who have the condition promote the continuation of social stigmas associated with mental illness in general, and after learning from others with bipolar disorder, hope to guide others who may be trying to navigate the government health care system,& share information on other possible means of obtaining assistance with the cost of medications and/or mental health services and limited financial assistance programs for meeting basic living expenses for qualified individuals, dealing with problems from or with family & loved ones, co-occurring substance abuse problems, medications and side-effects (and when it feels like nothing will work, or why it's not helping the situation to ask whether or not a patient has taken their 'meds' when they seem hostile or moody to those around them).

I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts and will earn my J.D. upon completion of the Spring 2011 term after which I will be preparing to take the multi-state bar exam.

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