Am I Bipolar?

by jana duffy
(liverpool, england)

i have for sometime started at first mind buzzing, couldn't sleep wanting to go out all the time writing down strange things that make sense at the time, then getting no sleep, then just going into crying fits and sleeping all day not wanting to move, not showering, hating myself, a burden to others, self harming, wanting to hang myself, think i am going to swallow my tongue when i do sleep, taking coke and smoking weed or drinking to make me feel a bit normal; I got manic once wrote on the walls with sauce "f.b.i" because i thought they were trying to control the weather. My husband wants to get me help but i tell him i will leave if he does, am scared.

Ben's Answer:

Jana - you seem to be pretty aware of how delusional you can get. This is a sign of a significant problem. Bipolar disorder is certainly a strong possibility, but other things can cause these same symptoms. One of the clear symptoms of mania (with or without delusions) is a decreased need for sleep, high energy and racing thoughts - usually lasting days or weeks at a time. But some people have rapid cycling, even up and down within a day. All of the symptoms you describe are pretty typical of Bipolar Disorder, but you really need a professional evaluation to know for sure.

If you are using coke, weed and alcohol, then it makes it nearly impossible for a professional to make a definite diagnosis. The effects of cocaine can create a manic-like state even in someone without bipolar disorder. And this could cause delusions and paranoia as well. It can also cause mood swings and depression. For some people, pot can also cause paranoia.

Your husband is right to want to get you some help. Why risk losing both your marriage and your mental health? Would seeing a mental health professional be more scary than thinking that the FBI is trying to control the weather?

I'd suggest at least seeing a therapist/counselor - just to have someone to talk to confidentially to help you sort things out. Then you can decide if you need something more.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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