Self Diagnosing. Am I Bipolar?

by Travis

When things don't go all together my way between my girlfriend and myself, I pick a fight usually over mundane details... and hold onto it for a day or two. I love her and want to be with her always. I just seem to be picking more and more fights. I don't know what comes over me. Why am I doing this? It's things I know she didn't do to specifically hurt me. Or sometimes I just make them up. Am I semi-subconsciously trying to ruin this relationship? I don't think so. We have been together for almost a year. One problem I think feeds this, is she lives 75 miles away... so we don't see each other every day. But I am really trying to diagnose what's wrong with me. I have several symptoms of Bipolar disorder. Except I have never sought help. I have a job which requires a clean mental health. Can you point me in a direction to look... or something I can read that will tell me why I behave so childishly and selfishly. And maybe some early warning signs that things might get too bad, where I might do something that cant be undone. Also I am not suicidal. I know that's prevalent for those with Bipolar. Please help. Thanks in advance.

Ben's Answer:

Bipolar Disorder is not always easy to diagnose. Even doctors, therapists and psychiatrists can get it wrong - diagnosing positive when it's actually something else, or not diagnosing when Bipolar is actually there. It takes an average of more than 10 years before most people come to an accurate diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.

To start with I would recommend the online Bipolar Test on this site. It will at least give an impression, which you can then take to a therapist or psychiatrist, if you want to go that route.

The pattern in your relationship is one that can be caused by lots of things besides Bipolar Disorder. The most common being old, unresolved family relationship issues or traumas getting repeated or triggered with you girlfriend (unconsciously).

Couples therapy can be a huge help in figuring all that out. If you are aware of any past emotional issues or parental issues that may be unresolved, and are getting projected onto your girlfriend - then you could probably benefit from doing Meridian Tapping/EFT.

With Bipolar Disorder, some of the most common symptoms of hypomania or mania, are high energy, poor sleep, racing thoughts, grandiose thoughts, intensified sex drive, increased risk-taking behaviors, and at the extreme - hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thoughts.

Nothing in what you've mentioned really sounds like a red flag for Bipolar.

A good general book on Bipolar Disorder is called the Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, by David Michlowitz, Phd.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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