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Bipolar Or Just Moody?

Question:

I’m 27, and I’ve just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a therapist at my school, and a psychiatrist in private practice. I know I have intense and periodic highs and lows, but I’m wondering if I might be misdiagnosed. I am feeling very confused about the whole thing now. I just told my family and my husband’s family, and they haven’t received it well. They say that I’m imagining it, that I’ve been overly stressed lately, and that I’m biased since I work in the mental health field (I’m a social work intern). I know what I feel…from being wired, having racing thoughts, distracted by colors and textures, feeling powerful and invincible…to feeling deeply suicidal, worthless, hopeless, etc…but I’m wondering, what if they’re right? What if I’m making a big deal out of everything? Wouldn’t that be incredibly stupid? Could something else explain what I’ve been feeling, like stress, or anxiety? I know I’m moody, and have been having more severe ups and downs for several years now…but is there something else that explains this? Please help. Thanks.

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

There is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion or even a third opinion if you are not satisfied with the first two. Present your symptoms as accurately as possible. Make sure you do not over-emphasize the symptoms that correlate with bipolar disorder. I am not a psychologist, but your symptoms do concern me. If left untreated, bipolar disorder tends to worsen, and the person can experience episodes of full-fledged mania and clinical depression. Trust the professionals, and let them treat you accordingly. Sincerely, – Anne

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