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Bipolar Teen

Question:

I’ve known that I’m not exactly mentally stable for a while but recently I’ve been looking up things online and realized that Bipolar Disorder sounds exactly like what is wrong with me, with the severe depression and manic episodes. I’m 17 and every time I try to talk to my mom about there being something wrong with me, she just thinks I’m either trying to get attention or doesn’t believe it. She won’t take me to a doctor. I was wondering if there was any way to get treatment and medication for being Bipolar without my mother’s involvement? My dad isn’t in the picture and doesn’t have custody of me. I’m just really tired of living like this.

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Answer:

The fact that you are not feeling good points to the fact that you are struggling with something. Whether that is Bipolar Disorder or something else remains to be seen. It is always tempting to self-diagnose but never a good idea. Perhaps you have a bipolar disorder or  major depression, or anxiety disorder or something else but you need to be assessed by a psychologist before it can be said what is wrong and if you need medication.

It is very concerning that your mother dismisses you complaints. Perhaps she is unaware that depression and anxiety are epidemic among teenagers as well as the population as a whole. It is possible that she feels scared by the idea that you are depressed or unhappy.

I am not a lawyer and cannot say whether or not you have a right to see an MD without your mother’s consent or not. My instincts tell me that you are too young. Therefore, your mother will need to know that you are going for help.

A good starting place for you is through your High School guidance department. Make an appointment with your guidance counselor and report what is happening with you and that you know you need help. The counselor can speak to your mom and smooth the way towards getting you help. In addition, the counselor can refer you to the school psychologist who can then take it to the next step.

I fully believe that you are not feeling well and that you need to get help. It is my hope that you are not using drugs or alcohol because those can cause depression and even mood swings similar to a bipolar disorder. In that case the problem would be focused on drugs and alcohol. Either way, drugs or not, you need help.

You could also try speaking to the family medical doctor about what you are feeling. He can also speak to your mother about this. I guess you can tell that it would be a mistake to try to do this behind your mother’s back. There is nothing wrong with the school guidance department or with your medical doctor but, after that, she will have to know, at least until you are 18 years old.

Best of Luck

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