I’m taking an antidepressant in the morning and evening, but I still have severe mood swings and irritability. I can go from feeling “normal” to being irritable in a matter of seconds, days that I’m oversensitive to other people’s statements and then the low mood starts again. I alter between being very productive, grandiose ideas and multi-tasking to slow reaction time, foggy head, forgetfulness, low motivation and little self-confidence. I have had my boss and husband comment about me being on mars and then coming back to mother earth and I sometimes completely lose track of time. My mother also was diagnosed with Bipolar I and writing everything down it makes me more aware that I have symptoms of Bipolar disorder.
My handwriting also changes from time to time and wonder if anybody else might have experienced the same? I know it is time to get an educated answer and help but is there something holding me back in doing so?
**DISCLAIMER – WE ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND CAN NOT GIVE A DIAGNOSIS**
DO I HAVE A BIPOLAR DISORDER?
Statistically, if one parent has a bipolar disorder, there is a 30% probability that you may have the disorder as well. (This can only be determined by a medical professional!)
Your description of having mood swings which range from a spectrum of “grandiose ideas and multi-tasking” to “low motivation and self-confidence” are similar to how one might describe the bipolar highs of mania and lows of depression. If your family is noticing unusual changes in your mood, as you describe, it may be a good time to check in with your primary care provider and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist.
Because here’s what happens if you do nothing. You continue your sporadic, unexpected behavior. Your family and colleagues view you as unpredictable and not present in the moment. Nagging thoughts persist. Do I have bipolar disorder like my mother, am I depressed? Or am I just moody and daydream a lot? What if there’s something really wrong with me?
Knowledge is power. A simple assessment appointment can give you the answers to these questions and help you learn about yourself. This type of appointment is nothing to be fearful of, it’s simply a matter of describing to a professional what you are feeling, symptoms, and thoughts, and explaining your family history. A psychiatrist will also want to know of any medications you are currently taking. This is critical for bipolar disorder, as the wrong medications can launch us into mania, increase depression or cause suicidal thoughts.
The good news is that if you should happen to be diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, and given an effective medication regimen, you will not be experiencing your symptoms of high irritability, over-sensitivity, and it should help you become more focused. Add to this a commitment to therapy to learn coping skills for when these issues do try to come back (and they will) you will be prepared to address them in a healthy manner. Therapy is where you may want to bring up the changes in your handwriting and discuss possible reasons why this might occur. And for insurance–eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep. Everyone deserves a happy, healthy life. Go ahead, take that first step to claim yours!
Wishing you the very best of good mental health–Dori