I Think I’m Bipolar

I’m 13 years old and I think I have bipolar disorder. At school often fluctuate between feeling happy or sad. When I’m happy, I feel like I can’t stop talking and I hate it when people interrupt me even more and I get mad at them. I don’t think about what I’m going to say in social situations. Sometimes I can’t stop laughing. Half of the time I’m ridiculously impatient. Two teachers I’ve ever had has not gotten mad at me for talking to much or speaking out of turn. Mostly talking to much. A lot of the people in my classes hate me (I know because a friend told me) and one even asked if I have ADHD and told me to get on meds. When I feel depressed, my friends can normally cheer me up. Most of the time, I feel like I can’t work and procrastinate a lot. I especially procrastinate on huge projects. I feel worthless and like everyone hates me. I’ll exaggerate the look of how I’m feeling sometimes just to see if anyone cares enough to notice. I think about impossible, violent, or occasionally suicidal thoughts. The suicide thoughts don’t last very long though. I can be very easily distracted. Other times I can concentrate pretty well and actually keep other people on track. At home I’m more of an introvert. My mom gets mad at me a lot, mostly for arguing with her or talking back. I rather stay up in my room then deal with my family.

At times I get overwhelmed and start to cry even if the argument is not that bad. My brain seems to just go into overload and it’s like I get stuck in negative thoughts. I’m very irritable a lot more than normal lately and certain, sometimes little, things can annoy me a ton. It can seem that I have two different personalities at times if you compare the at school me to the at home me in my opinion. I heard about bipolar disorder on one of my favorite tv shows and looked it up. It reminded me of me so I started checking symptoms of how I feel on WebMD. As I entered symptoms, one of the top results was bipolar disorder. Can you help me and give me an opinion on whether you think I have it? If you think I do, how do I tell my doctor or parents? An opinion or two is all I want.

We get this question often, asking if we think someone is bipolar. Unfortunately, we aren’t medical professionals and can’t make the call for you. Only a doctor can. And if you do think you may have bipolar I HIGHLY urge you to seek professional help.

With that said …

Oh how I remember being 13 and feeling SOOOO many of those things. I’d spend hours in my closet crying over the tiniest things. I was convinced everyone hated me … which they probably did because I treated them all like they hated me. Looking back, now … I doubt the did to begin with. I just didn’t really believe I was worth being liked. I had a few friends, but they were always hard to keep.

I’m not going to lie, much of what you are going through is typical for a 13 year old … which is exactly why many teenagers are misdiagnosed. Hormones can mask just about everything. Stupid Hormones!

Here is my advice to you, love. Talk to your parents, which ever one you feel most comfortable with. Tell them your concerns and be specific about how you have been feeling. I know it can be frightening, as I hid my symptoms from my parents for as long as I could, but telling them now is the best thing you can do. You can also bring it up with your doctor at any point. Just throw it out there. Say, “I’ve been having really peculiar mood swings and I don’t notice any of my other friends having those problems.” then also make sure to tell him/her the extent of these swings, just as you have in this email, also telling the doctor what you do to cope with the highs and lows.

Regardless of whether or not it is bipolar, these things should never be ignored, especially depression. Please Please Please speak with an adult whom you trust about these things. And if you need to, email me back. I am always willing to lend a helping ear (or eye in the case of email!).

Good luck and please remember to take care of yourself!!!!

<3 hugs <3

2 thoughts on “I Think I’m Bipolar

  1. Hi, I’m 44 and let me say there are 2 hardest things to do in life –
    Be a teenager with mental health issues and Be a parent of a teenager with mental health issues. I’d just like to continue on from what Marybeth has said.

    I pretty much knew from the time I was 16 that I was manic (what bipolar used to be called), so let me start at the beginning.

    – I was seriously abused as a child but it lessened off when I was 13 after we left the cause of the abuse, after that all of my increasing mood swings were put down to that and being a ‘normal’ teen, I didn’t know at the time that anyone knew about the abuse, but I knew it was more. I begged silently for help, usually in the form of writing letters to the people who hurt me (I couldn’t VOICE how I felt), sneaking alcohol (self-medicating) and suicide attempts. I even had one Phsycologist tell me that I had only done it to get attention (Well DOH, I needed HELP) I held down a few jobs but not for long because I would swing too far to be reliable, I turned to volunteering where if I had a bad day I wasn’t letting anyone down where they were grateful for whatever time I could give. I did that for 26 years !!

    I was diagnoised with Post Natal Depression when my daughter was 6 weeks old and was told to ‘Go home and sleep it off’… By the time my son was 18 mths old, nearly 3 years later, I was hitting him if he didn’t go to sleep when I wanted him to! I found someone to listen, went to a support group where I ended up looking after everyone else. FAIL!

    After that I had years of severe depression that manifested into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that lasted over 10 years until finally, at 37, I had a ‘Nervous Breakdown’, a severe episode of Bipolar. It was the BEST day of my life!! I was finally diagnoised as having Bipolar Disorder II, medication was started, sorted and stabalised. I now work in Aged Care and am LOVING life every single day!

    I’m not telling you this to bore you, though you have probably gone to sleep by now 🙂 I am telling you that it can be a very long journey with many dangers but it is worth the fight.

    My suggestion would be – Keep a diary of your moods and the duration, triggers for Great happiness, Great sadness, duration of those times and any moods, feelings, thoughts, etc. in between. Print out what you have written here and show it and the diary to the parent (or even aunt, uncle or grandparent) you choose to confide in. Do the online survey on http://www.beyondblue.org.au, print the results, take that, your diary and your chosen adult to your doctor. Expect people to say it’s just a normal part of being a teenager.

    NEVER give up the fight to get help!

  2. I just want to make sure you talk to someone- your parents, a friends parents, a teacher, school counselor or your doctor. I am not bipolar but my 16 year old daughter is. She confided in her father and I two years ago that she “needed help” and that started the process of getting her diagnosed and getting her the help she needed. It was not easy and I REALLY wanted to attribute all her symptoms to teenage hormones- but I learned that I wasn’t feeling what she was and I had to listen to her. She was actually very patient with us but kept insisting that things were not ok with her. She had reached a very deep, suicidal depression. Now- two years later she is doing much better and planning on college next year.

    So- I hope that you have an adult that will listen and you can start the process of figuring out what is going on with you but continue to educate yourself. I hope that is is just teenage hormones for you- but don’t take the chance- ask for help like my daughter did.

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