“A doctor told me I was bipolar once, but….”
“I didn’t believe him and I didn’t want to be bipolar, so I ignored him”
In the meantime this person continued to be an addict and many years later he is just starting his rehab. better late than never but imagine if he had just accepted the diagnosis years ago.
While I will be the first to admit that MANY doctors are often wrong about their diagnoses, especially when it comes to psychiatric diagnoses, but they are usually wrong when they MISS the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
So, as a rule, if a doctor tells you that you are bipolar–then you probably ARE.
Approximately 80 percent of bipolar patients are chronic substance abusers and so it is never a walk too far out on a limb to suspect that an addict is bipolar. there is no harm in treating a patient who is presumed to be bipolar with medications that are indicated for this disorder. However the corollary is not true. Treating a patient who is indeed bipolar with medications indicated for patients who are not can be catastrophic. In that situation a patients risk of sucidality increases exponentially.
How do you know if you are Bipolar. It is actually quite simple. Look for these 5 simple signs. First, remember that your genes don’t fall far from the tree. If you have a family member (parent, grandparent, sibling) with bipolar disorder or substance abuse then you are 10 times more likely to be bipolar. Second, if your symptoms of depression, anxiety or substance abuse start before the age of 21 or if your depression is seasonal or if you had postpartum depression then you are more likely to be bipolar. Third, if you took an antidepressant and it made you anxious or game you insomnia then you might be bipolar. Third, if you ever experienced mania then you are bipolar. Lastly, if you have what are know as associated symptoms then you are more likely bipolar. Associated symptoms are behaviors that people exhibit that make “normal’ people nervous. Things like high risk behavior, multiple marriages, jobs, legal issues, etc.
Being bipolar is only a bad thing if it goes undiagnosed and untreated. Bipolar patients are patient who have trouble lives and live in disturbed worlds and that trickles over to the lives of those that they touch. Don’t avoid treatment symply because of the condition. That won’t make it go away. Face it head on. Get the right treatment. take your life back