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I'm new and this is going to be a very, very long post.

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Well... I haven't officially been diagnosed with anything, mostly because every time I try to drag my sorry arse to the doctor's I have a panic attack and throw up. Very useful. I think I'm hoping typing some of this out will help me collect my thoughts enough that I don't vomit all over the NHS's pristine floor.

For the last few years I've been having mood swings that have been getting progressively worse. It's definitely escalated since I was raped early last year, to the point where I'm having hallucinations and not sleeping properly for weeks at a time. The trouble is that somehow I've convinced myself that having hallucinations is perfectly normal. Of course I know it's not, but it's very hard to argue against your mind when it's yelling 'it's okay to see the face of the guy who raped you appearing on every damn person you see! It's okay that you smell the perfume you were wearing that night even when nobody else is around! It's all completely normal, nothing to worry about!'.

So far as moods are concerned I've been up and down for quite a few years, but it's only in the last year or so that the weirder stuff- the hallucinations, panic attacks and stupid behaviour- has popped up. I'm finding all pretty exhausting, especially since I started university last year. The trouble is that I know, really do know, that avoiding getting treatment is quite dangerous- manic depression runs in my family, and has led to quite a few deaths- but I just can't admit to myself that there's something really wrong. I'm so good at covering up and pretending that I don't think my friends have realised quite how bad it's got. I do things when I'm manic (or whatever else I should call it) that I'm genuinely ashamed of when I'm back to normal, and downright distraught over when I'm depressed. I had an affair with a married man early this year- that's not me, and it's not something I ever thought I'd do. My sex drive just shoots through the roof during my 'up' times. I also tend to stay up for very long amounts of time because I get obsessed with an activity. For a while it was poetry (in massive amounts), then baking, then sewing. Spending money I don't have is pretty much a given (thanks very much to whoever invented the student overdraft).

See, reading back through this it seems pretty bad. But right now I don't feel that bad. I actually feel great. Which deep down does worry me (especially since I crashed pretty hard about a month ago, but seem to be on the up again now). But going to the doctor just doesn't seem... feasible? Also I don't have much of a support system- while I've got a lot of close friends, I'm not the sort of person who asks for help. I give help, and I support my friends, but when it comes to my own problems black humour is most definitely the name of the game. I don't have relationships (which is an even longer and an even more bitter story). I'm not close to my family, at all. Besides which my mother doesn't believe in stress, depression or relationships, my sister has a borderline personality disorder and my brother's pretty autistic. While my closest friends know some of this, there's not a lot they can do while I feel so incapable of going to the doctor. I think I feel they won't take me seriously, maybe because they haven't in the past when I went with a strange glandular condition wich they couldn't diagnose. I feel like they'll just laugh me out of there, which is, possibly, a pretty ridiculous thing to think.

This has taken me about two hours to type because I keep getting distracted by stuff, so it's probably a little bit disjointed. Er... any push in the direction of a doctor would help, I think...?

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It sounds like you've been really strong to get through all this stuff alone, especially when it was so badly exacerbated by the rape last year. That's amazing.

I have bipolar and have had many of the symptoms you describe. Also, the PTSD-like hallucinations or perceptual distortions would be quite natural after being raped. I had similar symptoms after a 3 yr v abusive relationship when 21.

Have you seen anyone professional about the rape? There are also helplines you can call to talk about the trauma, which is clearly making it all worse.

As you said, untreated mood swings are dangerous and sooo exhausting/painful. You really need your friends to know what you're going through and how to give help when you need it.

Everything you are experiencing is probably acting on all the other symptoms too, so effective treatment would probably have a positive knock on effect. An accurate diagnosis would pinpoint the best treatment too, so getting that sorted is essential.

Have you thought about calling a helpline like the Mind/Manic Depression Fellowship/Samaritans/Saneline? Some hospitals have Crisis Day Centres where you can go to courses and/or just chat to a support worker, who might be less threatening than a doctor. How about just telling a friend you would like them to come with you to the doctor as you are feeling nervous? It sounds like they know you have had issues, so they should be supportive if you need them to be.

You've been and are going through so much trauma with your mood swings, etc, that it's essential you reach out now. Medication that works and smooths out the intensity can be life-saving, as can therapy.

Even if your GP doesn't know enough, they should refer you to a consultant psychiatrist.

Feel free to PM me. Am in the UK myself and have had similar experiences. I am sorry if I can't be more helpful than the above, but it's morning-time and am groggy!

Best of luck! (())

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I think we all agree that a pdoc and a tdoc would be great for you, so is that the push you needed? I hope you can see a doctor because you have some serious issues that need to be addressed. Perhaps a friend could go with you to the appointment so you wouldn't feel so alone?

Welcome to CrazyBoards, and please PM one of the mods if there is something we can do for you. I really hope you can get in to see a doctor and get the therapy and meds that you need.

Good luck,


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wow. congratulations on pulling yourself through all of this.

please pardon my long reply.

it is so easy to compartmentalize each of your symptoms or each time they happened to the point where you convince yourself it's not that big a deal, especially if you feel calm or good while you're taking inventory. (or anyway, it's easy for me to do even though i know better--i even catch myself thinking, "hallucinations? everyone has them, they just don't talk about it.")

you seem to know that keeping all of this hidden is not the safest route. a referral from your GP to a Pdoc or Tdoc sounds like a pretty good idea at this point. and if you find a way to go to the doctor on your own steam it's so much better than ending up there in desperation.

hallucinations, or flashbacks, just suck. you should not have to deal with that on your own.

like olga said, maybe try taking a friend with. that's how i did it. we tried about five times just sitting outside the building trying to talk me into it. the guy i took with me has as black a sense of humor about my mental states as i do. he joked with me (sitting out there having panic attacks) that i better not pass out because he would tape a "commit me!" sign to my back and leave me there. knowing he could still joke with me even though i was a mess was oddly reassuring.

hotlines help, just being able to say it aloud to another person is encouraging. it's kind of like practice before going to the doctor.

i even used to rehearse what i had to tell my pdoc so that i wouldn't be embarrassed or flustered or whatever once he was in front of me.

writing everything down or taking journal notes are also helpful if you can let a doctor read them, or even just for yourself. i track my own mood cycle that way (and once the journal is full it makes for some pretty interesting reading. yikes.) there are even sites that keep the info for you and you can just have it sent to your doctor. moodtracker.com and such.

even though it is trite to say it, it is mostly true: the first steps are the hardest. i hope you find a way to get it over with.

(i'm pretty new myself but) Welcome to the Boards.

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