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i feel as though i'm going crazy

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I'm extremely, extremely afraid that I have bipolar disorder. Sorry for the length of this.


I'm hoping maybe someone can tell me their experiences and if they are similar to mine. I'm pretty sure what I'm going to explain is probably bipolar. I'm not looking for a diagnosis because I know that's only attainable through a professional... I just need to know people can relate and that I'm not the only one with these sorts of behaviors and issues. In the off chance that what I'm saying is completely unrelated to this board, I apologize. I feel alone.


I was diagnosed with OCD just recently which I know I've had since chilhood, I had awful thoughts of bad things happening to my family or of myself doing bad, awful things to hurt other people.I'd also convince myself I had every illness in the world (which is why I'm not sure about BPD)  I've always kind of cycled between periods of OCD and strict discipline in my life (working out, sobriety, rituals, work hard) and periods of time where I'm out of control, eating everything in sight, not doing schoolwork and full of anxiety. It seemed the OCD/restrictive lifestyle kicked in when something awful happened.


This flipped back in forth from about 11-18 when I had a significant loss of a parent. Then I spiraled out of control.


Right around that time I went on adderall and I was spending hours upon hours writing crazy blogs and journal entries, reading philosophy and psychology, drawing, painting, creating. Barely sleeping. A couple times I hallucinated, which I always attributed to the adderall and the insane amount of caffeine I took in. It was generally what I thought to be a panic attack... me curled up shaking and sobbing, completely detached from reality. I felt like I was locked in a whirlwind. 


Then, I discovered drinking. Went off all meds and spent a year drinking myself into oblivion, crying and telling people sad, crazy things from time to time but have no recollection of doing so. I failed out of school. I gained over 60 lbs in 6 months. I started having casual sex with people from time to time, usually unprotected, whether or not I had a boyfriend. I tried Zoloft then and felt agitated non-stop and didn't sleep for days.


A few years later, I started Prozac and would seriously self injure when I drank on it.  Over the years tried Wellbutrin and Adderall. My OCD ceased and I was no longer depressed but would flip flop between times of drinking and socializing and periods of solitude. I went off of those and stumbled into the darkest depression I've ever been in. I didn't get out of bed for days.  I went back to doc and started back on meds recently. A month into taking Prozac, the first time in a year, I went out and drank, stayed up all night, felt agitated and hyper. I spent a ton of money. I can't recall much of what I did but for those four days, I remember feeling euphoric. Finally, the day after the bender, I sat on the couch all day crying because I feel ashamed. That brought me here.


Is this similar to anybody's stories? How did you guys find out you were bipolar? What led you there?

Edited by aloeplant
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yes,I'm a drug addict/alcoholic and bipolar.

I had to stop taking pain pills,but first I did speed.

then I felt just like you(adderal in high doses is basically speed).

you might want to look into amphetamine psychosis.

that's what happened to me.

after 3 months in a ward they labelled me schizo affective.


I do not know exactly what your issue is(of course)but stopping all the drugs

and alcohol will make a huge difference.

you might not even be bipolar ,just too much drink and drugs,maybe...


the answers are all in you.

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A long hospitalization and many to follow and manic episodes along with depressed ones got me a diagnosis of bipolar (well, now it's SZA).


Anyways a good pdoc will not diagnose you until you have been free of substances like high amounts of caffeine with adderall and also the drinking and depression, etc.


Lots of things can mimic bipolar, substance abuse being one of them.


A good pdoc will help you tease out what is substance abuse and what were pure symptoms of BP if they are there (can't think of a better word?).


Good luck and bring this up with your dr. Then you will know for sure one way or the other.

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This is true. I often wondered if some of the medicine was causing erratic behavior. I only get depressed now when I drink and those feelings came back only when on mediciation. My only concern was that throughout my youth I never did drugs or alcohol and swung from completely shutting myself off from everybody to being the most outgoing person in the world, periods of great creativity and ideas to being a big ball of blah. A doctor mentioned cyclothymia which is a mild form of bipolar? Thanks for the responses!

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((((aloe))))  Yes, sounds like you will have to stop all the self-medicating for doc's to know what's going on underneath (easier said than done, I know!)  I was dx'd as having malor depression, anxiety, insomnia for years till the dummies FINALLY figured out I was bipolar...it was weird, because the early dx's didn't bug me, but when they told me I was bp, I WAS SO FREAKED OUT!!!  But only for a time...there IS light at the end of the tunnel, please take good care, okay?  I wish you the best, Lucy

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A pdoc will want you to be substance-free before they diagnose you. 


Feeling agitated on an antidepressant is pretty common. But make sure to tell your pdoc how the antidepressant made you feel. This can be pertinent in making a diagnosis. As well, it may turn out that certain classes of antidepressants just aren't for you, so whether or not you're bipolar, tell your pdoc how the drugs make you feel. Maybe you just don't do well with SSRI's, you know?


I was initially diagnosed with MDD and GAD. I was diagnosed bipolar NOS once my pdoc took a more thorough history of my symptoms and explained to me what hypomania was. I didn't realize I was having hypomanias, so I never told her about them. I usually have more irritable hypomanias too, so I didn't identify with the standard euphoric type on the MDQ. Her and I figured out together that I was depressed because I was crashing off a three month long hypomania. I have since gone on to have another hypomania, this time euphoric though. Then the psychosis started and seemed to never end, so my diagnosis was changed to schizoaffective, which fits.


It is scary to find out you have a mental illness. But just know that bipolar disorder is highly treatable. There is no need to have extreme fear. By all definitions, I have a severe mental illness, but you'd never know it. I am very well now. So, don't worry yourself sick or anything over the possibility of bipolar. As well, if it's the label that freaks you out, well, try to remember it's just a label. It doesn't have to define your life. 

Edited by Parapluie
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I have experienced extreme high & lows in my moods since my teens years & always suspected that i had bipolar disorder. I suspected it even more after I read memoirs (and could totally relate) of those that are bp. Long story short, my therapist (who also believed that i was bp) suggested I go to a psychiatrist with my life history to get an official diagnosis. Originally it was believed (by the pdoc) that i was bp 2. But after I wrote out a more thorough history & was more honest (it was hard to admit a lot of the stuff that went on during my manias) it was determined that i am bp 1.

I was diagnosed again when i went to rehab (I self medicated for years) & then by another pdoc after I was sober for over 3 years. I agree that you ought to be substance free before that can truly determine what is going on.

I accept my mental illness now & understand that it is a part of who i am. It can be scary at times & frustrating to have to take medications but I prefer it to living as I did before i was medicated and sober and playing an active role in my treatment.

I hope you get some answers soon!

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Bipolar isn't the worst thing in the world. But it sucks. However, treated, you can live a pretty good life, as with most MI. Being honest with your doc is necessary. I was immediately dx'd as bipolar, it was pretty clear cut and I hadn't really been treated much. I had tried Paxil, Effexor and klonopin in low doses before I was put on Depakote and hospitalized ("danger to self", which, yes, I was)


There is a possibility the OCD could make you think you're going crazy, that you're nuttier than you are (everybody's a little nuts). It's part of anxiety. Try charting your moods. I use http://www.patientslikeme.com which can be a bit overwhelming at first, but is the best free site I've found. Show the results to your doctor. Be honest and open. If you're still using or abusing substances, try and find a therapist that deals with that. Most of all, don't beat yourself up. 

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