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4 Days Bipolar

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Four days ago I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar type II. My dad is bipolar, though undiagnosed (he self medicates with alcohol and adderall he gets for his 'ADD'), so I always knew there was a possibility I could be bipolar also. I've suffered with depressive symptoms for pretty much my whole life and when I was younger I took a lot of crap for having 'anger management problems'.

Honestly I'm a little surprised at myself for not figuring it out before now. It really is quite obvious, but I guess a part of me didn't want to deal with the stigma and the more serious medications.

The first friend I told about it asked me "so, are you crazy?" and I didn't really know how to answer them. I told them the symptoms of BP II and then they agreed that it sounded like me.

My doctor started me on ambien to help me sleep. I took it last night for the first time. It worked I guess.

Really, I'm just confused as to what this all means and how to tell my family.

Any support, advice, or sympathy would be much appreciated at the moment. My spirits are so low.


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Hiya echo,

I have not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder myself but many members on here have. You are not at all "crazy". You just have an illness which can be treated and managed well. Continue to post here should you need any support or have any other further questions. :)
I would avoid telling people you're 'bipolar' and slapping the label on yourself, as the bipolar II diagnosis is often given out to people who are depressed but have more irritable/frustrated periods (or often people who just arent purely depressed I guess) instead of actual manic people. It's such a stigmatizing label since people will assume you're manic/crazy etc....when the reality is totally different and much more normal. I don't really like the use of the world bipolar in this diagnosis btw...'agitated depression' would be better and describe it fine. I got diagnosed with this once too and I figured it to be a bunch of garbage. The worst part is they assume that your moods don't shift for a reason...I know that there's always a reason.

Ambien is nice, I liked it. If youre on only 5 mg its probably not enough. 12.5 did it for me. And about your family, I'd just present it more as the agitated depression type thing.


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I would avoid telling people you're 'bipolar' and slapping the label on yourself, as the bipolar II diagnosis is often given out to people who are depressed but have more irritable/frustrated periods (or often people who just arent purely depressed I guess) instead of actual manic people..
I actually completely agree with Hawthorne Passage on this one. Be open to the idea that you're not bipolar, don't take meds you don't need, and be very careful about accepting an exact diagnosis for a mental illness. It is hell to be bipolar 2. There is no "cure" for bipolar disorder and it's not something you can grow out of.

If you still by any chance could be just depressive, I'd rule that one out with anti-depressants if you have to, before launching into mood stabalizers and sleeping pills. Be careful.
hey there, echo...

I was diagnosed with Bipolar when I was 15, and I'm still getting used to the idea that there's something "wrong" with me, 7 years later. If there's any advice I can give you, it's to keep a journal. I fall under the Bipolar II category, and for the longest time I was in denial that I had had any manic experiences at all. But recently, reading back in my journals, I've come to see certain experiences in retrospect, a lot clearer than I did at the time I wrote them. It helps me to be aware of myself in the moments I might be losing control, so I can take steps to ensure everything turns out alright.

Another piece of advice going forward, be proud of who you are. Anyone can look at another person and decide they are "crazy" when they don't understand a thing about them. Live your life in a way that works for you, and "fuck the haters" that will tell you what you are / are not capable of. Protect yourself from the unrealistic expectation that you can be "fixed" to make life easier for others (school teachers / government / doctors). This is your life, not theirs. Do what you can to be happy.

Good luck, and if you need help / advice, you have my ear any time.


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I would also be wary taking medical advise on the internet...anyone who would make declarative statements about what you should do, without examining you, can be very dangerous, and yes, you usually get what you pay for in life (free medical advise can be quite costly)...if you are unsure about your diagnosis, and such, make an appointment with your pdoc or MD to discuss it ...J


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That's true too. I don't mean to give medical advice, which is something maybe I tend to do because I've had soooo much experience as a patient myself. The main point I was trying to offer is to be verry very careful about accepting a diagnosis that will stick to you and change your perception/other people's perception of you. BP II tends to be overdiagnosed and it seemed from your post that you weren't sure what it means/whether you should be diagnosed this way. GL on this.


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I have bipolar, probably for most of my life, but was diagnosed when I was in my 40's. It can be difficult to recognize the hypomanias that are indicative of bipolar II while it is happening. Keeping a narrative journal can help you be able to look back and identify hypomanic episodes. Also, you should keep a mood journal. There are many mood journals available... just google it. If you are unsure of your diagnosis you might want to ask your psychiatrist what let him/her to make that diagnosis.
I'd also honestly be careful of accepting 'medical advice' at face value because most psychiatrists etc tend to fail to understand things from a more personal perspective.


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Let's keep in mind that pdoc are trained to diagnose mental illness, bipolar included. There has been some talk about not accepting a bipolar diagnosis because there is no cure. There can be periods of recovery and times when symptoms are so mild they cause no problems. There is also talk about bipolar being over diagnosed but remember that untreated bipolar only gets worse. If you have any doubts, and you don't really sound that way, then get a second opinion from another pdoc. Be cautious about what you read on the Internet---even here.
given that society is such a farce i dont know if you can trust someone to understand complex emotional issues in a true personal sense just because they read books for a few years


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There seems to be a lot of dissent about this issue. We all seem to have different perspectives on the issue and it seems lots of opinions we've formed. I don't know what happened to the OP and I hope things work out for you. I hope however you come to better understand yourself helps you feel better.
i think probably the OP was looking for support with their new diagnosis... not a bunch of people telling them to be wary of their diagnosis and treatment.....

hope they you're ok ella :hug:
support is also telling people to be wary because you have to be careful with this stuff. its just the nature of the system as it stands today, unfortunately (its not ideal). true, some therapists/shrinks are nice and understanding but not all of them are and the system is far from perfect and even with the nicer ones it takes work. its better to understand what youre looking at than to get screwed and hurt later IMO. cautious optimism is fine but there are ways to end up in hot water that just make the problem worse and you have to know what they are. i have also went thru the whole 'accepting a diagnosis' thing in a past and im not sure that accepting the label at absolute face value is the best long term solution because for me personally it was a ball and chain....introspection and thinking about the issue from various perspectives can contribute a great deal to personal growth and emotional improvement. i was also diagnosed 'bipolar II' after a near suicide attempt but the attitudes directed at me were more geared towards a 'bipolar I' (which resulted in hurtful stigmatization because ive never been manic), not to mention later on my therapist called BS on the diagnosis. im really not fundamentally depressed, more existentially depressed and subconsciously traumatized, but 'major depression' was the closest we could get since existential depression is not considered a mental disorder. again, flawed and limited as a system.

being careful and thinking things thru doesnt mean ignoring that the problem exists, it actually gives it more legitimacy. what i was saying before was simply to be careful with the whole 'bipolar' concept because many will stigmatize you as manic, when bipolar II is actually a much more subtle diagnosis that is akin to 'agitated depression' and that simply taking it at face value can result in problems. telling people you are 'bipolar' will usually result in them thinking youre manic or 'crazy', even if its unfair. its just the way things are now. avoiding that means avoiding painful misunderstandings.

being aware of these things helps you get help in a more efficient manner, and helps you talk to therapists and psychiatrists in a more productive manner. it helps you convey what is really hurting you so much better in a clearer manner especially since it gives you more of the confidence to make sure you are understood. it also helps focus on whats important and the root cause of the problem since some will latch onto specific things and miss the point. i do not feel that my therapist would understand me very well at all if i took everything at face value in a very conventional manner; getting better is a two sided affair to say the least. im giving support here too, it may not be a nice picture im painting, but its an essential one.
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Again I don't pretend to know much about you OP, but this is just general advice to be cautious and not trust the system and its labels *too* much. Society has a long long way to go towards legitimately understanding troubled people.
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