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"Could I have bipolar disorder?"
I have been dealing with depression on and off, had a couple breakdowns. but in between the depressed phases I have had very hyper phases where I couldn't even control what I say and do (nothing really extreme but like laughing constantly and making rude comments). I'm also very paranoid (whenever I hear police sirens I think they are coming to get me and sometimes I would be 100% certain I was going to die at that moment and I couldn't control it) and that is why I'm really scared of visiting a psychiatrist for this. I also get angry and irritable a lot during both depressed and hyper phases. I'm not sure what I have or if it is serious enough to go to a doctor, please help.
Thank you for your question regarding bipolar disorder. Your symptoms are certainly concerning. I encourage you to visit a psychiatrist immediately who can help you to stabilize the fluctuations you are experiencing in your mood. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which is characterized by periods of depression that alternate with periods of mania. Mania is a state of feeling extremely elevated in mood. You may feel persistently happy, hyperactive, irritated, or impulsive. Other symptoms include feeling as if you have special powers or abilities, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, talking fast, inappropriate laughing or joking, and increased spending or sexual activity. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania, where you may have a milder version of these symptoms but are still able to function appropriately at school or work. These manic or hypomanic episodes alternate with sudden feelings of depression, whereby you feel sad, are unable to sleep, have no interest in activities, have feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, not eating, and may have thoughts of suicide. Bipolar disorder is typically treated with mood stabilizers, which may include medications such as lithium, valproate, or carbamazepine. Antipsychotics may also be used or in combination with mood stabilizers. Please visit a psychiatrist soon and he or she can better help you manage these symptoms.
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