I was diagnosed with BP at 15. In hindsight, I was a poster child, but I never belieived it and stopped taking meds at about 20. Now, I'm almost 30 and for the last 6 months have been symptomatic...in June I was extremely delusional and was having numerous hallucinations during a manic episode (the hallucinations have come and gone until just last month). I probably should have been hospitalized. I am now seemingly better. I don't know if the last 10 years I've REALLY been fine (I know I've had bouts w/serious depressions) or just pretended, or maybe they weren't as bad as they were when I was young or (especially) now. My questions: can it be managed without meds in the future? Should I expect it will get worse? Should I go to a psychiatrist, even if I'm not currently symptomatic? What are the repercussions if I don't? What if my family has private insurance and I'm not sure if it covers mental illnesses? Help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Even though you are not symptomatic, you should see a psychiatrist. They are best able to confirm a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. If it is the case that you have bipolar disorder, meds may greatly help with the depression and mania. I can't say whether it will get worse or not, but I can say with medication and therapy, you will be able to better manage the symptoms. Most private insurance does cover mental health. It's a matter of finding out what is covered such as which doctors you can go to. Maybe call your insurance company and tell them you need to know which doctors you can go to.
Thank you so much! I just went online and you are right about my private insurance; I could have sworn it wasn't covered but that is a major relief. I know with my history, they will confirm the diagnosis, because my psychiatrist told me when I decided to stop taking them that someday I would experience it again and hopefully then stay on meds. I didn't believe him, probably because I was never in a full blown manic episode. Then, I started hearing voices, feeling presences, experiencing bizarre paranoia and believing that the Holy Spirit was telling me to do strange things, and drinking gallons of water a day so that the Holy Spirit would not leave. My husbad thought I was either insane or annointed--he had no experiece of my past. I'm still not sure what was real and what wasn't but for 3 months I slept 0 - 3 hours every night and would wake up at 3:30 and sometimes go running at 5 AM singing praise music at the top of my lungs. I really can't even believe some of the things I did. Then, when I crashed, I started having these evil visions of death, especially my own. Despite all of the bizarre experiences, I am still afraid to go back to a doctor and start taking meds again. I keep thinking maybe I was really stressed and that's why the psychosis and now everything will stay normal again.
You are still quite young and if you can work with a psychiatrist you trust and get the medications you need, you have a good chance of becoming stable and having a good and rewarding life. I am now almost 60 and it took me a very long time to accept that I have bipolar and also to consistently take my medications. I think I suffered and also caused suffering to those who loved me more than was necessary because I did not work with the mental health professionals. The symptoms you describe--very little sleep for months at a time, delusions, paranoia--these are all very serious and require the help of a professional. I wish you success in your journey towards greater health and peace of mind.
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