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I'm pretty certain that I have Bipolar disorder (without mania, just hypomania). I've felt like this for a long time and my partner also agrees. My Dad has bipolar too (but much more severe).
I really want to get better. I'm generally low, and it's having a real impact on my ability to thrive and acheive. I so desperately want to feel 'normal'. I would give anything not to battle with the constant self-doubt, self-hatred, frustration and self-blame. I have tried talking therapies to deal with anxiety, but there is incredible pressure to 'take control of your symptoms', and start to mange the condition myself. Trouble is, I feel physically unable to do this because I don't feel in control of my mood. I've lived with an awful lot of self-blame because the techniques 'should work', so I blame myself for not trying hard enough, and I hate myself for turning into my Dad because I've been trying so desperately to avoid this my whole life.
I know it isn't my fault and I should seek help but I am utterly convinced that receiving a diagnosis will have dire consequences for my future. I have worked incredibly hard to get a good degree - in Psychology would you believe, and if getting diagnosed means I will have my driving license revoked or it will some how stop me working with children, or in clinical psychology, I just can't bear it. I've seen the diagnosis/disorder have devastating consequences for my Dad, but in his case, like I say, it's much more severe. He's been sectioned under the mental health act.
It may seem irresponsible of me to not get a diagnosis, but I'm not a danger to myself, or to others, in general life or on the road etc. I'm just sad (or agitated in hypomania). I'm aware of how my symptoms affect me and I'm responsible and relatively in control (I don't take substances, don't engage in dangerous risk taking behaviour etc.). I'm sure many people feel this way, especially those with milder symptoms. Just to be clear, I am in no way implying that those with bipolar are dangerous or irresponsible, I just mean that I'm terrified that my doctor/others will hear bipolar and automatically assume the worst possible/most extreme symptoms, and treat me as though I can't be trusted to know my own mind, or I am somehow incapacitated. As if I 'need help' because I 'can't cope'. The latter may be somewhat true, but I'm not a moron, I'm just someone who doesn't know how to feel happy. I am emotionally unstable, but I don't unpredictably 'flip out' and I'm not unstable as in I can't be trusted to make good choices and be a reliable, trustworthy person.
I have a doctors appointment tomorrow but I just don't know if I can go through with it. I feel like I'm going to get given a life sentence which I will never be able to take back and will live to regret terribly. I'm so afraid that later on, I might feel that I'm better, or maybe I was mistaken and I don't have bipolar, but it will be too late and I will have to live with the repercussions of my actions - actions which were carried out when I was feeling very sad and in need of help. I think I'm confused because I understand the assessment process, and I know the meaning of the questions/statements on the bipolar scales. I'm scared that I might accidentally be too persuasive in convincing the doctor that I have bipolar because deep down I am motivated by the desperate need to find meaning in my experiences and because receiving a diagnosis of bipolar might mean that all of this isn't my fault, but more importantly, maybe I can get better.
I need to be fully prepared for the consequences of receiving this diagnosis. Anyone who can be honest and give me some clarity will be greatly helping me in my time of need. Please don't hold back and only tell me the positives. I want to know the negatives too. Thank you.
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