Q. I believe I am bipolar. However, I am not eighteen yet. A friend of mine who sees a doctor says that a therapist or psychiatrist cannot diagnose someone under eighteen with bipolar disorder because we are not old enough to drive and spend money, etc. Is this true? Also, if I went to a regular doctor to explain to them what has been going on, would they be able to diagnose bipolar disorder, OCD, etc?

 

Brittany

 

A. Brittany, there are two things going on here: the law and medical practice. The law is rigid. It says you MUST be 18 to do certain things. Medical practice is flexible (usually!). A psychiatrist will try to diagnose kids of any age. Itís harder to diagnose mental illness in a kid but, yes, kids can get something out of seeing psychiatrists. A family doctor? I think a family doctor would refer you to a psychiatrist. Most family doctors are not qualified to diagnose mental illness.

 

Dr. Bradt

 

Q. Is granola very fattening or does it have a lot of carbs? I snack on this granola mix from Costco all time. It has nuts and raisins, that kind of thing. I was just wondering if this is just a good snack for me to have to just kind of fill in my cravings.

 

Thanks, Alex

 

A. Alex, yes, granola has many carbs. Are you trying to gain weight? If so, granola snacks are one of the best things for you. They are usually very nutritious. If youíre not trying to gain weight, you are better off with carrots, celery, and such. Or just donít snack at all.

 

Dr. Bradt

 

Q. Hi, Doctor. I have family members going back at least two generations that had some kind of mental problems. I am 46, bipolar for over 10 years. My wife and baby died 20 years ago. Was my bipolar disorder always in my system, or could the terrible thing that happened to me have brought it on?

 

Kevin

 

Kevin, normally I just tell people that bipolar disorder is inherited, which it is, but, my God! In your case itís quite possible that what happened combined with your inherited bipolar disorder to give you more symptoms of it than you would otherwise have had.

 

Dr. Bradt

 

 




Q. I believe I am bipolar. However, I am not eighteen yet. A friend of mine
who sees a doctor says that a therapist or psychiatrist cannot diagnose
someone under eighteen with bipolar disorder because we are not old enough
to drive and spend money, etc. Is this true? Also, if I went to a regular
doctor to explain to them what has been going on, would they be able to
diagnose bipolar disorder, OCD, etc?
Brittany

A. Brittany, there are two things going on here: the law and medical
practice. The law is rigid. It says you MUST be 18 to do certain things.
Medical practice is flexible (usually!). A psychiatrist will try to diagnose
kids of any age. It's harder to diagnose mental illness in a kid but, yes,
kids can get something out of seeing psychiatrists. A family doctor? I think
a family doctor would refer you to a psychiatrist. Most family doctors are
not qualified to diagnose mental illness.
Dr. Bradt

Q. Is granola very fattening or does it have a lot of carbs? I snack on this
granola mix from Costco all time. It has nuts and raisins, that kind of
thing. I was just wondering if this is just a good snack for me to have to
just kind of fill in my cravings.
Thanks, Alex

A. Alex, yes, granola has many carbs. Are you trying to gain weight? If so,
granola snacks are one of the best things for you. They are usually very
nutritious. If you're not trying to gain weight, you are better off with
carrots, celery, and such. Or just don't snack at all.
Dr. Bradt

 

Q. When I'm alone, I sort-of fantasize out loud. When there is nothing to occupy my mind and I get "bored," I sort-of like "talk to myself". I "rehearse" what I would say to certain people in certain situations. There is nobody there, and I know that, and I don't see or hear anybody. If someone comes by, I stop right away, because I don't want them to think I'm "crazy". I've been doing this for as long as I have memories. When I was a child, and I was playing by myself, I would do this. Is this "racingthoughts" or something else? If it's something else, then what is it?

Sincerely,
Am I crazy?


A. Am I crazy, you are not crazy, and you are not exhibiting racing thoughts. "Racing thoughts" is a misnomer. (You seem to know this already.) Your (someone's) thoughts are said to be racing when you keep thinking the same thoughts over and over, maybe 20 or 30 times, and you can't stop this even if someone comes along, or even if the thoughts make you really frustrated.

Yes, it's something else. What is it? The cognitive style of a very intelligent person.

Dr. Bradt

Q. I know I have bipolar disorder and accept it. I am 49 and it seems as if I am starting to forget a lot of simple things. I first thought it was Alzheimer's, but my neurologist claims it's bipolar.

I am on medication and realize that I will need it the rest of my life. I know bipolar disorder does not go away, but does it worsen with age? Is a need to eat sweets also a symptom?

I am in the process of applying for SSI. I can't seem to hold down a job. I have manic episodes while under stress. I also suffer from depression, which causes me to not want to get out of bed. I used to drive a bus professionally. Now I realize that with my meds I simply cannot do this any more.

I am depressed at this time just by talking about this problem. Please answer my questions if possible.

Thank you,

Tanya

A. Tanya, some of your questions are better answered by a psychiatrist, but I want to tell you that correctly medicated bipolar disorder rarely worsens with age. I suggest that you ask your psychiatrist to check your med(s).. And maybe your neurologist is incorrectly blaming BD. Maybe a psychologist could test your memory and see if you really do have significant memory loss and, if so, why.

Needing sweets is not known to be a BD symptom, but sweets can be very comforting when bipolars, or all people, feel bad.


Dr. Bradt

Q. My name is Amber and I'm 17. My boyfriend is 20 and he's manic depressive. I'm not really sure how to ask it but I'm not really sure of his needs. I need to know some do's or don'ts to keep from setting him off.

One thing he does that really gets to me is he tries to make me very jealous. I just act like it doesn't bother me and I think it makes him even more mad. It always seems like he's trying to pick fights with me. Something that happened tonight really confused me. We were having sex and he just kind of stopped and said, "Why does it always have to be about sex?" That kind of shocked me. It was really out of no where.

He also always tries to blame everything on me. If he calls me I'll answer the phone and be like YESSS? He takes it the totally wrong way and freaks out. So I just need some pointers on how to treat him and what to do and say or what to not do andwhat not to say. Please help me!

Amber

 

Amber, if you get to the point where you are tiptoeing around your boyfriend and following an exact list of pointers what to do and what not to do:

He has won.

You can't know what will set him off and what won't. So treat him like you would treat anybody else, and remember that you are a good person who deserves good treatment.

Take care,

Dr. Bradt


page edited June 28, 2006

Bipolar World   © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Owners:  Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)

Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff)
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan
Email Us at Bipolar World


About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links    Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents  Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?