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Q:  I have not been to see someone about myself but I really do need help. I  have attempted to commit suicide before and one minute I'm happy, the next minute  I'm not. I cry for no reason at all and sometimes I find that I want to have sex to  express my anger. I need to reach out to someone and I am hoping that you can help  me and tell me what to do. Please write back asap thank you.

Wisely, half of the battle is over for you.  You have asked for help.  The difficult part is yet to come; that is, to follow through on suggestions that will get you better.  The choice is yours.

Are you feeling suicidal now?  If so, you must somehow gather the strength to get yourself to your local emergency room ASAP.  If you can, call a close friend who is IMMEDIATELY available to drive you or if not, call 911 for an ambulance service.  This is critical in light of your past suicide attempt(s) and present instability.

Even if you are not actively suicidal you STILL need to start to take the first steps to do whatever you can to assist your recovery when you MIGHT have problematic bipolar behaviors.  I say "might" because moods can vary for any number of reasons which can include hormones, personal stress, personality disturbances, diseases of the brain, or ingestion of drugs or alcohol.  Second, people with the disorder often have trouble describing their mood states to others and giving accurate histories of their disorder.  Third. mental health professionals are not always adequately trained to recognize the more subtle forms of the disorder such as mixed states, rapid cycling, mild depressions, hypomania, etc.

Be relentless in getting the correct diagnosis.  Select a psychiatrist who is knowledgeable about bipolar disorder and keep your appointments to manage the disease.  Communicate openly about all of your behaviors and symptoms and select a psychiatrist who is persistent in getting as much information from you as possible.

Many individuals when in their manic phase often engage in hypersexual behavior and have difficulty with impulse control, that is, they don't view their reckless behaviors as problematic.  Has this been your experience?

Keep this in mind.  The only failure in life is in failing to try.  You owe it to yourself and to those around you to take advantage of these suggestions.  Treat the bipolar disorder medically first.  Do not hesitate to make yourself feel better than you now do.  Good luck and thanks for writing in.

David Schafer, M.Ed.
Staff Psychologist

Published May, 2006

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