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What's wrong with me?


ricky_banana
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I understand that a definite diagnosis can't be provided in this environment. I just need help or advice or something. Here goes:

Recently I've been experiencing some dramatic mood swings, feelings of hopelessness, guilt(IMHO both rational and irrational), loss of interest in things that I would normally enjoy, like painting/drawing, loss of interest in sex, lack of concern for personal hygiene(I shower maybe once every 1-2 wks, wear dirty clothes, don't always brush my teeth). I'm a smoker and I want to quit, but I can never stop myself from buying cigarettes or sneaking around to have a smoke(I understand that's probably because I'm addicted, but thought it may be relevant). Though I have very low sex drive, I am watching porn and masturbating most days, sometimes multiple times. Both the smoking and the porn I keep secret from my wife, which leads to more guilt and feelings of worthlessness. I feel like I have little control over my actions. It almost feels like there are two versions of me; the more rational version of myself constantly cleaning up or bearing the consequences of things the "other me" does or says.

I do experience periods of what I might call mania, basically days or periods where I feel like I'm just winning at life and everything I do is wonderful. During these times it's very easy for me to get irritated with other people, including my wife and children, causing me to fall into a deep state of sadness/anger that I can't shake. This is beginning to cause issues with my job(leaving early and missing work, not following procedure because everything feels pointless) and at home(my wife and I fight WAY WAY more than we ever used to-- most weekends recently we don't talk because we've had a fight).

I have also very recently begun to have brief thoughts of suicide, not really so much of actually doing it but more of entertaining the idea and thinking things would be better if I were dead. When these thoughts occur I dismiss them pretty quickly, but it's happening more often now and I'm scared I do something stupid before really thinking about it/ More often I have regrets about getting married and having children, sometimes because I feel limited by them but also so that I don't cause them harm due to being a crazy person.

One of my main issues is the belief that if I am in fact Bipolar II, I will have to choose between dealing with the disorder and being a burden on my loved ones or seeking treatment but being doped-up for the rest of my life. Neither seems like a valid solution to me, and that's when the feelings that maybe it's better if I just didn't exist.

Any advice is welcome.

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Hello, Ricky, welcome!

I'm glad you came here and reached out for some advise :).

I know also from my own experience that it's sometimes much easier to think of suicide than to deal with the problems which overwhelm us and seem so "unsolvable". But I also know it's possible to get appropriate help, although the way to healing and solutions isn't straightforward and it always takes (more or less, often rather more) time.

You may have bipolar disorder, but no matter the particular diagnosis, you are in a situation when professional help could be very useful ... and I'd say even that it's needed.

if I am in fact Bipolar II, I will have to choose between dealing with the disorder and being a burden on my loved ones or seeking treatment but being doped-up for the rest of my life. Neither seems like a valid solution to me, and that's when the feelings that maybe it's better if I just didn't exist.

Could you explain why neither seems like a valid solution for you? I imagine that it's because of your prejudices / presumptions about "what it would it be like" that you want to avoid treatment. It's true that one cannot know for sure how long it will take to find a medicament that will work well, and even "how well" it would be, but the chances are that you'll be much better with medical help. However, it's important not to forget that meds can do only part of the job; what you would need probably even more is psychotherapy (and after solving much of your issues, maybe you could proceed towards a couples therapy to improve you marriage). If you are really too afraid to try meds, then why not to start with psychotherapy alone?

BTW, maybe you'd be interested in a BBC documentary by Stephen Fry who has been bipolar for almost all his life and in the film, while interviewing many people with BPD, he's himself struggling with the decision if he should start treatment or not.

You can find it on YouTube or here on both of these websites:

http://docuwiki.net/index.php?title=The_Secret_Life_of_the_Manic_Depressive

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/stephen-fry-the-secret-life-of-a-manic-depressive/5363.html

Take care!

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