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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 57223
Experience:  GP in the United States
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In January this year I got diagnosed with clinical depression,

Customer Question

In January this year I got diagnosed with clinical depression, but I feel what I have experienced is much more complicated than that. I feel almost as though I have gone through phases; for a while I was very down and depressed, not wanting to get out of bed, always sleepy, not wanting to see anyone, then for a while I felt overly happy and productive, like I owned the world and had an increased interest in sex with my boyfriend. Then soon after I went back to being the complete opposite again. I've also had the biggest urge to go out and spend money on things I don't need and can't afford, I recently got my hair cut, got a piercing and then wanted more, like tattoos. When I've been down, I've often thought about cutting myself and envisioned how I would commit suicide. When I've been agitated and I find my mind doesn't switch off and it's just racing thoughts, and I find myself twitching in bed, wanting to run away somewhere.I often find myself thinking about going away to die. I've felt very irritable and like life is sped up. Usually I switch between feeling low for a long time, then feeling irritable for a while. I think I could be bipolar, but when I told my GP about all this she thought it was possible that it was the effect of me finishing uni and all the changes I'm going through. I don't feel normal and sometimes I feel a little psychotic. For instance now it's 2am and I just want to put on my shoes and go out somewhere, or do something reckless. Confused, help! Prior to being diagnosed with 'depression' I became easily agitated and over reacted to a lot of situations. Essentially I feel like I've gone through a phase where I was mostly moody, then where I was depressed, then elevated, and now depressed again. I need some clarity, help please??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Phil, MD :

Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.

Dr. Phil, MD :

please enter chat

Dr. Phil, MD :

Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.

Dr. Phil, MD :

Hi I'm Dr. Phl

Dr. Phil, MD :

Phil

Dr. Phil, MD :

Can i ask your first name?

Customer:

Jess

Dr. Phil, MD :

Hi Jess

Dr. Phil, MD :

Nice to meet you

Dr. Phil, MD :

You are 100% correct

Dr. Phil, MD :

This is classic bipolar disorder

Dr. Phil, MD :

you need to see a psychiatrist and get this treated accurately

Dr. Phil, MD :

you need meds for sure

Dr. Phil, MD :

I recommend lamotrigine as a first line drug

Dr. Phil, MD :

it works well

Dr. Phil, MD :

are you there Jess?

Customer:

sorry I needed the toilet

Dr. Phil, MD :

ok

Customer:

are you sure it's bipolar? I've seen a GP and she says she wasn't sure

Dr. Phil, MD :

Yes, I'm positive

Dr. Phil, MD :

It's either bipolar 1 or 2 but its bipolar

Dr. Phil, MD :

you have classic symptoms

Customer:

I first thought it could be when my anti depressants weren't doing much for me

Dr. Phil, MD :

anti depressants are actually dangerous in bipolar because they can trigger manic

Dr. Phil, MD :

you need a mood stabilizer or which lamictal is one

Customer:

I had the dose doubled and ever since I've been struggling to sleep and often wanted to get up and do random things, like get on a train somewhere, weird stuff like that

Dr. Phil, MD :

see that is exactly what I said

Dr. Phil, MD :

what med and what dose?

Customer:

sertraline 100mg a day

Dr. Phil, MD :

okay this is dangerous to take with bipolar

Customer:

Ive only had one period of time where I was overly happy in the last 6 months and over productive, its mostly been low mood and dangerous thoughts

Dr. Phil, MD :

still bipolar

Dr. Phil, MD :

one manic episode makes you bipolar

Dr. Phil, MD :

Jess?

Dr. Phil, MD :

you there?

Customer:

hello

Dr. Phil, MD :

any more questions for me?

Customer:

yeah I'm just thinking, what classes as a manic episode?

Dr. Phil, MD :

exactly what you said

Dr. Phil, MD :

grandiosity

Dr. Phil, MD :

spending

Dr. Phil, MD :

increased need for sex

Dr. Phil, MD :

lack of sleep

Dr. Phil, MD :

etc

Customer:

is it possible to also feel depressed alone with those symptoms?

Dr. Phil, MD :

yes

Dr. Phil, MD :

Oh I'm sorry

Dr. Phil, MD :

I didn't understand your question

Dr. Phil, MD :

I meant no it is not

Dr. Phil, MD :

those are not signs of depression

Dr. Phil, MD :

Trust me Jess.

Dr. Phil, MD :

you have bipolar. There is no gray area

Dr. Phil, MD :

this one is black and white

Customer:

I find the most obvious thing is wanting to spend money on stuff to make myself feel better. then increased need for sex and the major lack of sleep. then there's the sucidal thoughts and wanting to cut myself. lately I feel all of those things are mixed. and its like mania and depression at once

Dr. Phil, MD :

that is because of the sertraline

Dr. Phil, MD :

you need to ask your doctor to cut back the dose

Dr. Phil, MD :

and get with a psychiatrist ASAP

Customer:

ok

Customer:

is it possible to live a normal life with bipolar disorder?

Dr. Phil, MD :

yes, definitely

Dr. Phil, MD :

but only with medicine

Customer:

I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with it - she says its a life long thing?

Dr. Phil, MD :

correct

Dr. Phil, MD :

sometimes it gets better with time

Dr. Phil, MD :

only time will tell

Dr. Phil, MD :

Okay Jess?

Dr. Phil, MD :

was this helpful?

Customer:

yeah I'm just trying to think if I have anymore questions before I leave you

Dr. Phil, MD :

ok

Customer:

what kind of things will a psychiatrist do to test for bipolar?

Dr. Phil, MD :

just take a history

Dr. Phil, MD :

trust me this one is easy to diagnose

Customer:

do you know what's frustrating?

Dr. Phil, MD :

what?

Customer:

I'm at the end of my degree where I most need to be focused

Customer:

timing sucks

Dr. Phil, MD :

I'm sorry Jess

Dr. Phil, MD :

Just get the help you need and you will make it through

Customer:

not your fault

Customer:

I want to thank you for being there

Customer:

its 2:30am, didn't think I would have someone to talk to, let alone a dr

Dr. Phil, MD :

you're welcome :)

Dr. Phil, MD :

I'm happy to help :)

Dr. Phil, MD :

It's only 9 pm where I am so it works perfect!

Customer:

I'll do as you advise and try get myself booked in with a psychiatrist

Customer:

I'm in Sheffield, uk

Dr. Phil, MD :

Michigan, United States

Dr. Phil, MD :

would you mind rating me positive before leaving Jess?

Customer:

I wouldn't mind at all

Customer:

one more thing

Dr. Phil, MD :

sure

Dr. Phil, MD :

what's up?

Customer:

do people with bipolar continue to experience episodes once on medication?

Dr. Phil, MD :

no

Dr. Phil, MD :

the medicine controls it

Customer:

or does is just depend on the individual

Customer:

ok

Customer:

thank you again

Dr. Phil, MD :

you're welcome Jess

Dr. Phil, MD :

have a great night

Customer:

thanks, ***** *****

Dr. Phil, MD :

thank you

Dr. Phil, MD and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
I appreciate the excellent rating.

I would be happy to help you in the future. Just ask for feedback. Thank you. :) Dr. Phil in your question opening or bookmark this page http://www.justanswer.co.uk/medical/expert-irondoc/

I greatly appreciate a positive rating in the customer satisfaction survey that you will receive via email. It is important for me to get your feedback. Thank you. :)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just want to say thanks so much for your help. I'm still struggling with my illness but I went back to my doctor and they have now referred me to see a psychiatrist. I feel this is a positive step forward and I will finally get the right help. I've struggled for years with my moods and emotions and now finally I will get the right help and I feel talking to you gave me the push I needed to tell my doctor more about my symptoms and how I was feeling. I will come to you again if I am in need. Keep helping others the way you do. =)

Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
thanks Jess!

I'm glad you got the help you needed