How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Kaushik Your Own Question
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4756
Experience:  Doctor ( General Medicine)
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Kaushik is online now

Hi I am a thirty year old female with a history of mental health

Customer Question

Hi I am a thirty year old female with a history of mental health issues although I have been ok for the past 6 years. I went through a couple of years of pure hell starting at 16 and started to taper off at around 21. I'm asking this question to make sense of my experience I guess and to be aware as im planning to start a family soon.

I experienced an episode of severe depression and attempted suicide at the age of 16 i was given antidepressants and became completely manic (racing thoughts grandiose plans highly sexual) and attempted suicide again 6 months after my first attempt. I was admitted to rehab because i had been binge drinking too.i left after 6 months and continued drinking and started experimenting with ecstasy. I was riddled with anxiety and rage for years after that and had daily suicidal thoughts and i was extremely paranoid it was extremely difficult for me to do something as simple as buying groceries. i thought everyone was looking at me and judging me. I never took medication after my experience with antidepressants but i self medicated with marijuana for years.

i've been reading up a lot on bipolar 3 and soft bipolar and im wondering if that was what caused the hell i went through? and now im thinking i did go through a psychotic episode cause realy attempting suicide like that does not make sense. i still experience manic or hypomania and depression but its intensity is so low that it doesnt bother me. im highly functioning and earning a doctorate in psychology i've only been diagnosed with clinical depression at 16 but never really agreed with it. rehab really helped to understand my emotions but i continued binge drinking for years after although i stopped drinking about 5 years ago.

i recently read up on bipolar 3 and it all kind of clicked cause nothing else ever made sense. i am going to speak to a psychiatrist but not for treatment as i havent had symptoms in such a long time and i was in therapy for three years which helped me learn how to manage it (although the word bipolar was never brought up). i am a psychologist and i see how labeling can be harmful but at the same time knowing is helpful especially that we know bipolar is genetic and if that is what was happening to me it would be helpful for me to know and watch out for if i have children in the future. and to be aware of it creeping up on me when i am in stressful situations, because i have noticed myself having hypomania episodes once or twice a year but nothing severe or harmful but noticeable. i start having racing thoughts talking a lot and having grandiose plans but good ones in a way such as 'i want to heal the world' and which is what made me want to become a doctor so its been helpful!

i guess my question is would you agree that perhaps i do have soft bipolar, i was misdiganosed but still learnt how to manage it?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Kaushik replied 4 years ago.
Greetings !

Welcome to the site.

I am Dr. Kaushik and i have many years experience in psychopathology and psychopharmacology and i believe i can help you with your query.

I have read your post in detail and i believe that diagnosis of Bipolar 3 Disorder suits your medical history best after taking into account precipitating factor being an anti depressant drug. Soft bipolar disorder entails mild hypomanic episodes alternating with severe depressive phases however eventually it is put under the Bipolar 2 disorder category but in your case since the hypomanic episode was precipiatted upon use of an anti depressant drug so the most plausible diagnosis to define your condition will be Bipolar 3 Disorder even if the hypomanic episodes have been mild / soft which can help us in rendering a much favorable prognosis for you as compared to those with Bipolar 1 Disorder.

Now it is also essential to note that there must have been some sort of genetic predisposition towards Bipolar spectrum in your case originating from some near or distant blood relations of yours because it is not a regular case scenario that use of an anti depressant precipitates hypomania, this is usually observed in those who have some sort of genetic loading and susceptibility for this disorder coming from blood relations who have had bipolar spectrum conditions. So now that you are looking forward to having children in the coming future so it will be important for you to carry out genetic counselling before hand so as to estimate the chances of this conditon or a variant of it occurring in one of the children especially if your partner too has had relatives who had bipolar spectrum disorder/s.

Yes it is quite apparent that your coping mechanisms are quite mature and potent so as to enable you to manage your symptoms without letting de-compensation setting in.

I hope this makes sense and gives you a sense of direction to move in.

Wish you all the best.

Please kindly leave a Positive rating if you are satisfied with the answer.