After struggling with depression and anxiety for over year now, I have been starting to think it might be more than that. I think I might have a bipolar disorder. One of my parents has it, also. I don't know where to start to get help. I am on antidepressants and have been to counseling recently, but have stopped going. I am overwhelmed.
Charlie hears your concern. You say that you’ve been suffering with anxiety and depression for over a year. You mention that you are on antidepressant medication and that you have been to counseling in the recent past. Charlie commends you for seeking out treatment for anxiety and depression. However, due to the time that has passed, you’re wondering if “it might be more than that”. You say, “I don’t know where to start to get help”. Charlie will try to provide some suggestions.
Charlie wonders where you have attended counseling. If you’ve been to the BSU Counseling Center, Charlie suggests that you consider returning there. This would seem to be a good idea, since you say you are feeling overwhelmed and counseling is a component in effective treatment for anxiety or depression. In addition, the Counseling Center has a psychiatrist on staff. Your counselor can refer you to the psychiatrist, who would be the appropriate professional to review your diagnosis and consider whether you may have bipolar disorder. As you may know, just because one of your parents has bipolar disorder does not mean that you have it, but family history does increase the likelihood. If you have been seeing a counselor in private practice or at a community mental health agency, a similar process should be available to you. That is, you can return to your counselor and request a referral to a psychiatrist in private practice or in community mental health. Charlie recognizes that it may feel daunting to see a professional for a psychiatric a diagnosis. Nevertheless, Charlie hopes you will see it through. Once you know with more certainty what you have, the condition can be treated properly so you can start feeling better. Even if the psychiatrist were to determine that you do not have bipolar disorder and the original diagnosis was correct, he/she can review your medication and make a determination whether a new dosage or different type of antidepressant is in order.
To feeling better, Charlie
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