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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Am I bipolar? is there medication to stop what I am feeling?

    One minute of the day I can be perfectly fine, enjoying time with my friends and family, looking forward to the weekend etc and the next minute Im thinking about jumping infront of a bus on the way to school.

    I dont have a horrible situation at home, Im very well loved and cared for, and I also have such big dreams for the future but sometimes I feel like Im completely alone. I feel like I have no one to talk to and it would be better if I could end my life…then I feel like I could never bring myself to do the bad things I think of, because I dont want to hurt my family, and then I feel guilt because there are people out there who have it worse than me.

    I have been feeling this way for a little while now and Im worried, my question is if I go to a doctor to talk about this will they be able to help me find some sort of medication for it? and would I have to go with an adult? am I bipolar? why do I feel like this?
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    Mariela Occelli

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Mariela Occelli is a Clinical Psychologist with well over 20 years experience in the assessment and treatment of clinical disorders. She has worked in private … View Profile

    It is not unusual for adolescents to experience mood swings. There can be a lot of pressures to being a teenager whilst at the same time there are significant hormonal changes going on in your body that can affect the way you feel. Having said that, it sounds as though when you are distressed it is quite intense for you and it may help you to see a Clinical Psychologist to explore this with you in more detail to identify strategies to help you ‘ride out’ your painful feelings and to assess whether there is more to it then this. I would not recommend medication as the first port of call but a GP can prepare a Mental Health Plan for you so that you can see a Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist for assessment. I would recommend that you talk to your parents about your feelings as you have pointed out that they are loving and supportive and I'm sure that they would like to ‘be there’ for you. However, this does not mean that they have to be present during your consultations with the GP or other professionals and I can understand that you might feel more comfortable speaking to them on your own. The consultations with these professionals are confidential so that you are free to express your feelings and to talk about anything that you need to talk about. The only exceptions to confidentiality involve situations where there is risk of harm. I hope this helps answer your question and give you a starting point to getting some help.

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Adding to what Mariela wrote, which I agree with, a Mental Health Care Plan will give you Medicare-subsidised access to a psychiatrist.

    A psychiatrist will be able to do a detailed assessment/evaluation of you in terms of possible Bipolar Disorder and (depending) discuss medication options with you.

    Also, a MHCP will give you access to a clinical psychologist who has experience of working with adolescent clients - s/he could well be able to help you.

    If you decide to see both a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist then I think that is important for you to give them both permission to talk about you together - have a "case conference". That way they will be able to act as a team, working in your best interests.

    All the best.

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