Q&A: How can I tell if I am bipolar?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

how can I tell if I am bipolar. ive never been diagnosed but been told and the more I read up on it it seems about right. and its a scary situation right now. I can be in a good mood then in a split sec I am moody irritable throwing things punching things screaming yelling freaking out I catch myself very upset not careing about life itself anymore its like I black out for a sec and yes it is affecting my marriage I need help I want help before I lose it all

- Cathy


James S. Anthony, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist -

Thank you for your question.  First, it's best that you not try to diagnose yourself.  May I suggest that you see a competent psychologist or other mental health professional and complete a proper intake and diagnostic evaluation.  If, it is determined that you are bipolar, then a range of treatment options are available to you, to include medication.  As for becoming threatening and freaking out, this is definitely something that needs urgent attention as you certainly don't want to harm either yourself or others or damage property.  A good anger management program should be considered.  I usually recommend the free Anger Management Workbook that can be accessed through this website.  Good Luck to you and please follow-up with these suggestions.  

--James S. Anthony, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Saint Paul, MN


Max K Shapey, LCSW -

Hi Cathy,
I’m sorry to hear about how much you’re suffering, and if possible, I would like to help you.
It’s really not possible to give an accurate diagnosis with this limited information; the diagnostic process is much more nuanced than pattern-matching.
However, BiPolar Disorder is one possible diagnosis for the symptoms that you are describing.
As your situation sounds quite serious, I must strongly urge you to seek professional care as soon as possible.
Hope this is helpful.

--Max K Shapey, LCSW
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