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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Identifying Manic Depression

12/15/2005

Question:

Dear Doctor I was dignosed with manic-depression when I was 16 and after reading other people's stories on the internet I'm actually worried I don't have it. They`re all doing "exciting" stuff, extreme stuff and I look like a kitten compared to them. Am I not severe enough to have MD? My doctor is thinking of putting me on medication and if the diagnosis is wrong it`s gonna screw up my system. I`ll end up with hypno-disk eyes. Although my history might seem erm, "juicy" (stealing, fighting, one or two psychotic elements - but no drug abuse whatsoever. Trust me, it is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds.), I don`t go crazy or anything. Well I don`t think I do. I`m a complete loner so I hope no-one will notice. I was hoping this diagnosis is correct because I won`t be miserable anymore. I have no family history of MD, although I don`t know my father`s side, and my mother doesn`t think I have it either. C`mon Doc - let`s hear YOUR suggestions . . . I know you can hear me.

Answer:

I'm afraid you are asking for a diagnosis, which I am unable to do over the internet.  If you are concerned about the accuracy of your diagnosis, I strongly encourage you to get a second opinion by another psychiatrist in your area.  That is always an appropriate action to take.

Remember that mental illness affects people in many different ways, and that includes manic-depression, or bipolar affective disorder (BAD), as it is often called today.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati