I Was Diagnosed As Bipolar, But I Am Unsure If I Really Am Or NotI was diagnosed as Bipolar by a GP (general doctor) at the start of 2008. He was not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but he had a very good understanding of mental issues, and didn't treat me like a child, etc. He was very straight up and told it like it is.
Anyway, after a good hour-long first session, he said it seemed I had the symptoms of bipolar (pretty textbook symptoms too - I have a psych degree so I already knew plenty about different mental illnesses). He referred me to a psychologist and she really didn't help me at all. I went for five sessions and then forgot to make the appointment for the sixth session, and never went back.
I have never been back to a doctor since then for my mental issues. I definitely have depression, and have had it for over a decade now (I am 29). Whether it is actually bipolar disorder or not I am not sure. The main reason I doubt it is that I don't feel that my experiences have been severe enough to warrant a diagnosis of bipolar. I kinda feel like a fraud. There were bad times, for example I was arrested for severe drink driving in 2006 and gained a criminal record for it - something COMPLETELY out of character for me (my parents still don't know). I constantly wanted to run away to the other side of the world where noone knew me and I could "start again", and if I'd ever been able to afford a ticket to America or Europe I would have left at the drop of a hat without even telling anyone. I went through four years of cutting myself from the age of 18-22, I've had insomnia since I was 5 or 6, I have a very hyperactive brain, and when I do speed or coke I find they don't really affect me, unless I do heaps of speed and then it makes me sleepy!
I don't know whether I should see anyone or not - I can't really afford expensive treatment, and I saw a psychiatrist when I was 21 and he was generally useless and just put me on medication (Luvox) which didn't do anything. I feel I am too old to be acting this "childishly" about my problems; that I am behaving like an angsty teenager, and that I should really grow up and get my **** together. I don't feel I am "sick" enough to require treatment and feel like a fraud and maybe I am subconsciously just an attention seeker. I discounted the bipolar diagnosis, especially since I haven't had anything that could be a considered a manic episode for several years now. I know you can go a long time between manic episodes (and some people only ever have one) but I still don't feel I am sick enough to really be bipolar.
Should I bother seeing someone about it? Should I just go to a GP and explain my problem? Does anyone in Australia, particularly Melbourne, know any good doctors/psychologists to go to?