Writer in distress contacts me

Dear Aidan,
I love your website, Twitter and Instagram

Here’s my problem.. I think I might have the Bipolar Disorder.

I get extremely depressed for weeks and months on end, losing my appetite for food, being unable to sleep and constantly thinking about suicide. Then I come out of it and feel that life is good, sleep better etc. But then months later I start to get depressed again. But each time I pretend to everyone that everything is ok, but inside I feel completely differently. I feel like I want to die again. I don’t want to tell anyone because I’m worried they’ll over-react or make a big deal out of it. I would love to commit suicide but I know I’m probably never going to go through with it because I’m too scared. I have people now who would be incredibly upset by my death so I know it would be selfish to kill myself no matter how much I’d love to. Yet all the while I have to live with this feeling of wanting to die and insomnia and loss of appetite etc. I go round in circles in my head thinking it’ll do me better to tell my best friend but then I think it would be selfish to because it would worry him because he cares so much and he could tell more or walk away,

I don’t want to see a doctor or counsellor to talk about it because sometimes all i want to do is talk to my friend who can give me time.I have that friend, but I’m worried it’ll just turn him away.

Help me?

Jenna (name changed)

Hi Jenna,

I am sorry to hear that you have periods of feeling so low and so desperate.

I think it is best at the moment to try not to put labels such as bipolar on yourself at this moment in time, and just look at how your experiences affect you, and how best you can try to manage them.

Many people go through periods of depression and don’t have a diagnosis of Bipolar.

Going to the doctors or seeing a counsellor is not for everyone, however I wonder if feeling so low that you would like to end it all (even though you say you won’t) would be more of a fear than seeing a professional about all of this?

I think if you tell this friend of yours, but are able to reassure them that you will not attempt suicide, that you have felt this way before and haven’t done anything like suicide. However you are telling them because you need to let someone else know how you are feeling.

But I will say that you should be prepared for them to suggest seeing a doctor or counsellor and maybe with some pressure to do so. It’s probably the decision too. I’m not pushing it, as it’ll come to you in time/ you’ll know when it’s right to talk to a professional.

Do remember the Samaritans too. 116123. 24/7

AOC