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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I have wondered for years, whats wrong with me Those closest

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I have wondered for years, "what's wrong with me?" Those closest to me have wondered the same thing. I have been told by well-meaning, but ill-informed loved ones that I might be ADD, but everything I read on that condition has a learning disability or difficulty attached to it. I learn incredibly well and with minimal effort. My difficulty is that my mind NEVER stops. Ever. I exhaust every girlfriend or friend that I have. I have also been told that I may be bipolar/manic, because when I drink, I cannot control the amount of consumption or the suicidal/murderous rage that pours out of me like molten lava. I do not drink for good reason now, but my day to day is becoming more and more effected by my mind and my increasing lack of control of it. I turned 31 a few weeks ago and realized that over the past decade, my head has gotten increasingly worse, totally opposite what I have thought would happen. My anxiety is through the roof. I recently began looking into obsessive/compulsive behavior profiles, and a great deal of what I read sounds closer to how I act than anything else yet found. I obsess over religious ideas, and cannot stop from constantly "cross-examining" all that I believe to be incorrect about the canonized bible and the tremendous amount of secular history I read pertaining to early christian times. I could go on for days on these but will leave it there for now. On the compulsion side, I count, and have counted non stop since I can remember; and not 1 2 3 4 like ordinary people, but complex matrix patterns on street signs as I pass them. Door knobs, and picture frames are a personal favorite for numeric categorizing and patterning. I shared some of these ideas last night with my girlfriend and she had to ask me to stop illlustrating for it started making her nervous. I am hesitant to seek medical help for the reason that I have received differing diagnoses from Dr.'s and they all were accompanied with a recommendation for the latest pill on the market. If at all possible, I really want to find holistic treatments before I introduce narcotics into my body. Obviously narcotics are a great alternative to suicide or harming others, but its not there......yet, and I plan on not allowing my psychiatric problems to adversely effect my existence much longer. Thank you.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

Life is obviously full of difficulties and challenges for you every day. You do not have ADHD (formerly called ADD). You seem, from a cursory analysis of what you have told me, to be suffereing from two different disorders:

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by racing thoughts, compuslive behavior (such as drinking), suicidal thoughts, angry rages, and the inability to control your behavior and feelings in this regard. You have clasic symptoms.

Psychotherapy can be helpful in lessening symptoms and controlling behavior, but much evidence points to the possibility of chemical imbalance in your brain. Certain medications, which are not narcotics or opiates, have been shown to be useful in stopping the manic behavior that you are showing. Antidepressants, such as Prozac, on the other hand, can make the manic phases much more severe. There is a definite risk of suicide for untreated bipolar disorder.

You are also suffering from an anxiety disorder known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and once again show the classic symptoms for the obsessive AND the compulsive types of this disorder.

Exercise and stress reduction techniques are very therapeutic in lowering the symptoms. Non drug psychotherapy, particularly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is also very effective. Some medications as an adjunct can be helpful too.

I urge you to visit a clincial counselor or clinical psychologist to confirm diagnosis and begin therapy. You may have to visit a psychiatrist as well for medications to control your bipolar disorder, which can put you at great risk for suicide if not properly treated.

During my internship,one of my two supervisors was a psychiatrist who was himself afflicted with bipolar disorder, took his daily meds, and carried on a successful practice on a gruelling schedule. He was even chief resident of a major teaching hospital for awhile. He had many patients with bipolar disorder, and always greeted the new ones with his own background and told them, "Welcome to the club".

My point is, bipolar disorder can be managed and you can lead a normal life. Furthermore, OCD can be managed or eliminated. You will have to work on both.

Take heart. There is help available for you, and you can live a normal functional life.

Best wishes,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
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