Hi, Sand S,
I will try to answer your questions, ok?
First, you need to get off both of your SSRIs and find out if they are making you manic, paranoid, etc. or if they are causing it. Two of them together could frankly cause BP symptoms in a non BP. Defo the wrong way to go, even if you are a depressed BP. You CANNOT get an accurate dx being hopped up on them.
Yes, you are being smart for seeing a pdoc. I hope he doesn't dx you on the spot as Nickie said, considering the meds. He should be asking lots of questions, as BP can be confused with borderline personality, ADD, PSTD, and schitzophrenia very often. It's hard to dx accurately, if it is not, then treatment will be wrong. For instance, if they dx you ADHD, then the treatment is prescription amphetamines! Can you imagine!!!!!!!
The things you mention can exist in OCD, schitzophrenia and anxiety to name a couple of possibilities. (The picking and paranoia).
I have all those things myself, they also very often come with BP, usually a whole laundry list of disorders go with it. There is a personality test you can take online that will help you understand what you MAY be dealing with, always talk to your doc about HIS opinion of your idiosyncrities, tho. Unfortunately, meds won't clean all those things up, you need counseling for most of them. But they will help for sure.
Most of us have dysfunctional families with some sort of abuse. But it IS a physical illness. Most of us were weird kids, didn't fit in because we were different even as children, and most adults just thought we were "bad" therefore needing stronger and stronger "discipline". Both my parents emotionally abused me and beat me on a regular basis. That CERTAINLY didn't help me become a healthy, confident well rounded person. It damaged me beyond belief on top of having BP. Thanks mom and dad, I sure appreciate that. And yes I have confronted them, all they say is "we did the best we knew how, you were out of control". What a cop out.
It's very normal to be in denial with a dx of BP. In fact, strange if you aren't. It's a horrible thing to face that you are "seriously mentally ill" in the same category as schitzophrenia. And, to top it off, know you will have it the rest of your life, only for it to become worse with time. Luckily they are making better and better meds now, and will continue to do so, so think of that if you are dx BP.
I'm sure you have read the list of mania sx over and over. I will copy/past the list again, in case you haven't.
Have you ever really damaged your life with any fo these sx? I can't remember, didn't you say you bounced checks or something?? Usually by your age, you have done something relatively damaging, even if it's just losing jobs due to your mouth, lol!
here's the list;
Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from overly "high" and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression.
A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, four additional symptoms must be present.