|If you are in a life-threatening situation, or if you may be a danger to others, your first stop is the emergency room of your local hospital.
This is very important.
If this is all sounding familiar but you are currently in control, make an appointment with a psychiatrist as soon as you can.
If you need a referral from your doctor, explain that you think you may have bipolar disorder, and what makes you think that. It may be helpful to make some notes to bring along so you won't worry about forgetting something.
Once you have a referral, you can then work with your psychiatrist to obtain an accurate diagnosis and arrange treatment and counseling/therapy.
Can UAB help me?
You may want to talk to someone at a counseling center.
UAB has a Counseling Center
available for students, and there are a number of others
Disability Support Services can also help you with support academically.
I've got an appointment - what do I do now?
In the meantime, try to stay on a regular sleep cycle. This may seem difficult (or impossible!) as a college student, but it is extremely important that you get enough sleep and go to bed at around the same time each night.
Consistent eating patterns are also helpful. These provide a certain amount of structure and help you to build a routine that you can stick to no matter what your mood at the time.
If you have a close and trusted friend or family member, tell him or her. Your diagnosis may not come as a surprise, and may be a relief. Explain to him/her what bipolar disorder can mean, and how it changes your behavior. Your friend can help keep you out of harm during manic episodes and make sure you get the support you need at all times.
It will not be easy - from either side - but having a supportive friend or family member can make a huge difference.