How to get diagnosed?

Q: I have been diagnosed with depression about five years ago by my family practitioner. I do not have insurance and cannot afford to see a psychiatrist for more appropriate diagnosis and medications. I have been on Zoloft now for two months, before having tried Effexor, Serxone, Wellbutrin and Prozac. Prozac seemed to work well for a wjile then it stopped being as effective as in the beginning. I am afraid the same will happen with Zoloft. My moods vary pretty rapidly and I cannot seem to keep focused or have the desire enough to keep a job going. The reason I think I am bi-polar is because my sister-in-law was diagnoses and we have a lot of the same symptoms.(Violent thoughts, mood swings, compulsiveness) I get more depressed and have hopelessness, wihdraw from everyone and everything, just want to sleep and have suicidal thoughts where I don't think she does really, though. I have been struggling with these moods and thoughts since I was a child, but only sought out help as I became an adult. I am 30 now. I have bookmarked the page about getting help with medication financially. But, how do I get a real diagnosis so I can get on with my life? I am so tired. I just want to peel away this "thing" that's holding me back! How do I get help????

Dear Chris --
First, try reading through my site on bipolar II to see how that information might add to your efforts to figure yourself out.  If your still thinking bipolar at that point, there's a letter on the site you can try taking to your primary care doc'.

Published March, 2001