By Cassondra Lynn, age 15, California

As a teenage girl who's just about to reach her 16th birthday, mood swings and what not are considered "normal". It's just hormones, my doctor says. She says I'll get over it with age.

But I refuse to tell her about my cutting. About crying when everything is going my way. About suicidal thoughts. About being in my "hole".

Ah yes, my hole ... that's what I call it. On bad days it feels like I'm trapped inside a grave built just for me - I can swear it's there. I'll cry and take my anger out on other people. I'll result to ripping my skin, to starting arguments with the people I care about the most. I even have a mood I like to label "suicidal hyperness" where I'm laughing hysterically yet trying to jump off the edge of a cliff ... literally. This usually happens when I'm walking on the path on top of our town's levee, so I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the 20 foot drop with jagged rocks within reach at the bottom. Sometimes I even want to break up with my boyfriend, because if he's gone I have nothing to live for, so it would be so much easier to just walk away from this town.

Now some days I'm not in a hole at all. I'm in the clouds, laughing for no reason, hyper beyond all control. And all that's just the start.

Enough of that. Back to the point. I'm a hypocrite. Catch my last article? "Sup Doc?" in the Health section? I plead with readers to talk to their doctors, but now I refuse to talk to mine. I've decided I'd rather live with the constant mood swings, even though I constantly hurt my friends and family because of them, because I know that without these feelings I wouldn't be me. My friends call me bipolar all the time, because even they can see the mood swings that bother me. They can also see that I have trouble focusing and sometimes get a little too paranoid. But when they say it, it's like we're just joking around. It's not real. Doctors and medication? Now that's real. And scary.

So maybe I'm making the wrong decision. I know it hasn't gotten out of hand, not yet at least. I mean, for all I know, my doctor is right. Just hormones, as readers will probably agree. I wrote this article as a way to decide whether or not to ask my doctor about my feelings and mood swings. And I have used this as a way to let out all my feelings the way I do it best - writing them down on paper. I'd love to hear your opinions, seeing as how I'm a bit afraid to discuss this with my friends and family, afraid of their judgment. Just scroll down to the feedback form, and tell me what's on your mind! Thanks. I feel much better now that I have let these feelings out.

If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, you may find this link helpful:

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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