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Am I Bipolar Or Just Depressed


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#1 ando1967

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 07:02 AM

I have a long history of depression- 20 years + with several major episodes and a diagnosis of dysthymia
most of the time i have been very high acheiving with scores of publications in scientific texts and journals - i have crammed a lot into the last 2 decades although I generally feel like a failure. Currently I am on escitalopram from a bout of clinical depression- anbout 3 months- the concern i have is my mood variability - i have posted re this before- generally i feel low but even during these times my thoughts are racing - usually a montage of negative stuff - my days are mad- i can't concentrate on any one thing for more than a few minutes- i get motivated to start something but can't keep focused and get irritable and critical of my lack of productivity- i may have times (minutes) of feeling high and positive and this usually involves seeing something positive as acheivable despite my currently low mental state but this is usually quashed quickly. In the evening i start to feel more grandiose and make plans (often agreeing to things I can't achieve - ie - as i wake the next day with a catatonic depression) i feel like i am in a maelstrom of emotions which pull me all over the shop and leave me very exhausted. I also feel suicidal most of the time apart from during the more "elevated" minutes during the day or hours in the evening
This is not recent - before the escitalopram i was worse with respect to mood swings and volatility - i think the depression is lifting slowly but i think there is much more going on and am worried i have some undiagnosed "other" issue
I have destroyed all my relationships and have no friends as everyone has been pushed away. I must say i am very alone confused and things seem very ominous
hmmm
really struggling - wondering if i need a mood stabilizer - one psychiatrist i saw thought this may be the case but wasn't sure and i am worried re the effects these will have on me
thanks
David

#2 Trace

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:38 AM

Hi David

Unfortunately we cannot answer this question for you, as we are not professionals and Bipolar is very hard to diagnose as it contains symptoms of other forms of depression and mental illness's. What you are describing could be anything from depression, ADD, to a personality disorder or bipolar. I see you have a psychiatrist. Just keep working together with them and you should eventually get a diagnosis.
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Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind.... Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. - A course of miracles.

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#3 swanlinnet

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

Hiya David

You sound like a talented person with tons of energy.

Good medication can and often does help. I never hesitated to
keep on searching for the 'right' medication and would only say there
will be good medication for you if, indeed, you feel the need for some
kind of sedative/ anti-depressant.

A lot of it is trail and error. And so keep on badgering the doctor ...that's what they are there for.

Hope this helps a little. Swanlinnet :)
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#4 ando1967

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:13 PM

Thanks Trace and Swanlinnet
I will keep trying to get answers and find something to even things out a bit- sometimes it feels like an uphill battle to get enough time with the "professionals" - to get the diagnosis etc - It would be good to at least feel you are treating / managing the correct disorder. The potential efficacy of treatment for that disorder is another story but at least it would be good to think your energies were directed in the right direction. Thanks for your helpful comments.
David

#5 WorkingTowardsaBetterLife

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:00 PM

I have a long history of depression- 20 years + with several major episodes and a diagnosis of dysthymia
most of the time i have been very high acheiving with scores of publications in scientific texts and journals - i have crammed a lot into the last 2 decades although I generally feel like a failure. Currently I am on escitalopram from a bout of clinical depression- anbout 3 months- the concern i have is my mood variability - i have posted re this before- generally i feel low but even during these times my thoughts are racing - usually a montage of negative stuff - my days are mad- i can't concentrate on any one thing for more than a few minutes- i get motivated to start something but can't keep focused and get irritable and critical of my lack of productivity- i may have times (minutes) of feeling high and positive and this usually involves seeing something positive as acheivable despite my currently low mental state but this is usually quashed quickly. In the evening i start to feel more grandiose and make plans (often agreeing to things I can't achieve - ie - as i wake the next day with a catatonic depression) i feel like i am in a maelstrom of emotions which pull me all over the shop and leave me very exhausted. I also feel suicidal most of the time apart from during the more "elevated" minutes during the day or hours in the evening
This is not recent - before the escitalopram i was worse with respect to mood swings and volatility - i think the depression is lifting slowly but i think there is much more going on and am worried i have some undiagnosed "other" issue
I have destroyed all my relationships and have no friends as everyone has been pushed away. I must say i am very alone confused and things seem very ominous
hmmm
really struggling - wondering if i need a mood stabilizer - one psychiatrist i saw thought this may be the case but wasn't sure and i am worried re the effects these will have on me
thanks
David


A few things I learned about BP which may help you. My psych said most ADD/ADHD people don't suffer from insomnia like many BP people do, including me. My mind just won't shut off. Unmediated I think about 3-5 things at once. Without meds I don't sleep but an hour a night if lucky.

What is your family history? My Dad also is BP1, my Mom has mental health problems.

Do you have a history of reckless behavior, crime, drugs, etc. I do.

Have you taken any of the online personality disorder tests? Try a few and compare the results. Then take them a month or two later. The first one my PDOC had me take I compared to the self ones I took months later and they matched perfectly for BP and other mental health issues.

I actually googled WebMD, its a good site, for the differences between BP and ADHD I would post but that's not allowed so google it.

#6 ando1967

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:34 PM

Thanks
the comment "my mind won't shut off" sums it up well- i tell people it's so noisy- i am bombarded constantly with thoughts, recollections, ideas, plans, regrets - i seem really sensitive to noise generally - when trying to sleep this all becomes too much and sometimes I end up in a ball begging my head to shut the f*** up- it never listens!
A lot of mental hx on my mum's side of the family but not sure exactly what- all alcoholics (including my parents) as am I - self medicating i guess - I have been involved with to much crime/drugs/risk taking to mention- I should be grateful I am on my sofa and not in a cell as i think that would finsih me off mentally
I have done some online personality tests and they always come up with multiple personality defects- not sure how common that is. My psychiatrist has never suggested any of these ...
I will look at WebMD - and the ADHD/BP cpmparison
thanks for your comments
DD

Edited by ando1967, 17 August 2012 - 03:35 PM.


#7 Sheepwoman

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

I'm BP I and have the racing thoughts, even when depressed. The mind chatter never shuts off. I can say the meds have made it quieter and I can think and talk rationally. My behavior is more acceptable. Fortunately for me, all my friends have stuck by my side through thick and thin. One friend admitted to me there was a period of time they just didn't want me around. He's glad I've gotten myself back to the old me. He hinted that the med mix was causing the problem. Things are sorted out now and my relationships with my friends are back to par. It took quite a while before I was diagnosed Bipolar and then 2 decades later Bipolar I. Mood stabilizers can be used with regular depression, too. You have a long MH health history. Maybe when you see your pdoc again, discuss the racing thoughts and erratic behavior. One thing you must do for yourself is to quit drinking alcohol. It can affect how your medication is working.
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