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gbrown254

Convinced I'm Bipolar. Is This A Mixed State?

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Hi guys,

I've been battling with depression and anxiety for years. In the last week, it has gotten 100x worse in that the anxiety is through the roof. The only way I can describe it is i have an inner restlessness that i can't seem to control. I pace up and down or shake my legs to control the nervous energy. I've lost my appetite, can't sleep even though I'm exhausted. I guess it feels like a wired feeling. I've lost interest in pretty much everything and lost all my independence. The simplest of things i find too hard to do due to the anxiety.

This has only ever happened 3-4 times in the 5 years of mental health problems. When i look back on myself, i notice periods of irritability as well.

I'm convinced i have bipolar and this is a mixed state. I've never been diagnosed as it and i saw a doctor a few days ago who said i don't have bipolar and he studied psychiatry but I'm still not convinced. It's not like the usual anxiety i have. It leaves me feeling hopeless that i can't overcome this on my own if it is bipolar. Does this sound familiar or is it just really really bad anxiety?

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Also just to state, I've been on citalopram, escitalopram, venlafaxine, sertraline and fluoxetine and none of them have ever seemed to have worked over the 5 years that I've had mental health problems

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Hi! 

I too am no expert and you would need to see a psychiatrist.  I have to say though that from what yiu have been saying you dont seem to be mentioning any of the bipolar symptoms that would indicate a mixed state. In fact you dont seem to be mentioning any hypomanic symptoms at all. Anxiety can be very severe so thats something to consider too. Are you having nightmares about anything specific? 

Edited by Fizzle

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Funny you should say that, I've just had my first nightmare in years. Woken up in buckets of sweat and in panic about a dream where i had been shot and needed an operation. I'm putting a nightmare down to the zoplicone and diazepam I've recently been using to keep me asleep. Dont think I'll be using them again on a night if i have a nightmare like that again.

I guess i just feel wired. Wired in the sense that I'm so anxious, i can't control it. I've battled with anxiety all my life but this is something else. It feels like it's impossible to calm down.

Last night i was feeling better and then bam, this morning I'm back to it again. I did just split up with my gf of 3 years last week and a few days later this happened. But I've also had 1 other episode like this where i was in this state for no reason.

I'm convinced it's bipolar. It's the only thing that could suggest why i don't respond to ssri's, these mood changes. Only problem is I'm on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist and i don't know how long that is. My GP also says i don't have bipolar so i probably won't be put down as urgent to see one either.

I've considered going to A&E a couple of times when the anxiety and restlessness is so bad. But the thought of that scares me. I've got to keep remembering that I've been through a 6 month episode of this before, and i got through it, without any meds. I can and will do it again

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Do you feel elated mood wise and very confident at times? Hypersexuality with it? In other words totally different from normal. Super efficient and like you get a lot done? Risky behavior with little impulse control? Like shopping sprees when you are in that state? Feel rested despite not sleeping? In other words decreased need for sleep rather than not being able to sleep. Grandiosity? 

 

Not being helped by meds doesnt at all mean you have bipolar. There are lots of people who arent helped or helped much by ssris. 

 

What therapy have you done and what are your thought processes like? 

 

I think you need to seriously consider that you broke up with your girlfriend and a week later you are feeling like this. Its easy to try to account for everything being physical sometimes. 

 

Have you or anyone else that you love been shot in the past or had serious medical issues? Have you tried relaxation excercises before? Have you tried Tricyclics and MAOIs? They tend to slow things down. 

Edited by Fizzle

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I don't get any of those symptoms. Never felt high or anything like that. I read about a mixed state in bipolar which is harder to diagnose and instead of mania, it's more like a restlessness and anxiety. I've only been as bad as i am now a couple of times in 5 years. Once when this all started for no reason.

I haven't had much therapy. At most, a few sessions and then it's stopped. Either because i felt it wasn't working or because i ran out of sessions. I've recently been seeing a private counsellor for about 8 or 9 sessions but i dont feel it's helping all that much.

With regards to the nightmare, never had anyone shot (live in England so it's unheard of with the gun laws). I had major surgery on my back last year but feel that's unrelated.

Have only tried relaxation exercises when I'm in the midst of how bad i feel and they don't work. Never tried anything apart from an SSRI or SNRI either. I've only ever seen a GP and they just kept up with those. When I'd exhausted those, they said there wasn't much else they could do and then started me back on the first one again. I've finally been referred to a psychiatrist after years of asking but don't know how long i have to wait. The thought of going on the older style medications terrifies me as I've heard the side effects can be terrible.

I think because I've been in this for so long now, i can't imagine what it's like not in it and that's why i feel I'll never recover

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I got dx bipolar and I before I took my mood stablizers my life was a living hell I mostly had mixed states I would speed my car around then be crying in my car and start laughing and I would feel like my head was a piece of glass that was punched in i remember sitting on my sofa just saying to myself I can,t take this,I was also constantly screaming at everyone around me when i went to work I felt like I was god and above anyone I felt like I was having a adrenline rush when i was crying before then I get really social,and say crazy things.I would be randomly thinking of ways i could do myself in all in the same day I was completely nuts im supriesed I didn,t not get put into a instution.i think thats what a mixed state is I did not feel tired I would be up for a few days and feel no exhaustion.I felt high my eyes feel dilated and I talk faster start laughing at everything.I also was very arrogant.

 

to me it sounds like you have anxiety and depression its still worth getting check by a doc I read a statistic that said 30% of people diagnoised with depression are actually bipolar,its worth checking it.

Edited by scienceguy

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I've never experienced a high or mood changes like that. It's just the anxiety that is ridiculous. It's so annoying waiting for a psychiatrist when I'm this bad as well. I can barely do things and i have to wait weeks possibly months just to see somebody to confirm what I've got

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I have to agree and say it seems much more likely that it is bad anxiety with depression. It sounds classically like that.  What is it specifically that made you think of bipolar? 

 

You say you ran out of t sessions? It sounds to me like there is a lot you can do or try still since you havent really tried therapy. And you haevnt tried other types of anti depressants. A lot of people find the old ones much better for them and have less side effects. They dont stimulate like the ssris do.  A fair amount of people are sent into a agitated state by ssris. 

 

Relaxation is best when done repeatedly and not when you in a totally terrible state. http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/instant_mindfulness.html

 

Dreams use symbols to express things for us and those symbols are usually things that mean something specifically to us in some way so its not surprising you have an operation in it. What an operation means to you is another thing of course. 

 

Try to get the pdoc to do a proper evaluation when you see them. 

 

Oh Im also in the UK by the way, 

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You could try dancing to fast music. This might get rid of some of the nervous energy. Also, you could try distracting yourself with crosswords, video games etc.

When I'm very anxious i try to sleep through it. i give myself an hour of lying still and if I'm not asleep by that time I try to do something.

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I've always been an anxious person and always think of the worst or worry about things. I think it's called Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I resorted to thinking about bipolar because I've had this for so long, and i never seem to have responded with SSRI's and that i have these really severe crashes full of panic, anxiety, depression. I came across something called agitated depression on Google and have convinced myself that's me. The doctor has told me to come off my medication so that I'm on nothing as it isn't working, which if I'm honest, terrifies me. The thought of not being on meds for the first time I've had this doesn't fill me with hope. I feel if I'm not on meds, I'm gonna be stuck like this until something works.

I feel like I'm such a complex case because i have depression, GAD, slight agoraphobia, and a load of other anxiety, that I'll never get better. I'm 25 and I've had this for 4 years now and it doesn't feel any better.

Thanks for replying back to me by the way :) i appreciate it

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You are welcome.

 

Its very common to have that combination of those specific things and agitated depression is just a combination of anxiety and depression. Depression with anxiety is more difficult to treat statistically than one or the other but far from impossible. Especially when you havent tried as many things as you havent.

 

It sounds like you assuming you have bipolar is probably a sign of the type of anxiety you have, at a guess. Things dont change till we make them change often. Anxiety normally responds best to lots of hard work and doing the therapy that we need.You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Dont waste it waiting for something to magically change. 

Edited by Fizzle

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I have read that depression with anxiety is harder to treat and again, my anxiety kicks in and tells me I'll be one of the few who doesn't recover or find anything that works for me.

I guess I'll just have to wait for an official diagnosis about what i have from the psychiatrist. I've got a doctors appointment on Tuesday. Gonna ask if there's any chance they can speed it up with how bad i am at the moment. I dunno how long on average you wait to see a psychiatrist but I'm guessing along with the rest of the NHS and mental health services, it'll be a long time

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I have read that depression with anxiety is harder to treat and again, my anxiety kicks in and tells me I'll be one of the few who doesn't recover or find anything that works for me.

gbrown, how I so can relate to your plight. I've been very much in the same boat having the same thoughts and concerns. My mornings are always worse. There's the Hypothalamus/Pituitary/Adrenal axis that in turn gives us a surge of stress hormones specifically Cortisol in the early mornings and being that we are in the state of mind that we are in it is wreaking havok for us. I think this could explain why our eveings our a bit more mild in comparison. The mornings are awful and torturous. My mind races and goes into obssesive loops that I find next to impossible to curb. I too have had lots of difficulty with getting the right combination of meds to work for me. It doesn't help that these meds take so long and often come with their own set of start up effects that make our condition feel worse.

I have a question for you...if you look back on the times you where on an antidepressant and you where gaining some benefit from it did you feel there a was a cyclical nature to your energy levels? I would go thru cycles of having a good amount of energy and I would capitalize on it by trying to get as many hints done as I could...then I would crash! For a few days I would feel sooooo weak and tired. I used coffee a lot during these times to regain the energy that was lost. Since then, I've come to realize I might have BP type 2. There's something called dysphoric hypomania...so where some people get all the ultra feel good feelings and grandiose notions this is more characterized by extreme agitation, irritability and talkativeness. But I'm

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