Bipolar Disorder or Depression?

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Whyus
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/8/2009 10:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm now confused.  As I continue to research on my husband's condition and the meds he's on, I don't understand the difference between being bipolar and being depressed.  He's on Lexapro now.  He's been on Zoloft, Paxil, Clonopin, Prozac.  From what I've read so far, these are for treating depression, right?  If he's bipolar, clearly he's on the wrong meds.  I know, I know, I know, we have to figure all this out with his doctor.
 
He came home one time and announced to me that his psychiatrist had diagnosed him with manic depression- basically that he was bipolar?  He used the word bipolar.   I'm so confused now.  I should have paid more attention to him then.  Why would I not want to deal with my lover's illness?  Why would I not do anything to help him until it is too late and he's feeling like he doesn't love me anymore?
 
Can anyone explain to me what the difference is or guide me in the direction of some good reading material so I can research? 
 
He also suffers from anxiety, obssesive compulsive disorder.  Are these connected to depression or bipolar disorder?  Help!  Thanks.
I am a 34 year old woman married to a bipolar man who also has OCD.  2009 will be 10 year anniversary.  Three small children.  Seeking therapy for myself- finally.  Desperately want to keep my family together and save my marriage.  Husband doesn't want to go to marriage counseling.  Looking for support from other people with bipolar spouses.  Thanks.


BD_spouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/8/2009 11:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I think you have to look at your husband's history. How long has he been depressed? Or Manic? Or both?

My husband cycles... meaning since he was about 16 he goes from being depressed to manic to ok to depressed and around and around and around on this cycle every 6-8 months give or take.

Is your husband JUST down or JUST up?

I'm not a doctor and honestly my DH and I have done a billion online "assessments" that hit the nail on the head everytime for BD. He's been informally "diagnosed" with BD but they need to do all the formal tests and assessments.

Talk to a doc. Maybe he needs to be looked at more closely?
From the moment

From the moment i saw you,
I wanted to meet you
From the moment i met you, I wanted to know you
From the moment i knew you, I was in love with you
From the moment i loved you, I wanted to share my life with you
and from that moment to this moment and for the moments to come I will love you with all my heart.
-author unknown


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/9/2009 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Whyus:

The basic difference is the mania. Depression is the chronic low feeling. Mania is the prolonged "elated" feeling. Elated doesn't necessarily mean good here. It can mean feeling good, but it can also mean agitated, irritable, etc.

Here's a couple of links:

www.mayoclinic.com/health/bipolar-disorder/DS00356/DSECTION=symptoms

www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/symptoms.shtml

Start with these pages then explore the websites around them for further information about bipolar. Another good website about bipolar disorder is The Depression and Bipolar Alliance website.
www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_MDOverview

Hope this helps.
serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Whyus
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 1/12/2009 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Serafena and BD Spouse,

Thanks for your replies. I had already looked up the resources you sent me Serafena. I'm now just trying to formulate in my head how to start the conversation about seeing psychiatrist and adjusting his meds and bringing up counseling again. Any guidance on this would be appreciated. I just never know how he's going to react when I want to "talk". Usually it's he doesn't want to talk about it. This is very frustrating. I have to figure out a way not to start crying as soon as I bring up these topics. This is where my hesitation begins. The longer I wait the worse it's going to get and the harder it's going to be to "fix" or begin mending everything back together.
 


inertia
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 1/12/2009 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
keep in mind also with bipolar there are i belive 3 types of bipolar (bp 1, bp 2, and cyclo..somthing the rapid cycing one) and varying degrees within those types. And as many have warned there are several other mental illnesses that can look very like bp and is easy to misdiagnose.

idealy a bp should be on anti depressands and a mood stabilizer, sometimes also an antipsychotic, and should be seeing a therapist regularly.

4support
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 1/12/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Whyus,

Everyone is individual, but typically someone diagnosed as Bipolar will start on a mood stabilizer (one or multiple), it's not the same for everyone but it usually takes a good long while to find the right one or combo to stabilize. My husband has been thru multiple meds before he found the Lithium/Lamictal combo to work the best. He also takes an anti-anxiety as needed. It's up to the psychiatrist if he/she chooses to add an anti-depressant if/as needed, as those have to be monitored carefully with the mood stabilizers.

Hope that helps. Finding the right meds/doctors/therapists can take a LONG time, unfortunately.

Hang in there,

4

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/13/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Whyus,

Anxiety is almost mandatory for bipolar disorder, that's how common it is, and OCD is very common too. It is really frequent that you find other disorders linked with bipolar, which is why many of us are on a bunch of meds.

There are the three types of meds which docs play with to try and find the right balance and prescriptions: mood stabilizers (almost all bipolars are on at least one of these), anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics (for mania). Anti-depressants are almost never given alone (without a mood stabilizer) to bipolars because they can bring on mania. There's also anxiety medications.

Lots of these medications take weeks to take effect because they need to build up.

As to your crying, try practicing when he's not around. Have the conversation in the mirror a couple of times until you can do it without tearing up. It's very normal that he doesn't want to talk about it, but you still need to do it. Just tell him you're worried and ask him to have his meds evaluated.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

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