Bipolar or unipolar?

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havana
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 7/9/2010 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Maybe this sounds like an easy question, but I'm wondering how one tells if one's bipolar or unipolar. For example, how does one define "hypomania"?
 
I'd been diagnosed for a long time as having clinical depression. Then one pdoc noticed irritability and diagnosed me as bipolar 2. Another pdoc said he'd never seen any signs of hypomania and returned my diagnosis to clinical depression. My current pdoc, to whom I've been going for years, says that I've been on so many antidepressants without help for so long that I MUST be bipolar 2.
 
Me, I'm confused.
 
I'm going to research "hypomania" and "bipolar 2" yet again and see what I find. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you folks and get your take on bipolar (2) vs. unipolar/clinical depression. Thanks so much for any help you can give me.
 
I don't care WHAT I get diagnosed as, as long as I get help!
 
Yerz trooooooly,
Havana
 
 
Havana
bipolar II, panic/anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome 
current meds: Clonazepam, 0.5 mg prn; Topamax, 50 mg


tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 7/9/2010 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   
havana said...
My current pdoc, to whom I've been going for years, says that I've been on so many antidepressants without help for so long that I MUST be bipolar 2. 
This doesn't make sense to me!  Antidepressants (alone) in someone with BP tend to trigger mania!
 
Maybe a second opinion really is a good idea?
 
Plus, irritability is often a symptom of depression, so I don't know how the first one decided it was bipolar.
 
I don't know what you are, but what you've written about your diagnoses seems strange.
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder


havana
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 7/9/2010 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to both of you for your take on the unipolar/bipolar issue. I can't even tell you if I've ever experienced hypomania. If I have, it's never morphed into mania. It--if I've had it at all--has simply felt good. I've experienced the feelings of well-being and productivity. The only time I've had an extended period of serious depression has been over the past couple of months, and this is becoming unbearable. Usually, in the past, panic/anxiety were much harder to deal with than depression. Now, I've got panic, anxiety, AND depression! What fun! :-)

I will definitely talk to my pdoc about getting a second opinion. Maybe if he arranges an appointment for me, I'll be able to get in and see another pdoc for a second opinion a lot more quickly than if I called around and tried to make an appointment myself. I live in a relatively small place, so there really aren't many psychiatrists around here. I'd have to go a lot farther afield to find a bunch of pdocs. Maybe my psychiatrist knows pdocs in other cities. We don't exactly have a stellar cast of psychiatrists around here; I'd definitely say that the doc I go to is the best pdoc in town. Despite everything, I trust him, and I know he's trying hard to find something, ANYTHING, that will work on me. And I know that he's as concerned, frustrated, and worried as I am. That goes a long way, but still, getting my problems fixed would help a lot. It stinks being someone who doesn't seem to respond to meds.

Thanks again for your insights!

Warmly yours,
Havana
Havana
bipolar II, panic/anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome 
current meds: Clonazepam, 0.5 mg prn; Topamax, 50 mg


Voix
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 218
   Posted 7/9/2010 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a tip, if you do call around to make a new appointment, ask them if they have any cancellations. When I started with my new psychiatrist, I was in bad enough shape that I should have gone to the emergency room. They told me it was going to take 3 weeks to get an appointment but I asked the secretary to check for cancellations and she was able to get me an appointment in 4 days.
"crazy" french girl with bipolar II

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