Hypomania or just a normal mood swings?

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fadingstar
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/26/2012 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone!!

So I am 16 years old and have been diagnosed with depression. I have tried two different antidepressants but both made me experience what my psychiatrist called manic episodes. I do experience mood swings quite frequently and always thought they were due to normal teenage hormones, but today while doing some research I came across the term 'Hypomania' and I found myself relating to all the symptoms (racing thoughts, bouts of energy, decreased need for sleep, heightened senses, confidence boost etc). Another thing I have noticed is when I am manic due to being on antidepressants, I experience hallucinations, which is something I also experienced as a child.

I have mentioned all of this to my psychiatrist but she has put it down to normal teenage mood swings. But if they were, why would I be experiencing depression? I am just so confused about whether or not to be concerned about the moods wings, or if they mean something more and can be related to the mania I experience when on antidepressants. I don't want to keep bringing it up to my psychiatrist when we have already discussed it, but I can't help but going over it in my head. Aren't I experiencing the symptoms of Bipolar 2, or am I just thinking too much? Arghh!

Thanks for any replies... this whole thing is probably confusing but I just need some advice or at least for someone to understand! Thanks again :)

-Tara.

tortoise11
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/26/2012 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tara! :)

Manic episodes that were caused by antidepressants (or any medication) cannot be counted towards the diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

With that said, people with bipolar disorder are more likely to get manic from medication.

What you need to do is keep a mood chart. I use a free chart at medhelp.org. It's easy to use but very sophisticated. Keep one going for a few months. It might be the information your psychiatrist needs to diagnose a mood disorder or show that you don't have one.

Best Wishes, XOXO
Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lamictal 200 mg, Seroquel 400 mg, Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed.

fadingstar
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/27/2012 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
tortoise,

Thanks for your reply. I know that drug-induced manic episodes don't count towards the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, but I guess from my point of view it seems odd that I experience hypomanic symptoms when not on medication and experience full blown mania when on medication, but I'm probably just over thinking things. It just seems like the medication supposed to be helping me is making me worse in a totally different way and it's so confusing!

I think a mood chart is a great idea and I will definitely try it.

Thanks again for your reply,

-Tara

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 2/27/2012 2:11 PM (GMT -6)   
It makes sense to me,too, Tara, that if you are bipolar, you could have hypomania when in an episode; and if you have a sensitivity to the medication prescribed, (as some do) you could be thrown into mania.

The secret is to get the right combination of medications that allow you to think clearly, function well, and feel acceptably well. That's the aim of psychiatry, I think. (And to get the chemistry of the brain in balance once more, because Bipolar illness is a chemical imbalance.)

With your concern about your well-being and effort to improve your lifestyle with exercise, diet, and healthy social relationships, you may even go into remission. All those things play a part in your growing improvement.

Take care.

It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 2/27/2012 1:14:52 PM (GMT-7)


fadingstar
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/27/2012 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
It's Genetic,

Thanks for your reply. I guess I have all these concerns about my mood swings and if they are actually mood swings or hypomania. I have expressed these to my psychiatrist but she has already written them off as normal. My biggest worry is whether or not to trust her and accept that they are normal mood swings and try more antidepressants, or go with my gut instinct and keep pushing on with my concerns. I am just worried she'll think I don't trust her as a doctor if I do that - and there's no way I can get the right cocktail of meds if I don't have the correct diagnosis.

I'm just very confused about what to do in this situation!

-Tara.

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 2/27/2012 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
At sixteen, Tara, it's very likely that your emotions are not fully mature at this point in your life. I'd trust my psychiatrist's judgment, but allow for the possibility that, if these wide mood swings continue to occur as you grow older, you might wish to see another psychiatrist. I believe, however, that you may be getting very good advice from your current doctor. The antidepressants are helpful in many cases to alleviate mild depression.

Good luck and keep posting as you wish.

It's Genetic

fadingstar
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/27/2012 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
It's just hard because I can't even treat my depression as I just go manic when on antidepressants. But you're right - I should trust my doctor and I will take the medication that is given to me and tell them the truth and hope they can help me!

Thanks for your reply,

-Tara.

It's Genetic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 2/27/2012 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Smart girl, Tara, and, remember, if one antidepressant doesn't work there are hundreds of different types of medication to treat depression that won't cause manic episodes. Ask you doctor for one that isn't likely to cause hypo-manic states.

By the way, if you drink soft drinks (sodas), stop using them, please. They may contain an artificial sweetener called Aspartame that is detrimental to depression in patients. Caffeine is also harmful for depresssion. Sugar should be avoided as well, because it causes highs and lows, too, in feeling.  So you've got some personal choices to try to help yourself.

Avoid chocolate, soft drinks, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. They are addictive and are all bad for people who have depression. Why? Because they cause elevated feeling levels, but then after about four hours, they cause a letdown in feeling that is below normal. And they are addictive.

Go to ruthwhalen.com/caffeine on the internet to learn just how dangerous caffeine is for us to drink.

Take care.

It's Genetic

forever7
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 2/27/2012 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
fadingstar said...
It's just hard because I can't even treat my depression as I just go manic when on antidepressants. But you're right - I should trust my doctor and I will take the medication that is given to me and tell them the truth and hope they can help me!

Thanks for your reply,

-Tara.


Hi Tara,

I'm not sure what antidepressants you have tried and I'm sure your psychiatrist is aware of medication side effects, but many antidepressants have black box warnings for young people under the age of 18 or even 21.

Here's a quote from a posting on NIMH:

In response, the FDA adopted a "black box" label warning indicating that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some children and adolescents with MDD. A black-box warning is the most serious type of warning in prescription drug labeling.

The warning also notes that children and adolescents taking SSRI medications should be closely monitored for any worsening in depression, emergence of suicidal thinking or behavior, or unusual changes in behavior, such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations. Close monitoring is especially important during the first four weeks of treatment. SSRI medications usually have few side effects in children and adolescents, but for unknown reasons, they may trigger agitation and abnormal behavior in certain individuals.

www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/antidepressant-medications-for-children-and-adolescents-information-for-parents-and-caregivers.shtml

Please don't feel afraid of sharing your symptoms and concerns with your doctor. The more information your doctor has, the more they will be able to help you.

And give yourself a pat on the back for getting help for your mental health at your age. Early detection and treatment can only help you in your future:)
Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life.

PTSD
Borderline personality disorder
Bipolar (not sure if I or II yet)
Panic Disorder

400 mg Seroquel XR
175 mg lactimal
150mg wellbutrin
1mg lorazepam as needed

CamanoGirl
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 276
   Posted 2/27/2012 8:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I have read statistics that it take's approximately 10 years to get a diagnosis of Bipolar. I have been on and off medications for my 'emotional' problems since I was 10. I was not diagnosed with Bipolar I until I was 36 years old. So hang in there. Keep track of your mood's, menstruation, and sleep. Keep coming back to this forum, lots of smart people to bounce idea's off of. Good luck.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Lithium 1500mg
Seroquel 200XR
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Taking Chinese herbs for Vitilago

Lasardo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 2/28/2012 1:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Fading star,
1 st,congratulations on dealing with these symptoms at such an early stage of your life..I think it is great..You have saved a lot of turmoil for yourself and the people you love. My life could have been a lot different if I would have been diagnosed sooner.
My symptoms began at age 14, I was always diagnosed with "severe depression" or ADD to account for the racing thoughts etc..I was just diagnosed at 35.
I had to try several medications before one helped but until it did The medication would make me manic, very manic, and the ones that did not help sent me into a spiral of depression. Once i did find the right medication and it took full effect I have been found to actually be a very pleasant, relaxed, "normal" person..people are just amazed.
I actually take a small dose anti-depressant, a mood stabilizer,and something for the ADD.
I got lucky finding a good doctor when dealing with some other health issues. I reiterated and reiterated what I was experiencing..only you know your body. If the doctor is not listening there are plenty of others out there that are great. Don't be afraid to bring it up again and again ..
Good luck seriously and will keep you in my thoughts..
Leslie
Crohns dx,Pelvic Floor Tension,Pelvic Adhesive dx,interstitial cystitis,ileostomy,chronic pain,arthritis,fibromyalgia,severe 42 degree scoliosis,degenerative disc dx,neurological impingement,pelvic tilt and complete loss of neck curve. 4th degree tear during childbirth with 13 reconstructive surgeries (including fistulas) resulting in chronic pelvic pain and an ileostomy. Bp and panic attacks.

fadingstar
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 2/28/2012 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the replies!

I'm going to voice my concerns again and see what she says. It could well be normal teenage mood swings but it seems odd that I can go from being suicidal and not able to function to this happy talkative bubbly person - that does not seem right to me. I would rather be safe and have an insight to my mental health than to tell everyone I don't need help and let it get to the worst possible point before admitting that there was something wrong anyway.

Thanks again for all replies!

-Tara.

tortoise11
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 2/28/2012 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
CamanoGirl said...
I have read statistics that it take's approximately 10 years to get a diagnosis of Bipolar. I have been on and off medications for my 'emotional' problems since I was 10. I was not diagnosed with Bipolar I until I was 36 years old. So hang in there. Keep track of your mood's, menstruation, and sleep. Keep coming back to this forum, lots of smart people to bounce idea's off of. Good luck.
I have read similar.  It was 17 years for me!!!!!

Bipolar Disorder Forum Moderator

Bipolar 1, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, PCOS (hormone disorder).

Lamictal 200 mg, Seroquel 400 mg, Lithium 1,200 mg, Klonopin 1.5 mg as needed.

fitzski
New Member


Date Joined May 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/20/2017 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Anyone got any updates?
I'm on 20g lexapro (once it was up to 30mg)which caused hypermania and was then sedated with firstly lithium which bombed me out night and day, then olanzapine which caused a 20kg weight gain in a matter of weeks followed by seraquel which has sedated me for about 8 years. I was at levels of 350-400mg but have lost years of my life sleeping. So now I'm down to 15/20mg lexapro and 125g seraquel but with creeping anxiety and depression. I was always wondering about the theory that the antidepressants caused a hypermanic reaction in certain people and was told "No, the biploar was just latent all the time and the antidepressants have 'uncovered' it. Then I met a psychiatrist who said that that was indeed true and there is more evidence emerging to support it - that ADs can cause a manic reaction, so me being diagnosed bipolar II was just a reaction to being given antidepressants. It makes sense really. I just want to get off these darn drugs. Whaddya reckon? fitzski
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