Bipolar Symptoms!! help?

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dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/18/2006 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I think I have bipolar, what is the best way to make sure completely? are there any tests or anything? My doctor claims I have a serotonin imbalance already but I'm only on prozac and its not helping at all. I am completely new and lost to this subject. Any information will suffice. Thanks.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


Ellie 1
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 3/18/2006 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi fphilx
There are some online tests but truthfully nothing can take the place of your physician. He is the best qualified to evaluate you for Bipolar disorder.
I'm sure if you do a web search you'll come up with a test, but I'd certainly make an appt. with my doctor to discuss this. I don't know there are any physical tests like blood work etc. to dx bp but there are symptoms that are exclusive to the disorder. Many times a doctor will not dx bp for many visits though.
I know that I was seeing my pdoc for quite some time before he told me that I had BiPolar disorder.
Take Care
Ellie
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.
 
Unknown
 
 

SMSIRL
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 1061
   Posted 3/19/2006 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Why do you think you have Bipolar? What makes you feel that your doctors description is incomplete?


Ellie as an aside :

REM latancy was used as physical test. It is not a conclusive test but can help bolster the clinical evaluation. The test consists of connecting electrodes to your head and recording the output from just before you go asleep until you wake up. The doctor then evaluates the time between you fall asleep and the start of Rapid Eye Movement. People with bipolar disorders [and some others] usually but not always have a short time until REM starts.

dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/19/2006 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I seriously feel that my mood is so much out of my control lately and I'll say things and regret them later.. I really cannot grasp it to a dramatic extent. I'm seeing my psychologist tomorrow so I'm not gonna try to jump to any conclusions.. I do think I have been a victim of at least something all my life. There has been extreme changes in my mood even when I was a child for absolutely no reason. I feel like my whole life I've lived in a sense of euphoria and that the way I've always perceived the world maybe isn't right and I'm just now kind of noticing this because it just recently got really bad. I've always dealt with things fine, was just shy and very manic depressive. But Its gotten out of hand. I had to quit school and I just stay home all day and I can seriously feel somehting inside me that is wrong. Maybe its something else, thats why I just want more information on this.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


Jade11
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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 3/19/2006 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   
If you do in fact have bipolar disorder the Prozac will only make it worse.  Prozac can induce a manic episode with people who have bipolar disorder.  If drugs like Prozac are used at all in bipolar disorder, it has to be with a mood stabalizer.
 
I was first diagnosed with depression and put on Zoloft.  The Zoloft really put me into a manic state like I never had before.  I would tell your doctor that you are concerned about being on an SSRI antidepressant (like Prozac, Zoloft etc.) if you are bipolar.

dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/19/2006 10:06 PM (GMT -7)   
thats really good to know, thank you. I'm still not sure, I will definitely discuss that with my doctor tomorrow though.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/20/2006 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Well my psychiatrist gave me depakote ER for a "mild bipolar disorder" this morning. I hate the way that he didn't even ask about anything and I was really in no condition to push it out of him. That should be his job to push things out of me. I sat tehre and I told him about migraines and anxiety and panic and feeling overwhelmed and that I thoguht it was bipolar.. but who is the patient to diagnose himself? He wrote it all down and then said I'll give you effexor.. come right this way. I stood up and said, well I think im in no position to diagnose myself, do you think thats really it? And he said we'll see I think its gonna help. You'll have a follow up visit in 10 days. And there goes 200 bucks.. in less than 10 minutes. I didnt have insurance so he gave me depakto ER, I'm guessing its the same? I don't think thats very fair. I've been battling against something for too long to just be a guinea pig. What is anyone's thought on this?


"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/20/2006 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Ya know what I agree with you that it isn't really up to you to diagnosis yourself but who knows you better than you....have you ever seen this doctor before?  I am not sure if you were questioning if Effexor and Depakote were kinda of the same or not.  But just to answer that anyway, they are not.  Effexor is and antidepressant and Depakote is used to treat mania with bipolar disorder and seizure disorder.  So they are very different drugs.  A lot of times doctors will have to play with the medications to find the ones that will work right for you if you do indeed have bipolar disorder.  There are many clinical signs and symptoms of BP and a lot of times it can take years to get a clear diagnosis.  Hang in there and stay strong.  We are here for you.   

~elisha
 


Putter
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 3/20/2006 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   

fphlix, just wanted to say hi and hope that you're able to find some help in the forum. I was reading your earlier posts and there are a few things that stand out; it sounds like you need to find another dr. for a second opinion if you feel like your's is jumping to conclusions. As SMSIRL pointed out, there are very few conclusive tests for BP, but it seems in most cases, a dr will usually run a few routine blood tests to rule out other conditions that might be at play - this won't diagnose BP, but can help in the evaluation. Too - its usually easy to find the clinical criteria for BP if you google it. It basically shows the characteristic behaviour and timeline that a doctor will evaluate in order for a proper diagnosis.

Depakote and Effexor are drastically different medications as els pointed out - as far as I know - one doesn't replace the other, although your doctor might try one at a time. If you are indeed BP, the depakote will usually kick in relatively quickly (a few days to a few weeks) and can often cut the extremes of mania. The Effexor is an anti-depressant, and shouldn't be used in a BP patient without a mood stabilizer like Depakote. There are no cure alls, but the depakote is usually a good place to start since it has a wide range of doses, is usually well tolerated with low side effects and makes managing the other symptoms more practical. I currently take depakote and have used Effexor in the past.

Take care and I hope that you're able to find some answers,
Putter


putter@healingwell.net


dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/20/2006 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks. Yeah, I realized they are different thats not really what I wanted to ask. just the way he went about things. First he wanted to replace the prozac with effexor and then when I told him I had a lot of the bipolar symptoms he changed it and agreed with me almost right there and said that in 10 days we'll see how the depakote works out. I do believe that I am more manic lately than depressive and the prozac just kinda didnt do much with me. I felt from the start it was the wrong medicine for me. I've been through a depression before adn this is completely different. Thanks for the input guys, I'll keep thigns posted I guess.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


nici
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/21/2006 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
if you are bipolic the depokote should take affect,the only thing is it can take up to two weeks of being in your system before you could notice the benefits.i to was treated for depression with prozac,they had no affect on me either,when i was diagnosed with bp i was given dep.it worked for a while,i was then moved on to lithium.its just trial and error for a while untill they find the right one for you.good luck.

dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/22/2006 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
what are the symptoms of bipolar besides mood swings? are there any others?
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan


hammilton
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 3/23/2006 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Mood swings DO NOT equal bipolar disorder. They're more of a symptom of a psychiatric disturbance than anything. Bipolar is one of them, but the mood swings are not like ordinary mood swings. Theres happiness and then theres mania. Sadness, and depression. Are you switching from irritated to happy, or sad to elated often? That could be indicative of a cyclothymic disorder, but probably not full-blown bipolar. Calling them mood swings is almost degrading what bipolar disorder actually is. It would be strange for a doctor to allow you to diagnose yourself, but not unheard of. Introspection can bring about a good deal of insight, but probably not this sort of diagnosis. I've always been 100% allowed to choose my own medications, and I've been on dozens. Besides lithium and carbamazapine, I can't think of a mood stabilizer I haven't been on. Nor can I think of a antipsychotic besides the really old ones.

Lord, I was on Abilify and Geodon just weeks after they were made available, and then I was spending $15+ per pill, sometimes taking two or three of them. I know how you feel about the costs.

dolly vita
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 3/23/2006 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Well no, I don't really experience mood swings thats the thing. I mean I pretty much just feel overwhelmed all day long. It comes with migraines and there are so many things that go through my head and it kidn of manifests into physical irritability. I can't really relax and its not just tension and stress, its definitely a lot more than that. I feel depressed and elated but not in the context of mood swings really. More like both at the same time. I know thats common in bipolar too to have them "mixed." My doctors says I have a serotonin imbalance which would explain the overwhelming feeling and the rest of the symtpoms such as terrible daily migraines and the loss of concenration and irritability. He says I probably have a mild bipolar disorder but if anything its more the serotonin that is screwing me up. It really sucks when something like this is so far out of your control. You just gotta have so much patience. I just wanted to know if anyone could explian to me exactly what they feel with bipolar disorder.
"..you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin'."
       -Bob Dylan

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