How young were you when you first had symptoms?

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Jade11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 10/18/2006 9:05 PM (GMT -7)   
 
So, I was wondering at what age other people were when they first had symptoms.  Then after that how long did it take to get an actual diagnosis and proper treatment?
 
I first had symptoms when I was 15.  They suspected bipolar disorder but were hesitant to actually diagnose me.  The pdoc said he was not sure and did not want to traumatize me with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  Sometimes, I wonder if he ever stopped to think what years of being untreated would be like.  Anyway, I was 19 before they actually diagnosed it as bipolar disorder.  They used to say bipolar could not be diagnosed until the early twenties.  However, now I see that they are even diagnosing young kids with it.
 
I think having this disorder start at such a young age was hard.  Sometimes I wonder if it didn't affect my development.  Although on the other hand I would not have wanted it to start when I was older in the middle of a career either.  I guess I am just glad that I know what it is now, and was able to get treatment.

judyinky
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/18/2006 10:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Jade,
I was in my twenties when I was dx with depression. That was in the late 70's. Now I am telling my age. :-) Only ten years ago was I dx with bipolar. If I had been treated for bipolar2 years ago I would have saved myself and my family a lot of grief. I was being treated with tricyclic meds which kept me in a vicious cycle of mood swings, and then debilitating depression. All of which could have been avoided by my taking a mood stabilizer. Oh well.. that is how far the medical community has come. At least now they are treating people sooner for this diorder. But sometimes I think they are quick to make that dx. That' my 2cents.

Be Well,

Judy
"Hope is seldom found in the things we can see;it is the sweet fragrance of grace."

             

 




Djonma
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 10/19/2006 12:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I had depression for as long as I can remember.
I had the violent suicidal and homicidal tendancies when I was very, very young.
Mostly it seems to be 6-7 upwards, but that may just be that that's when I started to form proper memories of things.
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Nestchick
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/22/2006 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't recall a time when I didn't feel "different". My first suicide attempt was on my 19th birthday, I didn't get the BP dx until I was 29. (I am 36 now.)

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 10/22/2006 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
one of my earliest "learned" memories was when i ws in kindgerden.  my teacher kept complaining to my mother that i woudn't stay in my seat and kept hiding on the floor.  my mothe thought that it was "cute"  by th time i reacjed 18 i had attemted suicide about 8 times but hid the marks well.  i'm sure most of you know whaat i'm talkink about.  when i was about 16 my mother took me to a pdoc whho dianosed me with depression (about the only diagnosis in the early 1960s).  i went to pdocs off and on untili was in my 50s.  i had had an epitural steriod injection go bad, the dr dicked a nerve, an i ws in tremenous PAIN.  i attempted suicide because the pain ws so great.  my gp referred me to a pdoc who originally dxed me as schizophrenic, then as schizoaffective.  my wife and i weren't satisfied with the dx so went through the dsm with him to come up with a diagnosis.  the diagnosis that we came up with was bp.  i was almost 60 yrs old before the diagnosis.
 
warren

phoenixgurl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/22/2006 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been depressed for as long as I can remember, but my first definite manic episode wasn't until I was 18. It may have even been sooner, but I also struggled with anorexia from 13 to 15, and then I developed PTSD when I was 16, so those issues may have covered up the bp. My mother swears that I was manic when I was anorexic, so my first manic episode may have been as early as 13. However, I wasn't diagnosed as bp until I was 21.

I have an uncle who was diagnosed in his late twenties to early thirties, and his son was diagnosed in his mid-twenties. I would say that most people are diagnosed in their twenties, but symptoms may occur long before that. I think it takes until your twenties for the manic episodes to be pronounced enough for a diagnosis. It does seem that teenagers and young adults are getting diagnosed earlier and earlier. I have an ex-boyfriend who was 16 when they first started him on Lithium. Overall though, I think it would be hard to tell the difference between ADHD or depression and bp in younger people. In teenagers, I'd imagine that most doctors would attribute mood swings to changing hormones.

TheBrigsby
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/26/2006 2:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I've always been up and down but i really noticed it in highschool when people used to say that i was moodier than all heck. Took me til senior yr of college to get the bipolar label. I can definitely trase some aspects of feeling depressed to when i was 5 or 6, atleast before ten. I'm 21 now.

Empty Reflections
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/26/2006 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been very depressed since I was only about five or six years old. I attempted suicide I was 16. I wasn't diagnosed until 23 years later!

CapninHapnin
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 10/26/2006 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I wasn't diagnosed until my early 40's but I exhibited symptoms back to my late teens.
I want "I wish I had one more day to spend at the office" on my tombstone.


CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 10/27/2006 12:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, Empty Reflections! -- That delay in diagnosis is, sadly, all too common: thank goodness the medical profession moved forwards, though, in the end. -- For all the ignorance that remains, things really have come on a lot. Great to meet you, and hope that you'll be comfortable here and find good support. -- Feel free to post whenever you want, in response to others or in a thread of your own (just click on "New topic" at the top-ish left of the page). :)

This thread is really revealing. I wonder what results we would find if we thought about what year the diagnosis was made? -- Would we find that there was a kind of "breakthrough" decade or something, in which the results of the medical world latching on about bipolar start to filter into diagnoses? Hm, just gave me pause for thought... .

Well, as many of you know, I'm just a unipolar depression gal. I can remember depressive tendencies (often exhibited in terms of food as well) from the age of 7 at least. I had to go to a child psychologist at 15 because of an eating disorder, but it never occurred to anyone that this was a symptom of my depression rather than the root problem (which it wasn't -- as is often the case with eating disorders). It wasn;t until I was suicidal at uni (20 years old) that I was given an anti-depressant. Sadly, I had a massive reaction to it (worst part was a kind of hyper-vision, in which I felt like leaves and stuff were attacking me), so I hid in my room and lasted about a week on this med. When I went back to the doc and said I wouldn't take that med any more and told him about the effects, I was in a terrible state, but he was happy to let me stop that med and not go on anything else... . I still hadn't been "diagnosed" as such. That year was about my worst. A couple of years later, I had a fantastic year, at the end of which a couple of bad things triggered it again and I slumped hugely again. This time my (new) doc put me on different anti-depressants (that actually worked this time) and got me in counselling (which didn't work, because the problems weren't the *cause* -- in fact, partly created by my odd reactions! -- and nor was my childhood, which, as usual the counsellor kept pushing for). I've been on and off anti-depressants since to good effect, and I know my depression well (and my anxiety, which leads into it), but I've never actually been formally diagnosed! Doesn't make me doubt that I have depression -- just seems to be the way with treatment of depression in the UK (treat rather than diagnose).

My ex was diagnosed with bipolar at 32 years -- after, from what I can tell, many many years of showing signs of the condition (some very obvious!). He's said that that's how he's always been (and hence doesn't see the diagnosis as right, just thinks it's him...).

Best to all,

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum


loony
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/27/2006 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I was 15 at my first suicide attempt. Diagnosed over the years w/bp but refused to believe. Ended up in hospital in June and finally accepted it and have started on medication.

CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 10/28/2006 5:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loony (lol -- funny name) --

Welcome to HW! -- It's a great lil' group, and I hope you'll enjoy being here and find much support.

You have made such an important step in accepting the diagnosis -- and I hope that meeting lots of great people here will help you see that it is by no means a life-sentence: yes, there are people here with real difficulties, but there are also people who have found the meds to really help them and are thriving -- and all (whether in difficult and good times) are wonderful examples of how having bp doesn't mean "beyond hope" or that you lose your humanity and humour. :) :)

Do feel free to start your own thread if you want to talk about your diagnosis or meds -- or anything that you'd like support with. -- Just go to the "New Topic" button at the top(ish) left of the webpage.

Very pleased to meet you, and hope we'll see more of you :)

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
Moderator, Bipolar Forum

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