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_Christina
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 6/11/2007 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My doc that I am seeing for depression feels that I may be bipolor.  It is hard to tell since I go to see him when things are at the lowest.  When I feel fine- I don't need it.  I have had several eppisodes of depression through my life.  This one is eluding treatment.  I have been on several medications and none seem to give me a "normal" feeling.
He thought of it when I described to him what happened when I went to a conference.  I was "in my element" there.  I circulated, spoke, and managed people through the 2 days.  Normaly, the "high" of the conference would carry my through the additional workload for the next 2 weeks or so.  I crashed before I could even drive all the way home.  The "low" lasted 2-3 days and I had to climb back out of it all over again.
The same thing happened this Saturday at the wedding I went to.  I crashed before I could even drive home.
my lows might come at any time, but every time I have a "high" it is followed by the worst of the "lows".  Is this what you feel?  Should I allow my Phyc to convince me to take a mood stabilizer?  What do you think?
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


Ra Ra
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/11/2007 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Personally what I've experienced is totally different. However, it sounds like you're experiencing mixed states with hypomania and crashes which change very rapidly. You could be Bipolar II but that all depends on those states and if they really are hypomanias.

_Christina
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Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 6/11/2007 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   

I feel "good" and "in focus" on the good days.  Someone on the Depression forum has a good point that after the good day, I have just run out of energy.  The good day just took it all and I have to use a couple days recovering.

I'm just not used to that.  I have always been able to push to the extreme.

My husband is Bipolor, he was diagnosed in the military and medically discharged.  I have a hard time figuring out when he is going through cycles since he goes through them so fast.  Something aout "rapid cycle BP"

I just have no idea what it's like on the inside.  If what I am feeling might be BP instead of depression.


Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


jerseycherries
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 6/11/2007 5:12 PM (GMT -7)   
why to you push to the extreme though? couldnt that be considered manic? i'm kinda new to all this and i'm not sure. just a thought.
I am bipolar, have social anxiety, panic attacks w/agoraphobia , diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. Life is short but i am not.


olivia of course
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 6/11/2007 11:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Christina,

You could be a 'rapid' cycler, but you can also be 'bipolar II" which is a lot milder than 'Bipolar I'.  But you do not want to ahead of the doctor and self-diagnose yourself.

I have a lot of mixed-states (Bipolar I), and from what you describe of your symptoms being a few days.  I would have to say it might be something else.  My mixed-states last longer than a week, probably more like a few weeks.  It is usually a state of mania and depression all mixed up in the mix. 

Rapid cycling, is if you have your symptoms 4+ times a year.  A few good days, ending in a crash that is a few days long too.  This is the hardest form of bipolar to treat.

Bipolar II/Hypomania is when symptoms are milder than Bipolar I, but should not be ignored none the less.  It usually lasts less than a week of hypomania and can follow/or not have another week of so of depression.

I hope you the best on your diagnosis.  Please do not feel too discouraged, and know we are here for you when you need to talk.


@~ Olivia

"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 6/12/2007 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, that was the best discription that I have had yet.

I'm not realy jumping ahead of the phyc, he wants to put me on mood stabelizers to see if I am Bipolor. I convinced him to try one more depression med (4th) before going to the mood med.

I wanted a chance to learn more about BP before letting him diagnose me. I'm still not sure I fit the bill, but I do go through bouts where I am high-energy and organize things and sign up for activities and such, then most of the time I am "lower" where the stuff I wanted to do gets the best of me and I have to give up some of it. Lately I have days where I get so depressed I can't function. I can't talk, get dressed, feed/watch kids, work or anything. I was suicidal for a while. It lasted months slipping lower and lower till I got on meds. Now, it goes up and down, a few days in the middle, one "high", then 1-2 "very low" then I "climb out" slowely and have a few days (even a few weeks) in the "middle".

The Phyc wants me to stay in the middle, but it is "numb" there. I don't want to be numb for the rest of my life. The lows kick the life out of me, but I don't want to give up the "color" of the "highs". I don't have speed talking, spending, impulse actions, or anything like that- I can just complete a full thought and plan for a bright future.

If my good days are manic, then I spent all of highschool in a manic. (of corse in highschool I did have those "impulse actions" and such...but who doesn't?)
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


Ra Ra
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/12/2007 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 some DSM 4 definitions might help:
 

Manic Episode:

  1. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary).

  2. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:

    1. inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
    2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
    3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
    4. insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
    5. psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down)
    6. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
    7. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
    8. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
    9. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

  3. The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode

  4. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.

  5. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

Mixed Episode:

  1. The criteria are met both for a Manic Episode and for a Major Depressive Episode (except for duration) nearly every day during at least a 1-week period.

  2. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.

  3. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

    hypomanic Episode:
  1. A distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least 4 days, that is clearly different from the usual nondepressed mood.

  2. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:

    1. inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
    2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
    3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
    4. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
    5. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
    6. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
    7. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

  3. The episode is associated with an unequivocal change in functioning that is uncharacteristic of the person when not symptomatic.

  4. The disturbance in mood and the change in functioning are observable by others.

  5. The episode is not severe enough to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning, or to necessitate hospitalization, and there are no psychotic features.

  6. The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatment) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism).

    Note: Hypomanic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder.


_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 6/12/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, that helps. I don't think I have BP. I will talk to the Phyc about that I have here and that I do not feel I meet the criteria.

It also explains my husband very well.
Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


2Hawaii
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/19/2007 4:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Christina, read this...It sounds like it fits your situation

this was copied from the web site: http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v19/n3/full/1395208a.html

CYCLOTHYMIC DISORDER


Having defined the minimal duration criteria for a manic episode (1 week or hospitalization) and a hypomanic episode (4 days), and for the depressed phase of bipolar I and bipolar II disorder as 2 weeks or longer (i.e., a major depressive episode), the definition of cyclothymic disorder then became clarified. Cyclothymic patients would be characterized by a chronic (2 years or more) condition with hypomanic periods that were not long enough to meet criteria for a hypomanic episode (4 days), and depressive periods that did not meet criteria for major depressive episode; i.e., lasting less than 2 weeks. Additionally, similar to the pattern seen in dysthymic disorder, there should not be a 2-month symptom-free period, and the disorder could not be characterized as having major depressive episodes, manic episodes, or mixed episodes in the first 2 years of the disorder. Patients who experienced hypomanic episodes and brief depressive periods or patents who experienced major depressive episodes and brief hypomanic periods would be classified as "bipolar disorder, not otherwise specified."

maitri
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/23/2007 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Christina,

My bipolar states are a little more unusual than the BP population, in that I was, and would be again if not for the medications, a rapid cycling with the focus on hypomanic and not entirely manic but getting pretty close. The problem was I was rapid cycling daily. So, I am going to recommend something that I hear most people with mood disorders resist doing. Mood Charts! They are an amazing tool, and one of the most powerful tools you can use when you go into see the doctor. The reason is that they deal in symptoms and behaviors over time. This is a measurable thing to them and not only are they trained in this, but the diagnoses and treatment options are built on this foundation. I can't stress enough how much information you can get from doing this. I first began with a mood chart that was already created by some drug company (there are many out there) and then I modified it to my needs. When you go into the doctor with three or four months, even six months of data you take on a totally different role in your healing process. And if you aren't respected by your medical team for this, then you get a different one.

Feel free to ask me any questions on mood charting.

Maitri

2Hawaii
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 6/24/2007 12:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Maitri, our BP states sound very much alike. I too an a rapid cycler. I still often will cycle a few times a day and have done so for many many years, but I have learned to keep them under control for the most part. Keeping a mood chart sounds like a great idea. My Dr.s have not had me do one, but I'd like to for myself so that I could use it to show the Dr. I can see it could be a really great help. Can you tell me where I can find them on line and preferably for free? Thanks

maitri
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/24/2007 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi 2Hawaii,

All therapists and doctors should have them available or be able to get them, if they are reputable. No one should ever have to pay for them, ever. Drug companies provide them at no cost.

Here are some online links...

I did use this one for a long time, which I did modify. Notice the extra blank rows for your own stuff like PMS, and other stressors. I also like that it gives an example and notice that not only does it allow for you to check off the areas of issue, but assign numeric value to your moods. Doctors love this stuff...loaded with info. As a person with a BS in biology I could give a lot of reasons why this is, but if you can trust me that they work off of this, you will be spared a very boring discussion. I also like Psychiatry 24/7. During the years when I was trying to stabilize and a couple of years after, I would track articles from this site. Really good for that.

http://www.psychiatry24x7.com/bgdisplay.jhtml?itemname=mooddiary

This one looks interesting too, but I didn't fully check it out

http://www.chronorecord.org/patients.htm


Lastly,

Here is a site which offers mood charts for kids, and teens. And then it lists other mood chart links.


Maitri

maitri
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/24/2007 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Here is the last link for mood charts


http://www.gcbf.org/resources/moodcharts.html

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 6/28/2007 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I keep my mood chart by my bed so I don't forget to do it at night. I use mine to help me remember to take my meds. :)
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