OK Folks - diagnose me please

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nyliz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/5/2007 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everybody,
 
I have been reading through some of the threads and would like to get your input on whether I may be dealing with bi-polar disorder.  I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder in the fall of 99 after the birth of my second child... but I'm beginning to wonder if it may be more than that.  Here's my story:
 
I was a pain in the butt rebelious teenager that drove my poor parents crazy (I am 99 percent certain that my Dad is Bi-polar).  I got pregnant at 16 and was forced to move out of my house (my Dad's idea) thank God for my Mom at that time (although my Dad and I are really close now).  I lived on my own and raised my son while graduating from high school and attending college.  My family and friends have always said that I get hyper sometimes but it's always just been a part of me - very talkative and outgoing.  After I had my second child in June of 99 I began having debilitating panic attacks that forced me to leave my job, my husband and basically change everything in my life.  I attributed these attacks to post partum depression, an unhappy marriage, and a lot of responsibility for someone who was only 22.  As the years have progressed I have struggled terribly with anxiety (although I've never lost a job or jeoparized my relationships because of it).  My primary fear is health problems.  I am able to create any life threatening illness at any moment depending on the ache or pain.  When I get "into" one of my panic modes It is almost completely debilitating.  I've missed time from work and have trouble concentrating on anything.  During these times I find no joy in anything and have this feeling of impending doom.  Something terrible is about to happen and I can't shake it.  Other times I can have an ache or pain and it causes me mild fear but I can put it into perspective and move on. 
 
During these periods of fear/anxiety nothing helps - I've thought about the fact that death would be worse than feeling this way although I've never considered harming myself - I tend to just think "what am I so worried about developing a life threatening illness for - because then I would die and I would never have to feel this way anymore" but like I said it's fleeting and nothing I would ever do.  I have far too much to live for namely my four beautiful children and my wonderful husband. 
 
I've always thought that these waves of anxiety were just that but I've tried to find a trigger and oftentimes I can't find anything.  I go through periods where I feel great and want to do a lot of things, during these times I like to go out with friends and take family trips/outings but then a couple weeks later I go back into this place consumed with fear.  I never feel quiet or satisfied with anything - I'll get an idea into my head ie:  I'm going to write a book and become rich and famous so I go great guns with it, using all of my spare time and occasionally seperating myself from my family to completely immerse myself in the project.  Only it's always short lived and I then one day I stop and think "yeah right never gonna happen" and I never pick it up again.  I'm constantly searching for new houses or new jobs because I can't ever feel content with anything.
 
I am on Zoloft and have been for a few years.  Prior to that I was on Prozac - sometimes it seems to help but others, not so much.  I just hate the feeling of being trapped in my own head and never feeling like my thoughts are quiet.  I am constantly tense and have lots of muscle aches and sometimes feel like I could crawl out of my skin.  When I get into a period of anxiety I oftentimes feel so depressed that I literally cannot get out of bed.  My Mom has told me time and again that I shouldn't allow my children to see my moods so effected so I try and pull it together for them, but they always know somehow. 
 
There are times when I get so silly and hyped up that I goof around - during these times my kids, husband, and co-workers make cracks like "don't give this girl anymore caffiene".  Sometimes I feel so spot on that I could talk to anyone and always seem to have the right words and other times I feel like I can't do anything right.  I've never spent money frivolously (at least not major amounts, sometimes I get the feeling that I'm definitely gonna win the lottery so i might blow 20 bucks on scratch offs) but never to the detriment of my family.  I've never taken off without people knowing where I am (although some days I'd love too, lol).  Anyway - dear God long post...
 
I'm 30 years old and want to get this thing figured out!!!!!What do you guys think?

olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/5/2007 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
nyliz,

From what you have described it is really hard to say whether you have Bipolar or not. The Bipolar diagnosis is not to be taken lightly, and is given after careful consideration.

You said you have been taking a lot of ADs for a while and I am glad they have been working for you (to a certain degree). The right/good meds are hard to come by. I brought this up because a BP person usually cannot take ADs without having symptoms. ADs usually cause mania/hypomania in a BP person. ADs are usually taken with mood stabilizers.

This is not to say you don't have bipolar, but I would get is checked out soon. Especially since some of your co-workers described you are too hyper.

If you are really think that you have been wrongly diagnosed, please contact your pdoc asap and get it straightened out. Best Wishes! :)
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
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"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


essencia1
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/5/2007 7:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Nyliz,
 
I am no doctor... but what you have described does sound like you have manic episodes of some sort.  I know from experience that bipolar illness can make it very difficult for a person to maintain a normal romantic relationship of any kind, and kudos to those bipolar sufferers who are able to do it.  Certainly you are not alone and thoughts and prayers are with you.  Please see a good psychiatrist as soon as you can.
 
best,
 
-C

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/5/2007 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nyliz,

It's so hard to tell the difference between the various mood/anxiety disorders with a simple anecdotal telling. You really need to see a psychiatrist. Obviously you've been diagnosed with the anxiety. What about depression proper? Ask your doctor about bipolar, and if he or she dismisses it, ask them why. It's completely within your rights to ask questions. Tell them your fears and get them to explain why your symptoms don't match up.

Olivia is right: most of the time, if a person is bipolar, AD's will bring on mania. Then again, I was on AD's for a long time before being diagnosed BPII, so the diagnosis can change. Have it checked out by a professional for your own peace of mind.

By the way, welcome to the board. It's good to have you!
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

Post Edited (serafena) : 10/6/2007 8:04:11 PM (GMT-6)


hope76
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/5/2007 10:44 PM (GMT -7)   
hello everyone... and nyliz, i read your post and the tears flowed.  almost everything you said is so much like me... it was as if i was writing it about myself! i also sort of think i am bipolar - even though im in denial and i dont want to believe it.  i have seen a phyciatrist last year and he said i had it but he only spent 20 minutes with me and all the questions were about my mom's illness.  my mom is bipolar, she was diagnosed and hospitalized when i was 17 years old (im now 30) - i never wanted to have a mental illness or be sick the way she was... it terrifies me.  but oprah had a show on the other day about bipolar illness and it opened my eyes and even though im in denial i think deep down its possible.  ive had anxiety for as long as i can remember...and its gotten worse over the years... i hate to socialize..i have a hard time looking people in the eyes when i socialize (when it comes to business im ok looking people in the eyes and talking because im confident in my business knowledge and experience, but when it comes to socializing the anxiety is overwhelming, especially with a group of people. i feel insecure, ugly, not good enough. the past few years ive missed alot of the holidays and get togethers with family and friends - my anxiety gets so bad that days before the event(s) i worry so much that i just end up telling everyone that im sick with the flu or a migraine.  during the past 3 years i had severe depression and anxiety, and i wasnt able to work, didnt leave my house, didnt leave my bed very often... which made me feel like a looser and caused me even more anxiety.  and nyliz, i can relate to you about projects... at times i also have great ideas like writing a book, ideas to make money... at times i write alot of "to do" lists and write down goals.  the only thing is i dont follow through with it.  ive never taken any meds... i did see a phyciatrist for the first time last year because i was very depressed and at the time and he prescribed me lithium and said that i am bipolar and he mostly based it on the fact that my mom is bipolar. i refused to take the meds because i dont want to believe that im sick. and ive never been manic (i dont think).  i dont know how a shrink can talk to me for 20 minutes and diagnose me with such a serious mental illness.  isnt there a brain test they can do to confirm if there is an illness or not? or at least a proper and thorough examination that can be done??

nyliz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/6/2007 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hiya,
 
Thanks for the responses everyone.  I see my family Doc for the Zoloft prescription.  I've been seeing her since I was 14 so she knows me really well.  At my last visit (by the way when I go see her I end up in tears - complete mess).  She told me that because she doesn't specialize in mental health she wants me to see a psychiatrist for further examination.  The only problem that I have with this is that I go once or twice to "talk" and then I start to feel better so I never go back.  I'm a bad girl lol in that I seldom ever call to cancel upcoming appointments so usually they are hesitant to allow me to continue as a patient. 
 
The only time I seek help is when I am severly anxious or depressed and then (like I said) once I start to feel better I always think "I can do this on my own".  Following through is obviously an issue for me. 
 
Thanks to the last person who responded (sorry I hit respond before I caught your name).  It sounds like we are kindred souls and I hate to think that anyone suffers with any mental illnesses.  Sometimes it makes you feel so hopeless.  Best of luck to you.

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/6/2007 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Hope 76,

It's great to have you. Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you've already found some common ground here and I hope you'll find more.

Please take a moment to introduce yourself in a new thread. Go to the bipolar main page, click "New Topic," and introduce yourself. Tell us a little more of your story, and that way everyone will be sure to see your post.

Nice to meet you.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/6/2007 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not directing this at anyone in particular, but this thread brought up something that always gets me going. So permit me to share a little personal philosophy. I'm a little woodgie (yeah, I know that's not a word) about the term "Mental Illness". While I know that technically Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness, it is not one which has to be debilitating. Personally, I'd have no problem saying I have a mental illness if I didn't know that in most people's minds that means life in a filthy psych ward, wearing a grubby hospital gown, banging your head against the bars while Nurse Rached cackles behind you. I think we get stuck on the words "Mental Illness" for exactly the reason's you guys imply -- it means we're somehow flawed. And I don't think that's any more true for us than it is for anyone else. So we have an illness, but doesn't everyone really have something? Have allergies? Diabetic? Heart disease? Carpal Tunnel? We don't have trouble admitting these health problems because they don't carry the stigma. As long as we DENY our own health problems exist simply because WE are afraid of the stigma, we make our own problems worse. It's totally counter-productive. Wanna avoid the stigma and not get "crazy"? Get to the doctor and get treatment. Untreated bipolar ends up looking an awful lot like "crazy." If you don't want people to know you have a DISORDER, then don't tell them. No one has to know.

*Steps off High Horse*
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!

Post Edited (serafena) : 10/6/2007 8:27:32 PM (GMT-6)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/6/2007 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hope,

To answer your question, unfortunately, there isn't a test that will tell us whether or not we have bp, and those little quizzes you'll find online will offer some insight, but are only moderately useful.

I'm no doctor, but I imagine the psychiatrist focused on your mother because there are very strong genetic links for mood disorders, and if you're struggling with a mood disorder, there's a very good chance it's the same or similar. My doctor told me that sometimes the medications will even be the same for members of the same family.

You say you've never been manic, but you also said "at times i also have great ideas like writing a book, ideas to make money... at times i write alot of "to do" lists and write down goals. the only thing is i dont follow through with it." That kind of grandiose thinking and planning can be a symptom of mania, even if you don't experience the euphoric feelings that sometimes go with them. In fact, if you look back a few threads, you'll see Scared_Wife was asking if sometimes mania could be angry instead of happy. The answer is yes. Do you ever get extremely, irrationally frustrated or irritated? Rage? That can be mania too. Or, like me, you may have Bipolar II, which doesn't have the extreme manias of Bipolar I. I just get "low-grade" manias where I get super-irritable and have racing thoughts, it's impossible to concentrate, my thoughts are moving so fast I almost can't speak words at all.

My guess is you probably told your doctor enough to convince him/her you were bipolar in the first 5 minutes and then told them about your mother and that cemented it. Psychiatric doctors deal with this every day and have a decade of education. Why wouldn't they be able to recognize the symptoms quickly? Especially since even you seem to know in your heart that you have a mood disorder. SO... go back to the doctor. Go to a different doctor if you didn't like the first. Get evaluated and take the medicine. Give it a try. You've got nothing to lose and you just might feel better.

All my best wishes. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your story. Keep us updated.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 10/6/2007 9:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, just thought I'd chime in and share that due to the genetic link on my Husband and Son, they are under almost identical programs with the medication, and while my sister in law is not BP, she does suffer from depression and the AD that she is on, is the same my son is on. Knowing what worked for her was also a clue for him because or the genetics. My husband was already stable on another one which wasn't too good for kids, or he would have been placed on the same as well. LFW

hope76
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/6/2007 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
hi serafena, i never knew there was low grade mania. ive only seen my mom's mania and when she is manic she is very confident and loud and she spends lots of money and if she gets angry she fights with people and her rage is extreme. for me, ive never gotten manic the way ive seen my mom get. i didnt know that wanting to write a book could be grandios thinking, i always thought that was a rational thought because i have had a desire to write a book for a long time - i love to write and ive always wanted to tell my story about my experiences with domestic abuse. what is the difference between grandios and goal oriented? like i mentioned in my other post, i have also had ideas for making money... in my early 20's i started a web design and computer business and i also sold avon to try and build my career... and i did pretty good for a few years but when the depression came that stopped. and i try to motivate myself by making lists of goals and to do lists, but since i got depressed i havent been able to follow through with anything.  id really like to learn more about the differnece between bipolar I and bipolar II... do you know of any good books or websites that might help?
hope76


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/7/2007 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
*Laughing* Your response is exactly the same reason I also never would have categorized myself as bipolar at first. I've never had super-confident, euphoric mania (I almost wish I had). I've never spent absurd amounts of money. I'm not one to go off on risky ventures. I've never been "truly" manic. That's why my first psych never diagnosed me either. A "low grade" mania is technically called "Hypomania"

Here are some websites which describe bipolar II. By the way -- don't diagnose yourself. Go back to the doc and let him/her help you. See if these things ring true and then go talk to them.

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_bipolar_types
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/symptoms.shtml
http://bipolar.about.com/cs/faqs/f/faq_bp2.htm

I'm not sure how I'd define the difference between goal-oriented and grandiose thinking, but instinctually, I'd say there are two factors: 1. Do you have a lot of plans all at once and then the depression hits and you can't follow through on any of them? and 2. Your inability to follow through.

I also have several plans to write books. One of these days I'm going to get there. Kay Redfield Jamison wrote a fantastic book on the links between bipolar disorder and genius. It's called "Touched With Fire." If you're artistic, I'd highly recommend it.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


hope76
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/12/2007 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks serafena for those websites and book references... jeez i wish i had journaled every day, i could look back and look for patterns, but im going to make an appointment with my doctor. can i request a full psychiatric exam??
hope76


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/12/2007 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Serofena,

The super-confident, euphoric mania seems like a lot of fun at the time, but in reality it is anything but. If you think hypomania ia bad, mania is scary. Imagine going from euphoric to deep dark depression. Mania is too extreme, and most of the time leaves more mess to clean up than hypomania. I don't wish it on anybody. When I am in those states, I can barely think let alone control what I do.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell: 
http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 10/12/2007 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh dear -- I'm sorry Olivia. I didn't really mean it. I have no doubt that it is pure h**l. I should qualify my silliness sometimes. I hope I didn't offend anyone. I wouldn't wish it on anyone either, including you.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Ask me about my Bipolar Disorder!


olivia of course
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1523
   Posted 10/14/2007 6:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Serafena,

That's okay, no offense taken. I just think that sometimes when we talk about about mania/hypomania we don't think about the negative consequences. We think more negatively when we think of depression and how it can feel like h**l.
Olivia
Co-Moderator, Bipolar
 
Dx:  Bipolar I, Anxiety-Panic Disorder
Support HealingWell: 
http://www.healingwell.com/donate
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"

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