Misdiagnosed with Bipolar for 10 years

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red lightening
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/15/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I was dxed with Bipolar Disorder 10 years ago by several different Drs.
throughout the whole 10 years at different intervals. I have
been on a zillion anti-depressants and mood stabilizers.

I also used alcohol on and off which cancels out any effectiveness
of head meds and causes irritability and depression, which could have mimicked
Bipolar Disorder but I also had long stretches of sobriety 2-3 years at a time in which I still
had psychological problems. None of the meds worked for very
long and I gained tons of weight on them.

3 years ago I stopped having depression and my mood swings were normal range so
my Dr suggested I may not have Bipolar and to try a med holiday. (except for ativan)
I was still having anxiety...so he removed the Bipolar dx and instead treated me for just GAD.
A second Dr. I've seen for the last 2 years went along with this and dropped the BP. I've
been on nothing but ativan for 3 years at a low as needed dose.

How strange...Did I truly have BP and heal from it? Or was I mis-diagnosed?
Is Bipolar too readily handed out ? Does the situational depression/anxiety
mimick BP? How could so many Drs. have missed the fact that I had anxiety
with some depression but not Bipolar Disorder? Or do I have BPII with anxiety
and am dealing with it with only ativan?

I just don't understand. Is illness real?
Can it be real in my mind to where I believe so hard that I have it that
I can create the symtoms without even knowing I'm doing it?
And if that's true am I creating this daad blasted anxiety...that's a sure physical
feeling...my hearts cranking up right now...palms sweating....Can I also get
well from anxiety and never have to take another pill because I've somehow
decided not to have it anymore? But I do have it. That's the reality for now.

Just my ramblings...just don't understand because from what I know about
Bipolar Disorder it never goes away, you have it for life but it can be managed with
medication and therapy. And BPII is tricky because it's not heavy on the mania which
is so flagrant and easily identified in BPI. But My Bipolar or pseudo Bipolar went away
while the anxiety and panic remained under all the medications and after being
alcohol free.

MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 1/15/2009 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I think mental health care is a very new area and a very fluid area, therefore one can never be too attached to labels. (after all a new DSM is coming out in 2011) Nor can I assume that I can speak in absolutes when it comes to such a new, highly individualized, and fluid field. I work with people that have gone through some very horrific experiences, and (especially in knowing some of these people before the horrific experiences) their body chemistry (at the cell level) has litterly changed for the worse. Plus there is all sorts of enviromental factors that must be taken into account. Now do I hope that we change that? Of course I do. But I am very careful about speaking in absolutes, because I just do not think it is appropriate at this point.

Could you have been misdiagonsied: yes
Could you have some form of BP: yes and no, because these are very broad catagories and were orginally used to discribe people who are not fit for military service for certain mental health issues and were very broad for that reason, so they really should not be held an any more importance than any other issue of unknown etiology, because we just do not know anything for sure.  We throw a bunch of different treatments at it and hopefully find something that works for that person.
You asked some questions about BPII, the best way I have heard it described in layman's terms is a mental illness of being "too much." Which is extremely nonspecific, and that illistrates a huge part of the problem with the mental health care field.
But that being said, I think about the first person who had AIDS and how they must have felt when they had this disease of unknown etiology and very little could be done to treat their symtoms (just to associate it with a physical illness).

I personally think we need to stop focusing on the label and make sure we are working to get better.
While it is sometimes easier to fight an illness you can identify, it is not always the case, nor do you necessarily have to know exactly what it is you have in order to get better. (it usually just makes it easier)
I strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to get yourself better.
Therapy, meds, voodoo witch doctors (just kidding!), just find what works for you and be prepared for trial and error process.

and let us not forget that just because one has a Dr. (whether it is M.D., PhD, or etc.) next to their name does not really mean a whole lot...especially if they refuse to acknowledge their limitations...


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
...I will find a way, or make one. -Philip Sidney 1554-1586
All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.
Make sure your suffering has meaning...
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 1/15/2009 10:25:48 AM (GMT-7)


Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/15/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Red Lightening :)
 
I really can't add more to what MMMNAVY has said to answer your questions.  Some very sound advice IMHO :)  Please don't feel alone, because there are many of us that have spent our lives trying to narrow down what is exactly happening to us.  There are so many diseases/disorders with similar if not the same symptoms and I feel that bears much scrutiny for those of us that want to actually do something about our health and improve our quality of life.  I have always been a huge supporter of second. . . third. . . and sometimes even more opinions because all of us humans are fallible and that includes our medical professionals.  I won't get into the "metaphysical" aspect of this because there are too many holes and everyone has their own opinions on the causes and cures pertaining to medical illnesses.  I, like Lyn, don't hold to the tenants that we can just "will' our problems away with a magic wand.  This form of thinking can be very dangerous to those of us that have serious problems that need to be addressed with the proper medical attention and medications.  I believe in many forms of alternative healing myself, but would never tell anyone to follow my path, because what works for one person can be harmful and degrading to another.  I won't do it out of propriety and I won't do it because it is against the guidelines laid out by our esteemed Administrator, Peter Waite.
 
Respectfully,
Your Anxiety-Panic Forum Co-Moderator,
Sam

Aries8
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/15/2009 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Red - I believe you can be misdiagnosed and that's probably what happened to you. I'm not a professional, it's just my opinion. These things happen. I personally would let it go. It sounds like you're doing better. By thinking about the past it's not helping your present day or future. Make a new beginning and keep a positive attitude!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
Prozac and Carvedilol


Corrie_1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 1/15/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I just try to look at doing things that make my life better, whatever that may be. I think different things work for different people, and to imply that one is better than another is ignorant that each person within themselves have a personal battle, whether physically with meds and exercise, spiritually with beliefs, understanding of known knowledge or understanding of ones emotion. Each individual struggles with something different when faced with illness, and many find different paths to get better.

But that's my opinion ;p

I'm happy that you're feeling better red. Things get misdiagnosed, undiagnosed all the time if you're only on ativan, i'm glad that that is all you need.

I find ativan too addictive for me... so I avoid it unless I really need it.
Diagnosed with Fibro - October 2008


Venlafaxine 70mg/Armitriptyline 40mg to help me sleep and anxiety


Ativan... when things get real bad.


Mazfire
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 1/15/2009 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Corrie, you have an excellent outlook on this. i whole heartedly agree with what you have said.

Maz XX


            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
 
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Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/15/2009 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Corrie :)

I have to agree with Maz. That is an excellent outlook on this situation! Thank you for sharing :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Fall Seven Times. . . . . . . . . .  Stand Up Eight."
~Japanese Proverb~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


gilly-love
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/15/2009 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I couldn't even finish reading the thread....The same thing happened to me!!!  I was diagnosed by docs and specialists with Bipolar and heavily medicated for two years....Then they decided to change the diagnosis to Borderline Personality Disorder, again heavily medicated and tons of theropy still.  I finally said stuff as my meds never seemed to make me feel any better and weined myself off all mood staberlisers and was fine. I remained fine for atleast 12 months no meds  when i became sad and went back to the shrink and doc for an antidepressant, and they admitted it couldn't have beeen either BPD or BP as both of those conditions need medication to have a normal functioning life must have been a drug indused psycosis...the meds they were showing down my throat made everything worse!!!!  Did i have it?  Did i mimic it? Did they even care?  I tell u what though...I lost my husband, everyfriend and almost my kids due to the whole messy long experience.....Alls I wanted was answers to why i was feeling so bad. I believed them!  gill.xx

 

"Our greatest problems in life come not

so much from the situations we confront

as from our ability to handle them"

xx


gilly-love
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/15/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I actually pretty scared to post this now but..have you read "You can heal your life" by Louise hay....She is pretty darn convincing that we are incontrol of our body and the power of our mind.....I believe her but just cant seem to get it right! haha! Jokes aside it is worth reading! gillxx

 

"Our greatest problems in life come not

so much from the situations we confront

as from our ability to handle them"

xx


nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 1/15/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Gilly,

Please don't be afraid to post honey!! I have read that book and it truly inspirational..even though it's dated it is still an oft read book in my house.

Hugs, Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
 


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/15/2009 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey My Family :)

I love you all and am here to be of support to all the members that need any help. My email is always open, lol :) I want to read that book too! I saw it but didn't buy it at the time. I bought "From Panic To Power" by Lucinda Bassett instead :) She is a hero of mine!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Fall Seven Times. . . . . . . . . .  Stand Up Eight."
~Japanese Proverb~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/15/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, this is Kitt and yes you can be misdiagnosised sad to say.  I am sorry it took 10 years to get to the bottom of all of your issues.
 
The sad thing is that bipolar disorder is such a serious illness. To have doctors going around diagnosing people with it just because they want them on one medication or another is frightening.
No, there is no cure for bi-polar disorder (yet,  to the best of my knowledge) and the disease will not go away.

But that doesn't mean that any symptoms/problems you might be having won't go away or at least see great improvement with proper treatment.
 
IMHO it does appear you were misdiagnosised.  I am so happy that you are doing better.
Sincerely
Kitt
 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
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Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/15/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I am with you 101% Kitt. You are a wonderful mod and a great example of kindness and respect to all members of HW!!! You have a lot of class lady and we love you!

I am also so sorry to hear about your sister. . . You both have my prayers and I will be here for you every step of the way!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Fall Seven Times. . . . . . . . . .  Stand Up Eight."
~Japanese Proverb~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 

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