need advice re: friend, please

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 7/29/2010 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello All,

I'm in need of some advice about a friend of mine that has been diagnosed as Bipolar. I am an RN and have my doubts which I'll share in a bit.

Yesterday my friend was found on her couch holding her 4 y.o son unwilling to respond to her new husband of just 2 months as he returned home from work. She did not go to work herself and didn't call her employer; whom is a friend. She has a part time job and just started another 10 hours per week job that she's always wanted. Her and the husband had a heated discussion the night before about finances. Even though she got the new job she was very anxious about refamiliarizing herself with the computer programs. This is a computer engineering design type job. She's got prior experience.

I've know her now for almost 2 years or more. I have not been able to notice any type of cycle or pattern with her. And her "episodes" only occur during periods of high anxiety and not talking to close friends The true test for me was observing her during the wedding planning process. She was a single mother of a four year old, working part time and going to school. She was advised she had too much going on to plan a wedding and handed over the reigns to wedding planners. She had typical wedding anxiety issues, but no severe depression or anxiety. She has never had any manic periods that I've observed and her anxiety episodes usually last a day or so depending on the situation.

So, my thinking is she needs to be re-evaluated by another psychotherapist, psychiatrist, etc. It really seems as though she really has an anxiety disorder. She's also had many tick bits in the past and never checked for Lyme disease which can have the same psychological symptoms as Bipolar due to brain inflammation.

She does take a common Bipolar medication, but I'm having a brain fart and can't remember what, I want to say Effexor though. The med she is on gives her really bad memory issues that I worry about.

I would really appreciate any comments or advice you could give!!
Thanks so much and God's blessings to you all,
11/07 symptoms start
7/4/08 IGenX LD positive,gluten sensitivity,low magn, low WBC's,+yeast/bacteria/tapeworm/roundworm, EBV,HHV,CMV,Parvo,

7/25/08 started on Biaxin

9/08 IGenX co-infections neg, but probable Bart, Bab, Erhl

11/08 Biaxin,Plaquenil,Cipro, Artemisinin,3 probiotics,Transfer Immune, Bcomplex,MultiVit,omega3,magnesium,

1/29/09 Added: Rifampin 600mg- Ehrl, Lomatium 15dropsBID-parvo, andrographis 15dropsBID (super yuck!)-LD, Alinia-cryptosporidium.
12/2009 stopped pharma abx. Using mostly Nutramedix herbs. Having Neurobiofeedback for chronic brain inflammation.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 7/30/2010 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi LupnerRN,

The first thing I want to say is not all bipolar symptoms (depression, mania or in between) are obvious to outsiders, even close friends. I can say a lot of us get so good at hiding a lot of it that someone may have no clue at all, or in your case have doubts.

The second thing I want to say is just because she exhibits a lot of anxiety symptoms, does not mean that that is all she should be diagnosed with. It is so totally common that these disorders co-exist.

Withdrawaling from friends, and work are common symptoms of depression as well as anxiety. It may not be the case, but it sounds like it to me.

It sounds to me like you feel that she is not having enough of her "episodes" to qualify for her current diagnosis. Sometimes, there is a time gap between episodes. Sometimes people can be stable for quite some time and then something happens and things change. As far as not noticing any mania...sometimes hypomania occurs instead of full blown mania...because there are different types of bipolar. Have you ever noticed days where she seems really hyper, talking fast, talking a lot more than other days, or times when she feels overly good about herself...high irritability....(it's kind of hard to explain) Hypomania is often mistaken for a really good mood or being normal. I made that mistake for myself, thinking I just had awesome days in between depressions. I just want to get across that there are levels of symptoms, and again that bps sometimes hide a lot. Also, not all bipolars have a set pattern with their illness.

I am not at all saying that she is bipolar and you are wrong. I am just trying to give you some information. This illness is also a difficult one to diagnose clear cut at times. I think the strongest point I can make is that no one except the professionals (psychiatrists) can diagnose this disorder.

I am thinking of you and your friend. I wish you both well and keep posting if you wish. We may be able to offer more insight as you may have more questions in time; especially in the near future, as it sounds like she is having a really tough scary time right now.

Take care,
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed for panic attacks
---temporarily off Lamictal----
Seroquel 50mg/night

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2896
   Posted 7/30/2010 10:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I couldn't say that better than Mogs.

My parents would say I was "always such a happy kid." I was suicidal for most of my childhood, but withdrew at those times. My parents were very busy with work and never noticed. My bipolar symptoms started at 7 years old with a major depression and progressed to rapid cycling and mixed episodes by the time I was 15.

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 25. No one saw the pattern and I kept going to different doctors and not giving them my history.

I lived with my boyfriend and he didn't think it was a big deal until I ended up in the hospital.

I agree with Mogli - hiding and disguising bipolar symptoms is very possible, especially with Type II and rapid-cycling. Even I was unaware of the pattern in my life until I wrote out a timeline. And now I can see every job I've lost or left due to bipolar, dropping out of college 3 times in 6 years... it's all because of this disorder. I always managed to present it well and very few people had any idea that something was wrong.
Bipolar 1
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic Disorder
"It's never too late to become what you might have been."

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