Does this sound like Bipolar Disorder?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

RA Info Sponge
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 1/26/2016 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had a diagnosis of depression and anxiety since around 1998. I started off on one medication at a very low dose. Over the years the dosages have increased, the medications have changed and for approximately 3 years I've been taking two medications instead of just one.

I have recently started thinking about the past, approximately 5 years, and how my life has been. I'm beginning to wonder if I could be bipolar. My husband said to me about a month ago, "when you decide to do something you really go all out". He's referring to the different hobbies and side jobs I've taken on over the years. These things have never lasted long.

I have also noticed that over the last several years I go through these "spurts" of high energy, could take on the world, episodes. I will spend Friday evening grocery shopping and then spend a whole Saturday or Sunday cooking and we'll have food for the week. I will be on top of my planner keeping up with everything, attending everything I need to attend, getting the house cleaned and organized, paying the bills on time and working my butt off to pay down debt, going to work everyday and accomplishing everything I need to accomplish, I set goals, complete online training, and just keeping up with everything in general.

Then I go through a "spurt" of time that is just the opposite. No grocery shopping or cooking; just ordering out. I don't keep up with the house cleaning, I end up paying the bills late, sometimes 1 or 2 months late, I give up on paying down debt, I miss appointments, never look at my planner, I completely forget about the goals I've set and give up on everything. I have missed a lot of work over the past couple years because I'm so exhausted that all I want to do is sleep all day. I also have an autoimmune disease but my rheumatologist says that the autoimmune disease has nothing to do with my sudden onsets of exhaustion and sleeping.

Here is an example: I have felt super energetic all of January, I feel like I've been able to think clearly, work diligently and have been on top of everything all the way up through Sunday. Yesterday I called off work, slept from 1 am Monday morning through 10:30 am, woke up and ate a bowl of cereal and went back to sleep until 8:20 pm. Woke up and ate dinner, watched 2 hours of tv and went back to sleep from 10:30 pm until 7:00 am this morning. I can't think clearly, I can't focus/concentrate for the life of me and I mess up things at work. I'm hoping and praying this doesn't end up going on for months like it has in the past.

I'm afraid I'm going to lose my job because of my inconsistencies in my work and missing work. If I lose my job I will probably end up divorced after 27 years of marriage.

Any opinions about what could be causing this problem for me?

Thanks in advance!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4427
   Posted 1/26/2016 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi RA,

Welcome for the Bipolar forum :-)

With Bipolar disorder one experience extreme highs, called mania, and intense periods of sadness or depression. These phases of mania and depression are called episodes, and can shift rapidly. Some people may experience both at the same time. Along with changes in mood, people experience other symptoms that affect their energy, sleep habits and behavior.

Have you chatted with your doctor recently about this? I would suggest you let them know about the changes in your moods and how you feel. A psychiatrist would be able to complete an evaluation and make a diagnosis. Bipolar can affect relationships so please visit your doctor so you can take care of you. If you are Bipolar, you can take to your hubby about it. He can read up and learn about it so you can both make the relationship work.

Sometimes you also need to change the med dosage or combinations. If you think it is not working, be sure to let you doctor know as well.

Please feel free to check out our resources area where you can get more information on Bipolar:

Please know that we are here for you.

Moderator - Bipolar

Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder.
Chronic Pain - Cervical Kyphosis, Cervical Spondylosis, Thoracic Scoliosis.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20048
   Posted 2/3/2016 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
there are several types of bi-polar, thus it is increasingly harder to determine, thus go for the chat.



Tim Tam
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1103
   Posted 6/8/2016 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi RA.

Many of the psychiatrists I ever had would see me in my depressed state, and declare me as a depressive.

They never asked, well, do you ever stay up late at night, or, do you ever have racing thoughts?

So since I was miss-diagnosed, I was miss-medicated. I didn't get on Lithium for my manic-depression for 20 years or longer, until I was about 40.

Next time you see your doctor, you could tell him or her about the faster side of things. You could print out the below talk of manic-depression and check off any items you might have.


(below is from; other websites also discuss this topic.)

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a complex disorder that likely stems from a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. The mood episodes associated with it involve clinical depression or mania (extreme elation and high energy) with periods of normal mood and energy in between episodes.

The severity of mood episodes can range from very mild to extreme, and they can happen gradually or suddenly within a timeframe of days to weeks. When discrete mood episodes happen four or more times per year, the process is called rapid cycling. Rapid cycling should not be confused with very frequent moment-to-moment changes in mood, which can sometimes occur in people with bipolar disorder or other conditions such as borderline personality disorder.

Along with manic or depressive episodes, patients with bipolar disorder may have disturbances in thinking. They may also have distortions of perception and impairment in social functioning.

What Are the Depression Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

The clinical depression symptoms seen with bipolar disorder are the same as those seen in major depressive disorder and include:

•Decreased appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
•Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
• Fatigue, decreased energy, being "slowed down"

•Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
•Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
• Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

•Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
•Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

•Persistently sad, anxious, or "empty" moods
•Restlessness, irritability
•Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts

What Are the Signs of Mania in Bipolar Disorder?

The signs of mania in bipolar disorder include:

•Disconnected and very fast (racing) thoughts
•Grandiose beliefs
•Inappropriate elation or euphoria

•Inappropriate irritability
•Inappropriate social behavior
•Increased sexual desire

•Increased talking speed or volume
•Markedly increased energy
•Poor judgment
•A decreased need for sleep due to high energy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 6/8/2016 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Tim Tom for pasting that. Borderline personality disorder abd bipolar are often confusing.
I wonder if ther is a possibility of having both BPD & bipolar?
I have done some research and it's not clear. Even psy community differ in their opinions.
"As long as there is breath there is hope, LIFE is a GIFT. "

Tim Tam
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1103
   Posted 6/9/2016 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm just a patient of manic-depression who has had experiences with the illness, and read stuff like you have.

Have you knowledge of manic-depression (bi-polar) or borderline personality disorder or maybe both?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 6/9/2016 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tim Tam,
In a way have had many years of experience with manic depression, bi polar and BPD. My son has been diagnosed with all of the above alcohol induced to extreme relapses as self medicating .
He is an adult now as a child diagnosed with BPD.
He has had Alcohol Use Disorder for 23 years.
Everyone is different with bipolar and manic disorder. Remembering meds and finding what works best for each individual or taking injections is a good way to manage the issues. Always seeing a specialist in these issues which can be crucial and life changing.
"As long as there is breath there is hope, LIFE is a GIFT. "

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20048
   Posted 6/9/2016 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I have both, bi-polar affective disorder and borderline personality disorder, thus I am a complex turtle!!!



Tim Tam
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1103
   Posted 6/10/2016 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   

The plot thickens.

This started out as a discussion of if someone is depressed, can they be manic-depressed. Yeah.

Now, we go into, if someone is manic-depressed, can they also be borderline personality syndrome?

I'm about to blow a fuse here in a minute.

My mind has never once thought of that, thought that it was possible, that's why I asked you if you had experience with either one, or both. Cause I didn't know if I was talking to a borderline, or to a manic-depressive, like I am.


You said,

" In a way have had many years of experience with manic depression, bi polar and BPD."

I can't comprehend that.

I thought manic-depression was inherited, and borderline was a result of, largely, trauma in childhood, usually sexual abuse, so it mostly affected females.

My wife was borderline, she was sexually abused by 3 teenage guys at the age of 5.

As a result of that, she basically never talked (up to age 25), a trait of borderline that you might not see listed today, cause they've changed the definition in the last some 10 years to be politically correct, in my view.

Are you both manic-depressed and borderline? Did you have trauma in childhood? Were you sexually abused?

My older brother and sister were borderline, and they were sexually abused by our mother, who was sexually abused by her father.

I was sexually abused by the same mother, who dis-roped once in front of me, and may have done other things earlier that I don't remember.

The only females I get along with today, I am now a senior citizen, are those who have been sexually-abused.

I got along with my borderline mother because she had been sexually abused, and I had, too, by her;

I got along with my older, borderline, sister because she had been sexually abused, by the same lesbian mother;

I married a sexually abused, borderline woman; I am now for the past year in phone contact with a local sexually abused, borderline woman.

(It may be because our emotional ages are about the same, mine a little older, with their emotional ages at about 7, we'll say (when the abuse or trauma occurred), and mine at about 10, when I was sexually abused, we'll say. So I feel like the big man, around them, and like a shrimp around emotionally mature women.)

That last woman, above, conned me out of some money 2 years ago, and a year later I called her back. Why, because she was sexually abused and I get along with her.

After we got over that hurdle of me being conned, we now get along OK, because I just try to help her out voluntarily when I can, so she doesn't have to con me.

To get the conned money the first time, she first baited and flirted with me, making me think it was true love, and a week later she hit me up for some money, which I coughed up because I thought it was true love, and it turned out it wasn't love, it wasn't even friendship, she just wanted the money, and drop the so-called friendship or love.

I called her back after 6 months, and she twice referred to something sexual, which I now knew was bad news for me, so I made no response to either one. She realized that didn't work any more, so now we've reached friend stage, which is great.

She told me, when we resumed our friendship the first time for a month or two, she was planning on committing suicide, and had prepared everything.

Well, I didn't even know whether to believe her, I had already been conned out of money by her once. Was this another con job? I couldn't tell. I didn't have anything to do with her for 8-10 more months. I called her back, and we've been doing OK for the last 6 months, all on the phone.

She once told me, "I could never commit suicide."

In a later phone call, I told her, "You have 2 sides to your divided ego, which was caused by the trauma in childhood, with you on one side, and the trauma on the other.

"You have opposing views of the same subject; one you said you were planning suicide for weeks or more, and later you said you could never even think of it."

So she's working her way through some things. A month ago, she kicked out her boyfriend, who was bringing her down to the point of attempted suicide. She needed his money, but he was bringing her down.

I help her with her bills with her boyfriend gone, give her encouragement instead of bringing her down like her boyfriend did, and she's doing very well. She owns her own housing.

She now keeps a couple of children, which is the love of her life and brings her out as a person.

She gets up at 3 a.m. for an early client, and kept the last child till 8 p.m. for a couple of weeks. She fell on the floor from exhaustion after about 2 weeks, she loves it so much.

You know, she's the younger sister I never had, and I'm the father she never had. It works great.

You said, "My son has been diagnosed with all of the above alcohol induced to extreme relapses as self medicating .
He is an adult now as a child diagnosed with BPD.
He has had Alcohol Use Disorder for 23 years."

How did he get to be Borderline? Was there trauma?

Above in an earlier post, I gave the version of manic-depression. Below is version of Borderline:


What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes intense mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and severe problems with self-worth. It can lead to troubled relationships in every area of a person's life.

Most of the time, signs of the disorder first appear in childhood. But problems often don't start until early adulthood. Treatment can be hard, and getting better can take years. Problems with emotions and behaviors are hard to improve. But with treatment, most people with severe symptoms do get better over time.

What causes this disorder?

Experts don't know exactly what causes borderline personality disorder. Problems with chemicals in the brain that help control moods may play a role. It also seems to run in families.

Often, people who get it faced some kind of childhood trauma such as abuse, neglect, or the death of a parent. The risk is higher when people who had childhood trauma also have problems coping with anxiety or stress.

What are the symptoms?

Everyone has problems with emotions or behaviors sometimes. But if you have borderline personality disorder, the problems are severe, repeat over a long time, and disrupt your life. The most common symptoms include:

• Intense emotions and mood swings.

• Harmful, impulsive behaviors. These may include things like substance abuse, binge eating, out-of-control spending, risky sexual behavior, and reckless driving.

• Relationship problems. You may see others as either "good" or "bad" and may shift from one view to the other suddenly, for minor reasons. This can make relationships very difficult.

• Low self-worth.

• A frantic fear of being left alone (abandoned). This fear may lead to frantic attempts to hold on to those around you. Or it may cause you to reject others before they can reject you.

• Aggressive behavior.

Other symptoms may include:
• Feeling empty inside.
• Problems with anger, such as violent temper tantrums.
• Hurting yourself, such as cutting or burning yourself.
• Suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts.
• Times when you feel paranoid or lose a sense of reality (psychosis).

It's easy to confuse this disorder with other mental illnesses. And they may overlap. So if you think that you or someone you know may have borderline personality disorder, see a doctor. Don't try to diagnose yourself.

How is it treated?

Borderline personality disorder can be hard to treat. It's common for symptoms to return. And many people with the disorder have troubled relationships with their counselors and doctors.

But you can take steps to help control the disorder. Long-term treatment can reduce symptoms and harmful behaviors and help you better manage your emotions. Treatment may include:

• Counseling and therapy. It's important to find a counselor you can build a stable relationship with. This can be hard, because your condition may cause you to see your counselor as caring one minute and cruel the next, especially when he or she asks you to try to change a behavior. Try to find a counselor who has special training in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) to treat this disorder.

• Medicines, such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics. In combination with counseling or therapy, they may be helpful in treating symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

• Healthy habits , such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. These habits can help reduce stress and anxiety. And they can help make your symptoms less severe and less frequent.
Many people find relief from harmful symptoms within the first year of treatment.1 And about half of those treated find that they no longer have most of the behaviors after about 10 years of treatment.1

Unfortunately, many people don't seek treatment for mental health problems. They may think that their symptoms aren't bad enough or that they can work things out on their own. But getting treatment is key to improving your symptoms and the quality of your life.

People with this disorder often have other mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, or substance abuse.

Treatment can help with these problems too.

How can family and friends help? What can they do to cope?

Accepting that a loved one has a personality disorder can be hard. You may feel helpless. But there are things you can do to help.

Show love, and learn as much as you can about the illness.

Understand that the behavior you may see-which may include anger directed at you-is caused by the illness, not by the person you love.

Know when to get help. This disorder can cause a person to become angry, violent, or suicidal. Take these situations seriously. Call for help if you think the person may be in danger or may harm someone else.

Finding your own support is important too. Ask your local or state health department about local support organizations, or contact the

National Alliance on Mental Illness. For more information, go to

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
Last Updated: November 14, 2014

Tim Tam
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1103
   Posted 6/10/2016 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
The Happy Turtle:

I have both, bi-polar affective disorder and borderline personality disorder, thus I am a complex turtle!!!

Thank you for your response.

I don't understand how someone can be both bi-polar and borderline.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20048
   Posted 6/12/2016 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
your not a consultant psychiatrist are you? men can be dx with borderline, not as common, except if in a male prison, where it is. sorry, do not need web med for the definition. it is not accurate anyway. the criteria I was dx under is far more rigours. please note that people tend to differentiate topic on a thread,whilst obviously trying to be continually compassionate to the post.

ps. I started doing dbt when it was first recognised by a leading authority, this was in 2004. I did a six month program, group, live in, the program was first devised by m.linehan. the dsm and ic-10 differ on views, and being a male, I am in the minority, however I have been doing dbt 12 yrs now, I have had attempts and self harmed a lot- a lot of what you say is true; but however people can weave in and out, and thus have a dx of an emotionally unstable personality disorder, that still is under the umbrella of borderline, without the self harm accepts. the dx of borderline today is less rigorous in this day. I give teachings to med students on borderline and mental illness. just thought io would mention this to you.

and no, I am not going to explain the in's and out's as this is my experience. any mistakes-not to worry, I am vision impaired.



Post Edited (THE HAPPY TURTLE) : 6/13/2016 5:24:55 AM (GMT-6)

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:01 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,905,538 posts in 318,871 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 158222 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, tlee4077.
369 Guest(s), 15 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
tmjpain, lynbrez, Break60, 81GyGuy, LymeSick 🌟, ArtAngel, WalkingbyFaith, Adagio, Szabo246, Supportive Daughter, MacroMan, Glc100, pedidiva, halbert, Tena believes