You said, “After years of cyclic depression (approximately 10-14 days feeling normal and then 7-10 of awful depression and anxiety) the doctors have put together that I may be on the `bipolar spectrum.' I guess it was hard to diagnose since I don't really have any mania, but normal antidepressants weren't cutting it so here I am.”
I think you’re wise to reach out for help. I have bipolar, myself, but I have the depression and can later (without medicine) switch into full mania and I won’t know I’m there, I’ll think I’m at the circus. So, ideally I need some medicine (600mg. lithium, for me) to help with the mania, and an antidepressant to help with the depression, Mirtazapine 7.5 mg. (in my case) ready for the depression.
But you say you never reach mania. Interesting. I can see why your doctors are having a difficult time.
But you also don’t say you reach hypomania, which seems to be a scaled down version of full mania, which for me is, mind going 100 mph, doing several projects almost at the same time, but none of them involve getting help or paying the water bill, trouble sleeping at night.
Without help, I got wound up tighter and tighter until my mind couldn’t take it anymore and I had a nervous breakdown.
But you said, you had the awful depression for 7-10 days and then felt “normal” for 10-14 days. But there is no mania as in what the net says is Bipolar II. (I have Bipolar I, which has full mania.)
Bipolar II net says is depression with only hypomania, not full mania.
My wife used to say that my hypomania was the good mania, you function at a high rate, but you don't get out of control.
This is what the net says about
• A distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood
• Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
• Decreased need for sleep
• More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
• Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
• Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation
• Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences
So when you're in your normal range, do you have any of those above symptoms?
You say, "I don't really have any mania, but normal antidepressants weren't cutting it so here I am. I was put on Lithium starting at 600mg."
Regular anti-depressants weren't getting you out of depression? Right, if you were cycling into depression every so often, you're right, they weren't helping you with the depression. Are you taking one now?
Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 2/9/2019 1:25:00 PM (GMT-7)