How long's a piece of string...?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 7/29/2006 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok, I know that the answer to this question might be "How long's a piece of string?", but I've been looking at posts where people have been talking about being diagnosed as bipolar, and I wondered how long the diagnosis took. I ask because when I last spoke to my ex (yes, tis I of the "one-month no contact" arrangement...), he'd been seeing his pdoc for 5 weeks I think and she was still working out the diagnosis (though the first things she mentioned were bipolar and manic depression, which seem to be roughly the same thing -- or am I wrong?). This seems a long time to me, but then I think I'm being impatient and that it's best to get it right. So I wondered if any of you could set my mind at (more) ease, or if any of you thought this was long too.
Thanks for reading. I have masses of respect for all of you suffering from this condition. I've only ever suffered from depressions, but that was difficult enough.
All very best,
Rosie x

Ellie 1
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1291
   Posted 7/29/2006 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
In all honesty Rosie, I just don't remember. I know it wasn't like I went in on the first appt and he said "yep, bipolar" but I was in such bad shape at the time, plus it was 15+ years ago. Maybe someone who was more recently dx could help you. It may take a little while, the forum is a slow on weekends.
Hang in there
Good judgement comes from experience and alot of that comes from bad judgement.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/29/2006 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Rose, Your analogy of "How long is a piece of string" made me chuckle when I think of my recent diagnosis of BP. My Dr. has been treating me for almost 12 years for major depression at the same time trying to convince me I am BP. Because he knew it disturbed me every time he brought it up he kind of backed off and would do it twice a year or so. Finally after a particularly hard manic run I was somehow open to listening to him. nono So I guess in my case the answer to the string question long as I make it! :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 7/29/2006 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I actually diagnosed myself and told my psych doc and he agreed with me. My daughter is bi polar and I was seeing some of the same symptoms in myself. Then when I had a really bad crash I figured out because just prior, I had been on top of the world. My doc had asked me in the past if I had racy thoughts and I was never sure what he was talking about. Probably because I've had racy thoughts all my life and thought that was normal. I thought of it more as a "noisy mind". I always had a hard time studying in school because my mind wouldn't be quiet. Now that I am on BP meds I can tell a big difference in my mind - its quiet now and I can actually concentrate and de clutter my mind and my environment!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 7/29/2006 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
i'm not sure if my experience is relevant, but here goes.
i have suffered with depression almost all of my life, probably from sexual and emotional abuse as a child.  when i was in my 20s, i went through a really bad divorce ahd spent a month on a psych ward.  i finally started recovering and got remarried.  i fell down a flight of stairs and ended up with debilitating back pain.  a quack botched an epidural steroid injection and i was in the worst pain in my life.  i attempted suicide but my wife stopped me (thank the gods).  i saw a pdoc and he first dxed me as schizophrenic becuae i "heard voices" in my head.  i'm a jewish spiritualist and am expected to hear voices!  at any rate he changed the dx to schizoeffective bahavior.  i went to a psychologist who went through the dsm with me and we came up with bipolar as the closest dx.  my wife and i believe that adult add/adhd may be a better dx, but the pdoc doesn't believe that adult add/adhd exists.  maybe it's time to change pdocs?  i was about 50 when the bipolar dx was given.  i was about 15 when the first dx of depression was given.  i don't really know what's wrong with me. mad    but as for right now, i'm diagnosed as bi polar and one could say that it took about 40 years. :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 7/30/2006 3:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi all, and thanks so much for the feedback!

Wmnak, your story about the voices made me chuckle! (though wish you hadn't had the misdiagnosis!!!)

Lazy, how long did it take the doc to diagnose your daughter?

Catnip -- you made me laugh too!! I'm so glad that you finally were open to the diagnosis. -- I can really understand why the diagnosis scared you, but it's so much better to know and be treated for it. After all, it's not anyone's fault that you have bp: if you've got it, I say celebrate when you're diagnosed, because when that happens you're that much closer to being in control of it, rather than have it control you.

I guess it still just seems so odd to my that my ex's pdoc said bipolar / manic d pretty much straight away, but then was still diagnosing 5 weeks later... . That said, this might be more to do with what my ex was reporting back to me and how he was interpreting what he was hearing. I'm pretty sure this wasn't intentional, as he always seemed really keen to tell me what had been said, but I guess when your head's so muddled things get skewed in translation -- I get that with my anxiety and depression (lots of paranoia!).

Thanks again all. -- It's *so* helpful to get feedback off you!! 

Rosie x

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