It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Bipolar Disorder Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-23-2006, 07:51 PM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 40
punkrocker89 HB User
is it bipolar?

I just know that something is wrong with me, and i've been depressed/suicidal for several years now. I have these long breaks like a month or so with weird mood shifts, im angry and depressed and always looking for something dangerous that gives me some sort of a "rush" These episodes have gotten even worse lately, my therapist diagnosed me with manic depression, is that the same thing as bipolar disorder?

 
The following user gives a hug of support to punkrocker89:
johnathaneric45 (12-24-2010)
Old 04-23-2006, 09:26 PM   #2
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Evrett WA
Posts: 33
lynelle101 HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

Hello,
Here is some information that I think will be helpful to you okay please feel free to ask more because really I am new to all this and i am using the resources I find available.... I was diagnosed in Nov. Bp with Ptsd but she also told me manic depressive but you will see that that is part of bipolar it's all in the same if your biploar 1 and then there's bipolar 2 let me know what you think? In the end you need a professional though to say for sure cause I am just like I said new tooo Best to you talk to u soon Lynelle


here you go hope it helps:
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder, the modern day term for manic-depressive disorder, is a serious medical condition that is chemically and biologically based in the brain. A simple description is that the disorder is like a malfunctioning regulator of the brain's chemicals that manifests as abnormal behavior in terms of mood swings between manic states, depressive states and sometime mixed states. Although environmental and/or social conditions can contribute to a mood swing or state it is uncontrollable by the patient.
back to top

Who gets it and how?

Formal statistics indicate there are 2 million americans or about 1% of the population that have the disorder. However, experts in the field are now beginning to believe that the figure is more like 7%. It affects all races and sex equally. Bipolar is not contagious or a disease. Little is known of the cause but hereditary factors are believed to be involved.
back to top

How is it diagnosed?
Bipolar Disorder is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic other disorders or conditions such as thyroid malfunctioning and it's onset is usually during the late teens when radical behavior is common. Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder must be made by a mental health professional and fall within the diagnostic criteria of the DSM-IV published by the American Psychiatric Association.
back to top

What is Depression?
Everyone has felt depression at some point in their lives. However, if the depression lasts more than two weeks and doesn't seem to be proportional to a cause or attached to a cause at all, then more in likely the person is experiencing a major depression. Typically, Bipolar people find themselves unable to get out of bed for days at a time and may bypass personal hygiene. Major/Clinical Depression can be dangerous because it creates an overwhelming sense of worthlessness and desperation that makes conditions ripe for suicidal thoughts and actions. For a complete list of symptoms look under bipolar basics in our info section.
back to top

What is Mania?
Mania is best described by the symptoms. They include insomnia, pressured or rapid speech, grandiosity, Typical behavioral patterns are uncontrollable spending, sexual promiscuity as well as other risky behaviors with no thought of consequences. Sometime people in a manic state can become psychotic, lose touch with reality, and in extreme cases can become delusion. For a complete list of symptoms look under bipolar basics in our info section.
back to top

What is Hypo mania?
Hypo means small or mild. Hypo mania is a mild mania. Hypo manic symptoms are basically the same as mania but are general confined to only a few and there are no psychotic or delusion features.
back to top

What's the difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II?
The difference is basically the degree of mania. Both have depressive episodes but Bipolar II only experiences hypo manic episodes and not full manic episodes.

back to top

What is Rapid Cycling?
The time it takes to swing from a depression to a mania and back is considered a cycle. Normally a cycle occurs over years, but a cycle can go a quick as within a few months, days or even hours.
This known as rapid cycling which can be especially debilitating to the patient and is often induced by some anti-depressants.
back to top

What is a Mixed State?
A mixed state is when the patient experiences symptoms of both mania and depression and the same time. An example would be rapid thoughts, which is manic, but those thoughts are of death and suicide which is depressive.
back to top

Is it Curable?
No. Once the disorder develops it's there for life and must be dealt with otherwise it typically gets more severe over time. However, with the use of therapy and modern medications the bipolar person can lead a fairly normal life. Today, research and development of new treatments and medications is active and ongoing making it easier and easier to deal with.
back to top

How is it treated?
Therapy and medications are the key to controlling bipolar disorder. A drug regime is needed first to offset the chemical imbalance in the brain, reduce or eliminate the mood swings and provide balance. Normally, the core of a drug regimen is a mood stabilizer. Typically this has been lithium. However, in the last few decades anticonvulsants, such as Depakote, have been discovered to be effective mood stabilizers as well. Sometimes in addition to a mood stabilizers, anti-depressants are prescribed as well as anti psychotics. It is important to know that there are a variety of all these types of medications available and no one responds exactly the same to them in terms of their effectiveness and side effects. So it may take time to find the right medications that work for the patient.
Other than medications, therapy is also necessary to help control the disorder. Bipolar disorder, primarily because of the negative behaviors the mood swings create, is a breeding ground for developing deep rooted feelings of regret, remorse and guilt. Also, Stress can trigger mood swings. Therefore, environmental factors are important to control by setting boundaries to avoid them and to develop cognitive behaviors that help to cope with them. Also, there are issues with acceptance and the dependence on medications to maintain balance.
back to top

Where do I go for help?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors that specialize in psychiatric disorders and are the ones who primarily prescribe drugs. Many of them also provide talk therapy but generally that is done by a psychologist who holds of Ph.D. or a therapist / mental health counselor who has a masters level education. To find these professionals that specialize in mood disorders, contact with your local mental health agency or hospital. There are also online doctor finders provided be the American Medical Association and The American Psychological Association. You can find links to these in our web links section.
back to top

Is hospitalization necessary?
It might be, If the patient is in a psychotic, delusion or suicidal state, hospitalization may be necessary to get the patient balanced. This is usually attainable in a matter of days, but in some cases it may take weeks or months. Hospitalization should not be considered a shameful thing. It is important to get back to a normal state in order to control the disorder and live with it. Hospitalization, if needed, may not only occur at the point of diagnosis but and different times when treatment drastically fails.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 04-25-2006, 08:29 PM   #3
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 114
klawk316 HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

A friend of mine is in the hospital. It took rescuers 3 hours to get her out of the car she destroyed; she crossed the line and crashed into another. My friend has over five broken bones. It will be years until she has the full use of her legs again. She was lucky,,, the other driver is dead. And yet, she still is refusing to take her medication. She likes living on the edge; it gives her a rush (sound familiar?). She has been charged with manslaughter and will have to spend some time in jail. The poor family of the person she killed; their lives have changed for ever; such devastation. What a waste of life! Please find a good doctor and a good therapist; one to make you stable, the other to help you break the habit of looking for rushes.

 
Old 09-23-2007, 11:29 PM   #4
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: anchorage, alaska
Posts: 10
ginnie444 HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

You seem very educated about Bipolar I found that very interesting. Is there a certain age that you are diagnosed as bipolar? Is it hereditary? If so, how?
If my brother has it does that mean I have it? I never had any emotional problems til my thyroid was out of whack. They still have problems getting me leveled out and its been like 10 years now!! Its so frustrating. I have only been extremely depressed once (suicidal), and that was just recently. I do get episodes of extreme irritability.. My psych diagnosed me with GAD.. What is your opinion?

 
Old 09-24-2007, 06:15 AM   #5
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 2,779
tsohl HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

To answer a few of Ginnie's questions:

It was generally thought that you couldn't diagnose bipolar disorder (previously called manic-depressive disease) until a person was in their late teens or early twenties. But researchers are not able to show that it can be diagnosed much earlier, some say even in toddlers. It is a biochemical imbalance in parts of the brain that control emotion and order thoughts. It is now known that it can be considered a "degenerative" disease in those that remain unmedicated. With each episode of mania, hypomania or depression, there are physical changes in the brain that are now visible with the new spec imaging technology. As one ages, the episodes usually are longer and come closer together, with an increasingly shorter period of "stability" in between, and the symptoms of the episodes themselves become more severe as one ages. It is not something that goes away as one ages.

If there is a family history of depression, bipolar disorder or substance abuse, you have a better chance of developing bipolar disorder than in the general population. There are probably some kind of genes that are inherited but it takes more than that for it to develop. Also some people develop BP without having any family history of mental illness. If your brother has BP, it does not mean that you will also develop it. It just means that your chances are somewhat greater than someone who has NO family history.

Bear in mind that the symptoms of hypomania are tricky. It can present as symptoms of agitation, irritability, anger, uncontrolled rage and sleep disorders to name a few. It does not necessarily mean those "over-the-top," euphoric feelings.

The only way to know for sure if you might have BP is to be diagnosed by a qualified psychiatrist. Well-meaning family practitioners don't count.

There are many excellent books out now on the topic and some good websites as well. You might search for the one run by the National Institute for Mental Health. Another good one is NAMI.

Hope this information helps you a little.

xxTsohl

 
Old 09-24-2007, 09:53 AM   #6
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: anchorage, alaska
Posts: 10
ginnie444 HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

Thank you for all the information. I just really get confused because I never seemed to have any problems until my thyroid got really out of whack. I have also read that thyroid problems can mimic bipolar disorder so I just don't want to be prescribed medication if I don't need to take it. I am now on celexa and I was recently trying to wean off and oh man did I have some awful headaches, dizziness and nausea. So I went back up to my 20mg after trying to go to 15mg
Again thank you for all the information. Oh where do you get a spect scan??
I ask my psych and he said they don't do them.

 
Old 09-24-2007, 10:13 AM   #7
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 2,779
tsohl HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

Spec imaging is only done in a couple places in the country at the moment. I think it will become more standard in years to come. If you search online you will see a place in California, one in Reston, VA and there might be something in Seattle. Try looking for Dr. Daniel Amen and his clinics for information.

SSRIs in general are tough to get back off of. You need to decrease even more slowly than you went up on them...cutting back for a week or two before you cut back a little further for a couple weeks, etc.

You're right about the thyroid problems mimicing symptoms of BP -- they always say "check your thyroid" when they suspect BP. If you find yourself feeling really agitated, irritable or angry (out of character for you) while on an antidepressant, you very well may be bipolar.

There used to just be 3 designations: bipolar 1, bipolar 2 and bipolar NOS. Now researchers are realizing that bipolar disorder is a whole spectrum and they are lumping a number of these designations into what they are calling "soft bipolar." You could never have a manic feelings and still be considered bipolar! There is an interesting book out called Why am I Still Depressed: Recognizing and Managing the Ups and Downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder by Jim Phelps, M.D. You might enjoy reading it to learn more if you are worrying that you may be bipolar.

He states that there is a complex relationship between thyroid hormone and bipolar disorder. Thyroid problems run in families with BP. Bipolar symptoms show up for the first time, or at least become severe enough to require treatment, after some thyroid change.

Last edited by tsohl; 09-24-2007 at 10:17 AM.

 
Old 09-24-2007, 10:50 AM   #8
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: anchorage, alaska
Posts: 10
ginnie444 HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

Thanks again, very interesting. No one else in my family has thyroid problems. My mom had diabetes which is an auto-immune problem, but no thyroid. As far as anyone else in my family there is no health issues. (that I know of) My brother supposedly is bipolar but he is 50 and I don't know if he was ever tested for his thyroid so who really knows. He was on some heavy drugs too so my parents are not really sure but he is on lithium. I am going to see if I can get that book. I heard that about thyroid and bp too how it never comes out until you have severe thyroid problems. But like I said I just don't want to be put on meds if I don't need to be. All my emotional problems started when my thyroid got really out of whack and my dr kept changing my doses every 2 wks which I think was too soon. Then mom passed away. I don't know if I mentioned it but my levels went from 1.75 normal to 8.95 hypo in 3 days

Are you bipolar? If you are what do you take?
Thanks

Last edited by ginnie444; 09-24-2007 at 10:52 AM.

 
Old 09-24-2007, 11:27 AM   #9
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: WI
Posts: 2,779
tsohl HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

No I am not BP but my 25-year old son is. We do not have any family history of mental illness or substance abuse. My son went through 4 pdocs and what seemed like every med in the book before finding a pdoc who really knew how to combine medications. He believed in treating the bipolarity rather than treating a string of symptoms...so he tried one mood stabilizer, lihium. Then he kept that and added tegretol which helped, but my son was still having some symptoms. So he added in Lamictal and that turned out to be the winning combination. He feels really great and has been stable for over two and a half years.

It is very common to self-medicate. Something like 65% of those with bipolarity use (at one time or another) alcohol or drugs in an attempt to bring the chaos into focus.

You can find that book at one of the online booksellers.

 
Old 09-24-2007, 09:55 PM   #10
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: anchorage, alaska
Posts: 10
ginnie444 HB User
Re: is it bipolar?

What kind of symptoms did he have to wonder if he was bipolar? I think if I am I am just bipolar II but I don't know cause alot of the symptoms I am having is categorized under General Anxiety Disorder. Who knows I just do not want to be put on a bunch of meds for something I may not be.. Thanks Again

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Am I bipolar? OCA917 Bipolar Disorder 4 09-12-2006 03:57 PM
bipolar/panic disorder e0a54 Bipolar Disorder 5 07-10-2006 02:02 PM
My Daughters Bipolar... joessy Bipolar Disorder 2 06-06-2006 08:13 PM
BiPolar Vs Borderline BorderChild Bipolar Disorder 5 04-20-2006 06:52 AM
BiPolar I vs BiPolar II ThornyRose Bipolar Disorder 2 04-05-2006 06:29 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:44 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!