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Old 12-03-2007, 04:18 PM   #1
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Angry Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

I do. There was this girl in the phosp and she said that she was upset with the pdoc there because he took her off depakote because he said she wasn't bipolar and didn't need it. I don't exactly remember how this came up but some other lady asked her something and then the "bipolar" girl described her "bipolar" symptoms. She said that when her kids acted up she got irritable with them and felt that way. She said sometimes she felt down. Now, come on. This is totally circumstantial and the other lady in the room felt so too. The "bipolar" girl didn't say much after that.

I just feel like everyone is being diagnosed bipolar because they complain of having a bad day and then feeling fine and good the next. I don't even know why this bothers me. I guess it's because it makes the illness seem less credible to the public. Like, "Oh...everyone is bipolar sometimes...seems like everyone has that..." blah blah blah

This whole "soft bipolar" bugs me too. I just feel like when I'm talking about my bipolar (psychosis, mania, hospitalizations, antipsychotics, lithium, etc.) and someone is talking about their bipolar (like a "soft" bipolar...whatever that really means?!) that we are talking about two totally different things even though we would both label ourselves as bipolar.

It upsets me!

 
Old 12-04-2007, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

I think ur right. I was diagnosed bipolar wen i was 23 (now 37) but mine had an "anger disorder" added to it. I was an EXTREME case tho. I don't think ppl that have bad days should even bother goin to a dr about it, i mean geeez, we all have bad days even if we aint bipolar. The main critearia is sposed to be manic & then depression lasting longer than 2-3 weeks at a time. My friends that aren't bipolar have bad days that last a week or so but they still get over it & get on w/ life, w/o a diagnosis of anything. Now i'm diagnosed as schizoaffective/bipolar. That hasn't changed who i am, just my diagnosis & prognosis. There aren't groups out there fer ppl like me but i still think & act the way i do. I'm very medically compliant & i have good days & bad but i aint runnin to my shrink every time i have 1. Besides, shrinks got enuff on their plates w/ real nuts like me to be runnin around diagnosing everybody that's had a bad day or week. And kids r notorious fer driving parents nuts. They can't help it, they're kids. Feeling irritated by ur kids is a perfectly normal reaction to a very annoying stimulous. I Love my kids but they get on my nerves as bad as everybody else's duz. Shane

 
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:17 PM   #3
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

I do think that Bipolar is overdiagnosed. In fact, I was talking to my pdoc about it the other day.He said that a few years ago Schizophrenia was being over diagnosed and the British pointed that out and then the docs moved on. I think they may have moved on to Bipolar.

I have been diagnosed Bipolar, and on one hand my symptoms are very typical and at the same time atypical. I am an ultra rapid cycler, I'm talking an hour to a day to a week at the worst. I have euphoric highs and extremely sad lonely lows. I also hear a voice and have intrusive thoughts and I used to hallucinate fairly frequently. Sometimes I wonder if I really am Bipolar. Nothing else seems to fit my symtoms and some parts of bipolar fit me to a tee and sometimes not so much. I dunno

Through this rambling, what I'm trying to say is yes, I think bipolar is overdiagnosed
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:37 AM   #4
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Pehaps we need to be more concerned about ourselves,our own symptoms and sighs of bipolar disorder. Taking full ressponsbility for our own actions. Being compliant with our meds. Reviewing regularly with our pdocs and tdocs.

We can't be resposible for how other people respond to their "bipolar" Dx.
Overdiagnosed ? Not to sure....I'm not a pdoc. I just have worked for my own stability for the last 25 years. Other people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, may want to work for their stability.

 
Old 12-06-2007, 07:26 AM   #5
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Absolutely, I was just telling my friend that bipolar is the new "ADD or ADHD" and she absolutely agreed! All of a sudden everyone is "bipolar"!
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:47 AM   #6
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

I think people want an answer to every little thing that goes wrong in their lives. It's natural. Some people are too quick to want someone else to pinpoint it when they need to just remember that there will always be ups and downs. Personally, I don't know if it is being overdiagnosed - it's just that the spectrum seems to be getting larger. It seems to be that unipolar depression is misdiagnosed a lot when the person actually has mild symptoms of mania that go overlooked because they don't cause severe enough problems to be disfunctional - but the depressive episodes are nonetheless very problematic. The problem is that these individuals are receiving meds for unipolar depression and they don't work because they are actaully bipolar. I guess it goes the other way too.
I don't know how anyone can diagnose these things - it seems very difficult. Our brains are so unique and complex.

Obviously doctors and psychologists are sort of pressured into a diagnosis because the patient wants answers right away. I really respect a doc who takes the appropriate time to find out what's wrong before handing out meds.
I have not been diagnosed with anything - I go in for my first visit with a psychologist today and I'm nervous because there's so much history to expel that might give a better idea of the depressions that have been taking hold of me this past year (and sort of masked throughout my life) but I'm afraid I won't ever have enough time to say it all and I am also afraid that I will sound like a whining, self absorbed woman. I know there will be more sessions - if need be, but it's so expensive and I truly don't want to go in unless it's absolutely necessary. That's why I've put it off so long. I probably should have seen someone years ago - during my alcoholic, crazy years, but I was too stubborn and too immature. The hard thing is that as of the last few days I don't feel the dark depression, just a lingering sence of emptiness that never leaves. I don't expect a diagnosis today - I know it's too soon for 39 years of built up history. I just want to start feeling happy again, and if talking to someone who understands will help, that's what I want.

 
Old 12-06-2007, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Lostinwonder, how did your session go today? I hope it went well. Let us know. (((HUGS)))

 
Old 12-07-2007, 07:40 AM   #8
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

I agree - now there's something like 5 types of bipolarism, and one is None otherwise specified!


I think that if one's mood is disabling a person over a long period of their lives, then it could be a bipolar spectrum condition, yet like the other posters have said, everyone has bad days and some people's lives are so hellish, not by their own cause yet life circumstances that its NORMAL to be reactive, depressed and irritable.

A Pdoc said that some people are just high strung and not necessarily bipolar.

I agree, and some people are more emotional and sensitive then others and their moods can be severely affected then others.


Yet again if it becomes life threatening then I see a person needs help and if medications do work then that's the route that should be taken, yet other avenues to resolve the cause should be addressed.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 08:27 AM   #9
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Thanks for asking

Well, the session went well, but when I came home and my husband asked how much it cost his reaction made me want to cry. He has a real problem with psychologists I think - he's seen his sister on numerous antidipressants which have NOT helped her and I think he wants to place blame on someone. Funny thing is his aunt is a psychologist and he totally respects her.
The session went well. I feel comfortable talking to her. My husband also wanted to know what she thought the problem was.....holy crap - in one hour??? I'm sorry for venting about my husband right now, but I feel totally alone, angry, and sad. (I'm going to have to post on the subject of unsupportive spouces) She asked me if my husband was controlling. In admitting that he is makes me feel so weak. He's not that way in everything. He doesn't choose my friends, doesn't tell me what I can and can't do, but he's got a way of making me feel guilty over things like this. I think deep down, he's scared that a lot of the problems stem from him - which I already know is true. I've been with an ACOA for 20 years of my life - it's bound to play a role.
She wants me to come back next week. She said that some of my symptoms do look like they could be hypomania, but it's too soon make any kind of diagnosis. She immediately said that bipolar is way overdiagnosed. I'm glad she sees it that way - then she won't be quick to give meds.
She also said that what resembles hypomania at my age (from what I told her about my self inflated times) could be my "authentic self" struggling to emerge.
Right now I am feeling like I'm in a dark hole again because now I'm wanting to try and find someone who is less expensive and who takes insurance. It's so hard trying to find someone....lol.
Right now I'm really scared. I'm sitting here thinking the worst, like there's no way out of this mess.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 08:52 AM   #10
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinwonder View Post
She said that some of my symptoms do look like they could be hypomania, but it's too soon make any kind of diagnosis. She immediately said that bipolar is way overdiagnosed. I'm glad she sees it that way - then she won't be quick to give meds.
She also said that what resembles hypomania at my age (from what I told her about my self inflated times) could be my "authentic self" struggling to emerge.
.
Sorry to be intrusive yet what did you psychologist say what of your "actions' or thoughts were hypomanic?

Also I agree that if one's true self/ambitions are/were repressed the "overly inflated self-esteem" could just be a healthy sign of wishing for higher achievement. Yet this is the fine line between what is Normal hypomania and pathological hypomania that Most doctors do not address.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 11:05 AM   #11
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Depression seems to be a result of being a victim of something, doesn't it? It could be something as little as being ridiculed or not fitting in or something bigger. Now maybe in some people, mania is the survival mechanism in high gear opposing the depression. Alot of it could be emotional, but, since toxins, illness or metabolic/hormonal problems, vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition and some types of drugs have been know to cause psychiatric symptoms, one of those causes is also possible.

But I agree with the posters in saying it is over-diagnosed. Soft bipolar, type 1, type 2, etc, gee, they've very cleverly got everything covered so any display of life's ups and downs could lead to a diagnosis of one of the many bi polars. How convenient is that, and how convenient that costly drugs and office sessions required to get a prescription are the only answer.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Hmmmm....well, I told her about the times in spring when I was feeling unusually good about myself - like I was in a different league than others..don't normally feel that way. I had recently lost some weight too, and was sleeping a lot less and being very productive in my artwork. I'm starting to think it was just a good mood - but I've always struggled with hostility, anger, irritibility too. Also I'm very easily distracted - can't concentrate when there's more than one conversation going on in a room. There's just so many years behind me that what could have been hypomania all along I've come to know as just my normal self. Or now, my normal self is trying to emerge and I'm thinking it's hypomania.
I've had to look into the past to try to see any pattern. I do see addictions and obsessions. Now that I think about it, in high school, I was bulimic and had issues with rage (which we attributed to hormones) with my mom. I also had a time (just remembered this) when I would come home from school and want to sleep - my mom actually asked me if I was using drugs, which I wasn't. I think I have struggled with depression on and off for years before I could really understand that.
I know my husband is controlling - but it's only in very specific situations. He doesn't badger me about stuff - doesn't ask what I've done all day, doesn't do stuff like that. He has supported my art career - suppported me in my ways of mothering. It's usually the money thing - he overreacts. Luckily, we can talk about stuff when things calm down. I will probably struggle a LOT with this, but I'm not going to devastate a whole family by saying "my real me is trying to come out" and leave. That's how my mind works - always seeing the worst case senario first. Then I try to work backwards from there and see other solutions. That's where this psychologist might be able to help. And if I am bipolar, she can help with that.
Good news is I just talked to an agent from my insurance and found a list of psychologists (only 6) in my area who take my insurance. And so it should only be $40 bucks a visit out of pocket. Now I have to try to explain this to the lady I poured my heart out to yesterday - say I'm going to find someone else because of money. I guess she will understand. And hopefully the new doc will be good.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 01:27 PM   #13
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

lostinwonder,

Thank you for answering my question.


I'm no doc yet, was ADHD ever considered a diagnosis for you?

Its seems like the hyperactivity and hypomania can be very similar, and where does the line draw itself?

Also when you said mentioned the "cannot concentrate" that can be considered ADD.

Again I do think that Bipolar disorder is being so generalized now.

I had a good friend who died because loads and years of drug abuse, and looking back when he told me, I knew there was something very different about them.

Yet now, if someone feels a little too good and gets depressed, now that's now in the Biploar category? Yes that a rhetorical question.


Maybe they will come up with some new, conscise category or name because there's too many variants of BP that the Pdocs and Psychologist seems to be churning these days.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 04:01 PM   #14
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Jennita, I didn't see your post earlier. Yes I totally agree. "Survival Mechanism". I am really hoping that if this is the case with me, I can somehow incorporate this into my life without letting my husbands jealousy, and control issues and insecurities hold me back. I live a comfortable life, and most of the past years have been happy. When I was an alcoholic, I think my ability to feel was sort of numbed - but the one thing that never did numb completely is the guilt that I knew I was doing things that were wrong and yet it felt good to drink. So I finally quit. But now when I look back I can see the intense moods I went through. I have always been moody - and the person I've chosen to be married to is intenesly moody too. And my children are ultrasensitive too - and have terrible rages at times. Apples don't fall far from the tree.
I'm just totally confused why this past year I became an emotional wreck. Too much time to think about things? I have so much to be thankful for and yet I still wonder "what's the meaning to any of this when nothing really matters anyway". The doc told me that's the one commonality among all sufferers of depression. It's such a morbid way to think and it keeps you from looking at the here and now. If I could go one day without feeling this loneliness, it would be so freeing. I feel absolutely trapped by this feeling that nothing will ever change, I'm stuck, are we doing the right things, am I a good person, is my husband a good person etc. What is the meaning of life? I can't stand the thought of getting older - or even being around elderly people. It only reminds me that time is going, going, gone.
Yeah, ADD. Well, I've never been hyper, so ADHD is not really me, but attention defecit? Possible. I always have had such a hard time with noise too - unless it's music. If there's more than one thing going on in a room - I can't stand it. I feel tension and anger and like I have to have quiet or I might explode.
Well, I'm rambling again. Even though I'm probably not bipolar - and maybe I'll never really know for sure - I know my moods are different from the norm. Thanks for listening to me.

 
Old 12-07-2007, 04:45 PM   #15
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Re: Do you guys think bipolar is being overdiagnosed?

Wow, to me everything you said is perfectly normal reactions....who doesn't question the meaning of life at one time or another, and then get depressed when it all seems so useless anyway?

Getting older is a huge bummer, nobody enjoys it. However, at age 50, I'm spitting in its face.....lifting weights, eating decently(I do like my sweets though) and getting in some superfood powders, green tea, etc. No drinking, smoking or laying on my butt. Most think I'm younger than I am.

Ok, sure, I'm not reversing time but I won't let it get to me, you know? I'm just thankful for what I have, that I am healthy and have enough to eat, a decent roof.... I also take big pleasure in the little things.

That's just it, I don't sweat the small stuff anymore and always look to what I can do to improve my situation and forget about what I can't do.

What else can we do, we are only human.

 
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