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Old 07-03-2008, 07:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Dbop HB User
Misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder

I had always led a fairly normal life with nothing out of the ordinary ever happening to me....

This time last year i went on a 2 week 18-30's holiday to Zante in Greece, which involved heavy drinking on a nightly basis. The first week was fine but during the second week odd things started to happen to me...I found i could not sleep at all, and did not seem to need any, as i felt constantly awake and energised. My confidence was sky rocketing by the day, and i thought i was on a natural high. Suddenly i started to feel more important and was convinced that the world loved me! At first this was a great feeling and i just went with it. I became the life and soul of the party and people seemed quite drawn towards me...

A few days in and things had progressed. I adopted new catch phrases and words that were out of character for me, and found myself getting very emotional about things. All my emotions seemed extreme, wether it be happy, sad or angry!

I started bossing my friends about and calling myself their leader, and would become irate if any of them told me any different! I became fearless and could switch charm and aggression on and off within seconds!

During the last few days of the holiday my behaviour got out of hand, and i was convinced that i was living the life of a superstar, and that people were coming to the bars just to see me. My friends found this odd, but seemed to go along with it because my confidence was attracting alot of girls and the nights were generally fun. But then i just started exploding at them for no reason, and would accuse them of betraying me over the slightest comment. I became unpredictable and dangerous. This led to a fight on the last night which became quite extreme...

I woke up on the last morning, and i just felt different....I looked at myself in the mirror and the first thing that stood out was my eyes...They seemed dilated and different. I felt invincable and felt that my appearance had changed...I felt stronger, and was convinced that i had been blessed with some kind of gift....My voice had changed, and i would sometimes talk in riddles in a sing songy kinda way....I found myself staring at people straight in the eyes to intimadate them, and this obviously freaked people out....

As soon as i arrived home my mother instantly noticed that something was wrong with me and asked my brother if i was on drugs...She was in disbelief and shock at the way i was behaving and had no idea what was going on....I told her that i had been in a fight with my friend and she demanded that i see a doctor....

I obviously protested at first but agreed to see one to keep her happy!

The doctors were shocked by my behaviour and after passing the buck over many times, made me talk to a psychiatrist. The woman i spoke to said one thing that made me angry and i ran out and went home....

My mother was distraught and forced me to go the local hospital with her....The doctors did nothing and my mum was in despair...By this point i was showing signs of psychosis and was scaring people....

My mum called the police that night and demanded that they get me some help...The policeman were excellent and played along with me and persuaded me to visit some 'people' to show off my new 'gift'

The place was an open mental health hospital and i was immediatly sectioned for 4 weeks under the mental health act...

I lasted one night there and became out of control...I refused to sleep because i was convinced that the the staff were evil and plotting against me...I was also convinced that i had the power to heal the other patients and i persuaded them to help me bully the staff, to which they happily obliged...The staff were scared and had to call for help...

Six staff from a secure hospital arrived and restrained me to the floor and gave me an injection...I was shoved in a taxi and taken to a secure closed wing....

I woke up not knowing where i was and for the first week or so was still convinced that i had special powers....I was convinced that i was a hero and that the whole thing was a test to see if i was for real...

I was taking the medication to keep the doctors happy and pretending that i was getting better, but inside i still felt the same...My family had been advised not to tell me that they thought i had bipolar (which i think was wrong) Things got out of hand one day on a visit from my family, and my brother pulled me aside and told me that i had bipolar disorder...He had printed out a fact sheet and every symptom matched. I was happy with this and believed it.

I was also confused and just wanted to get better!

I cooperated and spent the next two weeks mainly sleeping and was finally released on the last day of my section order.

I was put on depakote and olanzopine, to be taken on a daily basis.

The first month or so at home was horrible. I could not relax or concentrate, and trivial things like queing in a shop made me impatient and anxious....I'd still get the odd high but nothing serious. I couldnt relax enough to watch t.v or use the computer, and i just felt lost half the time and had to keep going for walks...

After two months the medication was working wonders and i was gradually becoming myself again....I felt stable and was finding it easier to relax...

Another two months passed and i was back at work full time, and going out drinking with my friends again. I showed no signs of relapsing and felt 100% healthy.

I continued to take my medication, and my pdoc agreed that i could start reducing it.

In february i was told that i had been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and that my new analysis was that i had a single 'manic episode'. My medication was reduced further and i was down to just taking depakote.

From this point on i started weening myself off the medication and in late march stopped taking it all together.

And that brings us to this day....

I have never felt better and never showed a hint of relapsing. I was told i would be on medication for life at one point, that i could never drink again, and i honestly believed that i would never be the same again.

My heart goes out to everybody who is struggling with bipolar right now, and i really feel for the people who can't find the right balance of medication. Just be strong and positive and don't let it beat you.

I have been told that if i ever have another manic episode then my diagnosis will change back to bipolar. So i still kind of live in fear. But my gut feeling tells me i'll be ok.

My Pdoc says that i shoudnt have stopped taking my medication because i am increasing my chances of relapsing, so i am taking a gamble...

I shared this story with you to show people that there is hope and to never give up!

I would also love to hear other peoples stories of being misdiagnosed with biploar!

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by Dbop; 07-04-2008 at 02:44 AM.

 
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: chippenham, wiltshire, uk
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sue82 HB User
Re: Misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder

hi Dbop,
i was very interested to read your message, i too believe i was misdiagnosed, in fact when i was forced into having anti psychotic medication in hospital in 1980 i hadn't even been diagnosed! i spent 3 months in a state of fear, agitation and confusion not having even been seen for more than 5 minutes by a psych during my whole stay in hospital. to this day i am still on medication with still no proper diagnosis, bipolar has been bandied around but never confirmed by anyone. my psych is now reducing my meds very gradually
as he is worried about tardive dyskinesia (incurable muscle spasms of face etc) i feel rather angry that i have had the injections for the past 29 years when i probably didn't need them at all! plus my new psych now tells me the injections probably started off my diabetes which was diagnosed 4 years ago,
it doesn't run in my family. now at 55 and two failed marriages behind me life is looking heaps better i have come to terms with a whole load of issues that were really getting me down, buddhism has been my saving grace, i now have a calm space in my head and a clearer view of living life 'IN THE MOMENT'!!!!!! best wishes to you and safe journeys, sue

 
Old 07-08-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ohio, USA
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eliz41 HB User
Re: Misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder

Your story gives me hope. I was diagnosed last year with bipolar disorder after a manic episode in November.

It was the worst year of my life...in this order. My mom was diagnosed with
cancer at the end of 2006. It was already grade IV by the time it was found so the first five months of 2007 I watched my mom deteriorate and die. My psychiatrist prescribed me 30mg of Celexa to deal with the depression from that. I took that for six months until September when I started interviewing for accounting positions.

The hiring season for accounting is pretty intense and I was doing 3-4 interviews per week. I've never been successful in interviews before, but I really clicked with a particular firm and that success led to confidence in other interviews and eventually four offers. I slid into hypomania and mania from there. I was so excited about the interviews/offers and I couldn't sleep at night. Thoughts were constantly racing through my head so I was always up at night emailing or cleaning. I thought I could do everything I always wanted to do in a weekend. I felt charming and funny and had so much to say about everything. Instead of studying for upcoming tests, I decided I was going to fly to LV for a blogging convention on the spur of the moment. I wanted to initiate all sorts of projects and I called all my family members in the middle of the night to ask them to fly to Vegas too.

Finally, my family took me to the hospital because my behavior was so unusual. I had started to believe I was on some sort of reality game show. I kept noticing all these weird coincidences and linking them together. I spent a week in the hospital still believing these things. It took a few more weeks after being released for me to get out of the mania.

I am not taking meds now and feel better than ever. It's encouraging to hear that you are doing so well and it was just a singular episode for you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

 
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