I've spent most of my adult life on antidepressents and I really don't know if they worked or if they triggered mania. I drank very badly in my twenties, then for about 13 years didn't drink. About 5 years ago I started back up with drinking. This progressed to an admission for a psych hosp for detox. Came out of there with a diagnosis of bipolar. For the last year I've tweeked with meds and put on weight. Basically I've seen my life get worse not better.
There are certain traits of bipolar I can related to. I have a number of evnets in my life that my psych feels sure were the result of mania. But I really don't see other evidence of mania, specifically periods of having more energy and unable to sleep. I know there ahave been times in my life when I am more emotionally unstable than others.
I've had a second opinion doc tell me it looks like bipolar.
Does anyone else struggle with identifying with the diagnosis? I am getting another opinion. If I can get off these fat pills I think most of my depression would go away!
Sometimes I think about how I was dx'ed BP II and go, "Really? I'm Bipolar?".
I read Patty Duke's book, "A Brilliant Madness" and I gotta say that I really identified with it. She's a I and I'm a II, but there were certainly themes in there that made me go, yep yep, that's definitely me.
Not everyone has the same symptoms, many of the sources will say that people have at least 5 of the 10 symptoms listed (or something like that).
And when I read the posts on these forums, I get to hear people talk about their experiences and that is helpful for me too. We all experience it differently, but I think we all have the same underlying themes. It's this "thing" that interferes with our ability to live life, to have enduring relationships or experiences, to feel peace of mind, to fit society's norms.
I was originally diagnosed as Schizoaffective Bipolar Type after being hospitalized 2 years ago for a severe manic/psychotic episode.
It took me over a year to come to terms with my diagnosis and understand that I truly do need meds to keep me relatively stable. One week I made the mistake of going off meds (because I felt "normal") and ended up manic, then depressed and eventually irritable. That experience taught me that I *do* need my meds in order to maintain some degree of stability.
Just recently I learned from my tdoc that my primary diagnosis has changed to BP1 with Psychotic Features Rapid Cycling with a secondary diagnosis of Schizoaffective Bipolar Type.
Sometimes it all seems so confusing and difficult to sort out. There are *still* days where I feel good and don't think I have BP1, Schizoaffective or need my meds.
However, eventually reality hits me hard (i.e. when I have a manic or depressive episode) and I once again come to terms with the fact that I have these disorders.
In my case, this is a process that will continue for the rest of my life and is something I'll have to deal with on a day to day basis.
I too am struggling with this diagnosis. Especially since I only had one visit with a psyc and they cookie cutter labled me. Did they even bother to take into consideration my other medical conditions? If so, then they would have known that the meds they want me to take interact with the hormones and thyroid meds I'm already on. Red flag #1.
I have the oposite problem of weight. Surgery has left me weak and underweight. Not the person I was before surgery a year ago. It going to be interesting to see who and/or what gets my life back in order because right now I am lost.