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What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

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Old 04-12-2005, 05:38 PM   #1
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What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

I am curious to hear from some people who 100%, no doubt have classic clinically diagnosed bipolar?

I ask because I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and this thyroid disease mimics bipolar pretty close. My thyroid puts out hormone at irregular rates, which make me go from 0 - 60 in like 2 seconds and then back again, many times during the day.

Problem is, 2 phycs told me I was bi-polar before being diagnosed with the thyroid problem. Im not sure which is causing the I really bipolar or is my screwed up thyroid giving me the symptoms?

I have always been a little "different"...sort of eccentric. I lose interest in things quickly and have a terrible social anxiety disorder of some kind, which again, could be related to a faulty thyroid as well giving me panic attacks.

When I feel well, I feel like Im a little stoned or something like being on speed or something...rambling, racing thoughts, go full blast into an idea or project like its the last one in the world only to drop it like a hot potato once I've gotten so far without completing the task, regardless of how much time, money or energy I put into it - just lose interest. This too ccould be a function of excess thyroid hormone as well speeding up my system or bipolar...not sure. Im leaning more towards thyroid however but wanted to check here. In this phase of whatever this is, I tend to get tons of work done, could not have a panic attack if I tried and just have a sense of well being.

On the "down cycles" I am slow, a little dizzy, cloudy, tired and very shaky/anxious. It seems the anxiety is overwhelming sometimes and then out of nowhere, typically 9-15 days later, it clears up and I toggle back to the great feeling again. Sometimes when its bad, I can toggle a few times within the same day. I worry that I am losing my mind sometimes but am knowledgable enough to know that my thyroid problem can be the cause of all this but I wanted to hear from some people that absolutely have clinically diagnosed bipolar and to know what its like from them.

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Old 04-12-2005, 06:55 PM   #2
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Re: What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

The difference between an untreated me & you is in the down cycle.
I'm not dizzy or shaky... I'M DEPRESSED.
Like I'm at the bottom of a 4,000 ft hole and there's no light when I look up. Where my thoughts are like bubbles trying to get through the sludge that my brain has become. To where eating & bathing are expendable.
(whew - thank God for lithium)

Old 04-12-2005, 08:01 PM   #3
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Re: What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

Gosh the title of this thread is a loaded question! Like Ruth said the only difference that your down cycle isn't depression. And I'm talking about all kinds of depression: mild, moderate, severe. Interesting enough it is common that individuals have both bipolar disorder and thyroid dysfunction. I myself have hypothyroidism (that was treatment resistent for a year and sent me into my first moderate depressive episode) only to respond to treatment at the same time I became manic. Since I had been exhausted for a year, have tons of energy didn't register as bad at first, I just thought the thyroid treatment was finally working. Then went into severe depression, hypomania, mixed episodes, and of course rapid cycling. By now bp was dxed. So unless your down cycle becomes a loss of interest in everything and you become convinced you deserve such feelings, I wouldn't worry too much. But then again a third medical opinion may not hurt. Even without a mental condition, some mental meds may help stabilize the brain chemical chaoes your thyroid causes. Just an idea, I don't know if there is any precedence for that type of treatment.

Last edited by reesie; 04-12-2005 at 08:02 PM.

Old 04-13-2005, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

Thanks a bunch guys for your honesty! I appreciate it. I did not think it was a bipolar issue for me but rather a really wicked case of Hashi's. I guess I will only know if I am still having symptoms after my thyroid is finally removed.

Old 04-13-2005, 08:20 AM   #5
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Lightbulb Re: What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

I agree with everyone have to have those totally depressive episodes. I have them, not as bad as I use to but I still do. I hope you get your thyroid removed so that these terrible symptoms stop......Kahlia
I have seen many things BUT the most terrible thing I have ever seen was the lack of compassion for another.....................Kahlia

Old 04-14-2005, 12:24 AM   #6
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Smile Re: What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

The hypomania sounds exactly the same as described IMO I just think full blown mania is a bit different.(we're talking BPI, right)? The "high" feeling (or aggrivated feeling/dysphoria mania), esclates into behaviors that seem to make sense at the time. We usually end up looking at the debris of a shattered relationship, big time debt and shame. If left unchecked, the mania just keeps getting higher and higher and faster and faster. Words come out jumbled, as if our mouths cannot keep up with the racing thoughts inside our brains. A fire, out of control. Then, if you are really unlucky, the fun part, psychosis. Yippie!!! Hallucinations, delusions..the whole nine yards. Depression can also have psychotic features. Either way, if your main features show as depressive or manic, it can become disabling. I could go on...pity party at my place..anyone want to come? pb
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Last edited by pookeybear; 04-14-2005 at 12:26 AM.

Old 04-14-2005, 07:34 AM   #7
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Re: What's bipolar really like for someone who absolutely has it?

If you go through the roof because of your thyroid it means you take too much medication. Hashimoto's is the name for permanent hypothyroidism, meaning your thyroid slows down tremedously and your thyroid has been damaged (you could have hypothyroidism temporarely too, but then it isn't hashimoto's). It should give you depression rather than anything else... Untreated hypothyroidism makes you sluggish, depressed, you will have trouble not gaining weight, your nails and hair look aweful, you are tired beyond belief.
So that matches your down cycle. The panic, shaky hands, palpetations mean your dose of thyroidmedication is too high and tips you into a hyperthyroid phase in which your thyroid works way too fast.

Before deciding whether you are BP or have a thyroid problem I would sort out your thyroid first!

When I got diagnosed with Hashimoto's it took about 6 years before it was sorted out completely. If you are a person which quite a bit of stress in your life, it will take longer, because your thyroid reacts to stress as well. I got pregnant twice and that kept my thyroid out of whack!

Good luck,


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