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Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder II?

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
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phuong789 HB User
Exclamation Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder II?

For the past 5 years, I have been experiencing fatigue, brain fog/cloudiness, decreased cognitive function, and ability to concentrate has declined significantly. It feels as if my body is there, but my mind isn't (sort of like the feeling when you just wake up, but the feeling exists throughout the entire day, everyday).

It all started on a random day during summer holidays, where I felt like everything was like a dream (everything seemed kind of surreal, but I knew it was real). I figured it was just a bad day, and the feeling would pass after a good night's sleep. But it persisted the next day, and they next day, everyday, until it became a daily part of my life - the fatigue worsened, concentration went down, brain fog became much more debilitating than it used to be. I dropped out of first year university and took a year off because I knew i couldn't handle the work knowing what I was going through and my current state of mind.

I went to go see my GP several times, and all he did were blood tests, and results always came back normal - no sign of apparent physical abnormalities. He kept telling me it was nothing but I knew there was something wrong with me, something that I hadn't experienced for the first 15 years of my life. He then referred me to a psychiatrist, who then assessed my described symptoms. He couldn't find out what was wrong, until I told him that sometimes the inside of my head felt weird sometimes (like it was moving or readjusting or something like that, hard to describe). He was certain that this was general anxiety disorder, and then prescribed me with Prozac 20mg once a day for 6 months.

Within the course of my SSRI treatment, I experienced a heightened, euphoric state of mind. I experienced my first ever manic episode. I became reckless, rude, aggressive, and had a very short attention span (couldn't sit in my lecture for more than 20 minutes). I became so manic that I have unleashed my anger towards my friends that frightened all of them considerably. This all lasted for about a week, until I had my visit with my psychiatrist at the end of the manic episode. He then rediagnosed me with bipolar disorder, ordered me to completely stop taking Prozac and then prescribed me with Epival (sodium valproate) in order to control my mood (750mg per day). I burnt out. Manic episode eventually weaned off. But I was still feeling the initial symptoms I felt before visiting my psychiatrist.

I told him that the Epival wasn't working, so he switched me to lamotrigine (believing that I was in a depressive state rather than a manic state), titrating up to 100 mg per day in a matter of 4-6 weeks. He was positive that 100mg a day was sufficient for me. However I do not feel the slightest difference. My head still feels groggy all the time, I feel tired, sluggish, motivation down, and brain power is sub-par. I feel like i am operating at 60% of my potential. Never do I ever feel 100%. I am doing fairly well in school, have a supportive and loving girlfriend, and live at home with my parents and siblings. I am 20 years old, male, and have been experiencing this for about 4-5 years. Please help. I can't keep living like this. Something needs to change.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2012
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phuong789 HB User
Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

a lot of my symptoms that I have googled linked me to Multiple sclerosis. Headaches, fatigue, tired.. etc. Any help will be greatly appreciated

Last edited by moderator2; 01-03-2013 at 05:07 AM.

Old 01-03-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

Welcome. From what you have written, it would appear that your doctor is treating you for bipolar disorder. If this is what you have, you can live a very normal life once your condition is stabilized. I know people with bipolar who have moved forward in their lives and even obtained Ph.D.'s.

There are different boards on this site which deal with mental health issues. I would encourage you to read some of those threads.

Now, if you are having anxiety, you can experience MS like symptoms. If you are cycling with bipolar disorder, this can compound your problems. If your meds do not appear to be working, you need to check with your doctor. If it is bipolar, there are specialists for you. Have you seen a psychiatrist? They are medical doctors who deal with issues such as bipolar and can prescribe medication (a psychologist can work with mental health issues but is not a medical doctor).

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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phuong789 HB User
Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

I have tried 2 different mood stabilizers already for quite some time: divalproate (for about 2 months, no effect), and lamotrigine (20mg- 100 mg for about 6/7 months and no avail)

Old 01-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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Happy313 HB User
Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

I know the feeling about wondering if there was an inaccurate diagnosis. I went to 3 different psychiatrist's because I didn't think it was the correct diagnosis or didn't want to accept it and the meds the Dr's were giving me weren't working. You know your body best and the Dr's can only go on the information you give them, if you really believe it may be a mis-diagnosis get a second opinion. I also did not tell the second or third what the other diagnosis were (I'm sure they could get it from records of sorts but I wanted to get a completly unbias opinion).

Anyways after the 3 diagnosis I finially had to accept that this is part of me and I need to learn to manage it. It takes time to find the correct medication, combination and dosage. But you have to stay honest with yourself and your Dr about your symptons and the affects of the Meds. I also had to learn how to differentiant between "day to day" ups and downs everyone experiences and the symptons of my Bi-polar, I still find this difficult sometimes. For this I use an journal app on my phone to track my moods and other life events that would affect the moods.

After 5 years of denial, and then finially acceptance and now meds that work for me I am starting to get my life back in order. My best advice to you would be if you truelly feel you were mis diagnosed get a second opinion. If it is confirmed by a second Dr. it probably is correct. Once you identify what it is then you can truely work on getting "life back on track" so to speak. Never give up and keep plugging along. Also when trying to manage Bi-polar and other illnesses, look at all treatment options. I find meds and therapy (though therapists and psycologists can be expensive) but they can help set up a plan so you and your support system can identify and hopefully avoid the major "episode".

I hope some of this was helpful it can be very worriesome and scary not knowing if you have the correct diagnosis, but as I learned it can be just as difficult to accept the diagnosis.

Old 01-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2013
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anedella HB User
Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

I know this was posted awhile ago, but I'm new here and happened to read this. I am also on Lamictal and wanted you to know that it didn't do squat for me until I hit 200mg and my psychiatrist says that's usually the case. I now take 250mg and it's a life saver.

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Old 01-27-2013, 06:08 AM   #7
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apm86 HB User
Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

sounds like depression, no?

Old 02-02-2013, 05:03 PM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Tulsa, Ok, USA
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LithiumZeppelin HB User
Re: Not sure if psychiatrist diagnosed my properly. He says I have bipolar disorder I

Yes, your symptoms sound perfectly fit to bipolar disorder. Not only that, but the diagnosis of Bipolar 2 sounds very accurate as well. It sounds like your GP has done his fair share of psych studies. Bipolar 2 is characterized as mainly severe depression with rare hypomania or even moderate acute mania. However, bipolar I is characterized as SEVERE PSYCHOTIC episodes (and I mean that's like having an episode where you're thinking you're a divine being who is getting messages from aliens and can do magic with your mind -type of thing) Your episode sounds more of the short-lived mild manic episodes coupled with mostly severe depression (but even mild to moderate mania can still be Earth shattering!) As far as the MS concern- depression can manifest itself into any many different, crazy physical ailments. Don't forget that nerves innervate every single part of our body and nerves are, of course, the pathways of which our brain communicates, so when your brain is sick, it's signals to the body can coincide with that sickness; hence the physical ailments.

Of course, if you're bipolar, anti-depressants are the catalysts for disaster. It up-swings you into hypomania/mania and without a mood stabilizer to keep it in check that, you'll go over the edge. (In fact, most bipolar patients are diagnosed simply because they came to the doc with depression, got antidepressants, flipped their lid, and therefor gave the tell tale bipolar signs. -this is how I was diagnosed) That's why you had the episode after starting SSRI treatment.

Here's the thing: it may take several years of careful observance, persistence, patience, and frustration before you find the right treatment. Bipolar is very little understood in it's essence, and so it's trial-and-error when treating every single bipolar patient, since there are so many variations. I had a psychotic manic episode followed by a deep dark depression and it took me about two years after diagnosis before I started coming back to life. My medicine was near optimum after five...and you have to readjust your meds every few years-it's a commitment if you wanna stay sane. Basically you have to go to a psychiatrist and let them experiment on you with different treatments until you become well and stable. Also, accept that you'll be on a cocktail of meds. (I was on 5 at one point) I also took sodium valproate and it made me crash hard. I tried zyprexa, lithium, everything for a mood stabilizer. Then she tried me on lamictal when it was still brand new and little known about. I LOVE LOVE LOVE lamictal!!!!! I can't stress enough how awesome it is. It's really good for those who bipolars who are mostly depressive, because on top of being a mood stabilizer, it has a mysterious antidepressant effect. Getting the right mood stabilizer is key. Then you can tweek the supplemental meds like SSRI's. Anyway, I feel like I've blabbed enough, but if you ask me-Yes, you are bipolar II and you need to see a good psychiatrist(ask around). It will take a while to perfect your cocktail and you'll probably never be COMPLETELY satisfied, but be patient. Be consistent, sleep on a regular schedule, exercise, and be mindful of all your behaviors/thoughts during treatment. I could go on and on about bipolar disorder and if you have questions, fire away, but for now I'll stop here :) Best of luck

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