31 posts in this topic
By Angeni Mai
I don't know how to feel ...
I got used to the idea that I was just stupid because my past haunts me but now I'm not and my past really is the issue, not my perception of it? I feel confused, angry, and a bit hurt that nobody believed me until this last IP stay.
Anybody else have this problem?
Hi All, I'm new here and I am so grateful for this space.
I received a tentative BP II (I believe rapid cycling) dx a rather long time ago (over a decade), and have been on a mood stab. since then (lamictal). The thing is, I'm not certain if this fits me. I know you can't dx me, but I am hoping that maybe someone shares my experience, or can shed some light on what's going on for me. All of this is based on a fairly shaky memory of the time + my parents memory.
Way back then, in my pre-teen days, I presented as having periods of being "stable," active and generally good. Very suddenly, I would go into extreme irritability and frustration with uncontrollable outbursts, typically triggered by something. I remember feeling, after these outbursts, that I had no control over them and would often be very apologetic and ashamed. As I got into my teens, I would more often rapidly spiral down into deep deep, inconsolable despair.
The latter is pretty clearly depression, but does the former count as hypomania? Those period wouldn't last the requisite 4 days, they were just extremely fast shifts. There were times where I would get hyper focused on projects with a belief that, whatever I was doing it needed to be genius and the "best." The irritability and frustration would often be present as well. I don't recall ever having periods of euphoria and hyperactivity so often described as hypomania. I also don't know if I ever had grandiose ideas about myself, but I do know that I often believed myself to be different and wanted to be the "best" at everything. I wanted everyone to see me as super special and recognize my amazingness. Sometimes I would get into a cleaning frenzy with my room and have to reorganize everything, but I don't think those moods would last very long. I should mention that around the same time, I had developed a severe anxiety disorder with near-daily panic attacks.
As an adult, I still have periods of crashing into deep depression, but for a while the periods in between have been longer (except recently they may be getting shorter again?). I don't know if I ever have what could be considered hypomania. I will have high energy periods where I want to be social and get frustrated if I don't have plans (but that could be normal). I will also get very focused and intense about work, and will commit myself to projects that I later lose interest in/can't follow through on due to the depression. A couple of different meds I have tried have triggered high high energy and pressured speech, but that's a med thing I believe.
Anyways, apologies for this being long, I am finally in a stage of my life where I am trying to make sense of all of this and take charge of my treatment. I have been pretty passive about it for a while, but I have seen how it does severely impact my life. I just want to be able to hold down a job and advance in a career and have relationships without needing to bail!
Hi, everyone. So I'm almost 20, and I know that ASD is usually diagnosed in the early years of life. But I'm about 85% sure that I have ASD.
The only problem is, I don't know how to go about finding someone to tell me whether or not I have it.
Does anyone know what I should do?
My name is Stephane, and I've been recently diagnosed with borderline and/or bipolar II...which is where my dilemma comes in. My psychologist believes I have borderline PD, my psychiatrist, who spends more time with me, believes I have rapid cycling bipolar II. I see my psychologist once a month and my psychiatrist twice a week. I've tried to get them to talk to each other to come up with one concrete diagnosis, but they only want to go through me. I know a diagnosis won't define me, but I sure wish I knew what I am so I can come up with a plan of action. Has anyone else had this issue? I believe I'm bipolar--I was diagnosed bipolar by my primary care physician as a child--but I can't help but feel mounting frustration. The doctor not in charge of my meds wants my meds upped to take the edge off my psychosis. The doctor in charge of my meds gets mad that the other doctor is challenging his BPD diagnosis and says no. Help. What would be a good way to help fix this? I love both my doctors and respect them both, but the only thing they agree on is that I have OCD.
I know I could just read the lists of symptoms, but they never really seem to capture what weird brain stuff is like when it actually happens, so I thought maybe if I described what happens to me someone out there could go "yes, that's it!" or "meh, no, you're on the wrong path here." This seems to have gotten long, but I don't have anyone in meatspace to ask other than my p-doc, so I figured I'd be detailed.
I'm 43, and I have long term (30+ years, starting at least in early teens) major chronic depression with looong depressive episodes, especially the last 5 years or so. Also GAD, same duration, with mildly agoraphobic episodes, panic, etc. For years I answered the question "have you experienced any manic episodes" on screenings with "no", although the last 5 years or so I've been hedging with "I don't know what feeling normally good is, so IDK," and I don't have anything I would classify as the full-blown mania I see in friends--sudden moods with grandiose plans, expansive gestures, intense hyperactivity, crazy spending sprees, etc.
But I get these periods maybe 2-3 times a year where I kinda start feeling better and then there is this sort of whoomph and it's like I'm on a low dose of the best, smoothest speed in the world. I feel good, I don't hate the way I look, I actually gather up bills and pay them, I can call and find people to fix things in my house, I actively set up things to do with my friends multiple times in one week, being dead doesn't seem so much like an alluring option, I go to the gym, I resolve to start cooking means with multiple food groups again and actually do it, all these things sound pretty normal, I guess?
Do normal people feel like this? Crystal clear. Fierce. I do the sort of kinda crazy things I've fantasized about for months but always seemed prudent not to do--usually because they seemed like they'd go bad pretty quickly, and sometimes they do, but never--well, since I left my teens--really anything that would be actively dangerous or professionally or financially really risky, and never "out of character" except I would otherwise be too anxious to do them, and, hey, having some adventure sometimes is good, right? I mean, I could just be super-anxious the rest of the time and this is normal. I have trouble sleeping more than 5 hours a night, which I just started noticing coincides with this other stuff--usually the depression+meds makes me sleepy a lot--that's the only thing that doesn't seem like it probably isn't necessarily normal. This part usually lasts ~ 4-5 days, but the more or less not depressed part lasts longer--maybe 10 days, maybe a month, occasionally longer if I'm lucky.
I also have these spurts every couple of months for 2-3 days where I feel like breaking things and everything drives me crazy and I snap at people. I mean, not badly, but it's not what I'm like the rest of the time. And occasionally, with that, I get these periods of a few hours where I can't stand to have anything touch me and everything is wrong and I can't move because I don't know what I'd do and I rock back and forth. Also, I scratch and cut myself (infrequently), although I do that when I'm depressed or anxious, sometimes, too.
Like I said, I've never really thought this could possibly be mania, but I'm in one of these periods right now and happened to be reading some info on BP-II and hypomania sort of randomly and it felt like maybe that was what happens to me. With a kind of dramatic dip of a couple of years when everything in life ganged up on me--life threatening illness, accidental deaths of loved ones, divorce, natural disaster, all in a row--I'm comparatively very successful in the career niche I managed to carve out to suit my mood/anxiety parameters, advanced degrees, introverted but like people. Lots of friends who are okay with me avoiding them for months sometimes when things are really down. Always go to work, take care of my daughter, bathe, eat, groom at least reasonably well even when really depressed, etc. Just push through.
The meds I'm on right now--Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Zoloft--seem to work pretty well to make that much less of a struggle. Did talk therapy for years and years but, other than a long push of rather eclectic CBT when I was going through some really awful mostly relationship-related crap, it never really helped. I mean, I could articulate my neuroses and the shrinks helped clarify that, but I never felt better about anything.
I don't know that changing my diagnosis would make any of that different, but I'm wondering if this is worth bringing up with my p-doc, or if this just doesn't look like hypomania and I shouldn't even bother. Does this resonate with anyone? Or maybe someone can tell me if this is what normal feels like? I just feel like I have no real frame of reference.