31 posts in this topic
Um, What Am I? Two doctors, two diagnosises
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.
So, is this hypomania?
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.
Suggestions for major treatment overhall- in/outpatient programs, residential, cognitive remediation anywhere
I need a major treatment overhaul, medication changes, lifestyle changes, help with cognitive impairment, and then need to relocate to a city with better psychiatric services, resources, and support groups. Not sure if inpatient is the place to start or if I can get by with an iop program. There's nothing available locally, so I have to go somewhere else for help. Suggestions for top treatment centers would be helpful ( hospitals etc). I know of some and have researched them, but it's hard finding places that offer cognitive remediation. And if you have recommendations of places to relocate, that would also be appreciated.
Hello, recently diagnosed! xR'd vyvanse
By Adhd boy 411
Hello all, I'm adhd boy, I was diagnosed a few days ago! I'm so happy to have a word to describe the ill feelings I've felt about being different or handicapped in some way.
I really want to open the floor to anyone who has tips for me and others in the forum about HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MEDICATION. Without upping my dosage prescribed I'd like to get the most out of my 30mg of vyvanse. This may be in articles, however, I respond much better to people who have lived the adhd life and tried coping skills rather than results of an experiment.
What tasks are less stressful you with treatment?
What activities help your focus and mood to the point when your medication seems to ignite more benefits?
MY experienes will be added to this when I find them. I'll supply excellent detail as to how, what time of day, and wait exactly I am doing to increase my focus, drive, and just "holding onto that damn train of thought!"
How does this work....?
There are things regarding my Mental Health that I need to inform my Pdoc and Tdoc. It does effect my treatment; medications and therapy. However it does not involve self harm or anything of that nature (more on the lines of symptoms they don't know about).
I have a fear of 'unwarranted' diagnosis, stemming from past situations that causes major trust issues in telling things to my current team.
Basically it is getting harder hiding things from them, and I need to share some symptoms before I go into any kind of crisis (we well as preventing crisis, and just getting correct treatment). To be able to tell them though, I need to feel safe - and I was hoping someone could answer some questions to help me with that....
My Pdoc and Tdoc are on the same care team, can they share information without my permission? My Pdoc visits are only every other month in 15 minute appointments, and I would prefer to get my thoughts and feelings in order with my Tdoc first like she usually helps me with (considering I see her every week - and do this possibly for a month or so) before I discuss it with my Pdoc. I signed papers for both my Pdoc and Tdoc saying if need be, they could 'share my information with my insurance company'...how far does this go and what exactly does this mean?? Like I said, I have a fear of "unwarranted diagnosis" - meaning I have a fear if I talk to my Tdoc about how I go through episodes where I isolate myself and don't take showers for weeks and think people are watching me through my windows, that she is going to diagnose me with 'Psychosis' and send it my my insurance company, which will get back to my GP, which will get to everyone else who is connected to that electronic system (like it did when I was a teenager - I fucking hate the electronic system they use). I'm afraid everything I say will attach a new label to me, and that will be sent to the Insurance company. Is that how it works? It's a mix of anxiety and mistrust - as well as being uneducated of how the system works; which doesn't go well with the current depression I'm in. If anyone knows how it works in the US I would be appreciative.