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wilesoph

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  1. I'm not sure it's rare to have both. The symptoms of one and traits of the other overlap with some key differences. I've been diagnosed bipolar 2 and recently autism spectrum. I've read that autism can readily be falsely diagnosed as bipolar first but the two can coexist. I find my autistic traits (newly discovered, long-time sufferer) involve far less mood disorder and the hypomania I experience feels different than when I obsess on a special interest or just don't have a filter when I'm speaking. Similar, but the mood disorder makes the traits so much worse and can rapidly damage relationships, reputation, finances. I've never been psychotic or hospitalized. Have you looked up the definition of psychosis? It sounds very different than anything I've heard of as associated with autism. If you were in a psychotic state, the pdoc might have admitted you to a hospital. It's serious. You could get a second opinion if you have reason to distrust or doubt your current pdoc. I'd ask for clarification because what you describe the pdoc saying is confusing. I think I could relate, but you didn't give much detail about what makes you feel like you are experiencing hypomania versus compulsive behaviors and perseveration. If you are experiencing hypomania, I think it's common to refer to that mood as "high".
  2. I wonder if this is the med a friend of mine said he had to take a tiny ball out of the capsule every day or so to wean off of it slowly because the withdrawal was so harsh. I've been lucky and had no painful withdrawals. Is Tramadol something you are meant to take only at onset or a swing up or down? I assumed it was a daily but like the idea that it could work on an as-needed basis. Provided one recognizes the need quickly. Nice to see an old post revived. I feel sorry for the way OP was treated in 2011. I think some people were missing the aspect that he was sharing his experience and many people read comments to find a variety of experiences and views; to feel less alone. He was driven away even though he demonstrated good faith by editing his post and trying to be constructive and learn more about meds that could trigger mania. Not cool. Especially since people posting here can be **cough** suffering from mood disorders **end cough**. If I'd read this thread first (example of rude comment above directed at a new poster), I'd likely have walked away too. Be gentle to people who are new and don't know the right words or culture for discussing things...or don't you get that? (sorry, hard to resist)
  3. Why are you lying? And to whom? What would you need to confess (and to whom) in order to feel you have "come clean"? Everybody lies. I second Gearhead's comment. To tell the truth to a doctor about embarrassing things means being fearless. Having courage. The truth is sometimes the only way to get the right diagnosis or med combo - and it might not be what you came in thinking you needed. Courage is knowing the right thing to do for you and doing it even though you are afraid someone may judge you negatively. I eventually remembered and then told my doc about probably the most ridiculous buying binge/obsession I'd ever done. She sincerely thanked me for trusting her and it made me realize it was probably a big thing I had just done in admitting it. I just decided to say it. I think saying that confirmed to her and me the right diagnosis. I hadn't thought it was "crazy" behavior but looking back, it was. Keep in mind you are not the first person they have seen coming in feeling the way you do or having your problem(s). My primary doc told this to me when I told her I was off meds and taking something without a script. She told me not to worry about going back to the pdoc when I needed help because odds were she's had other patients do similar nonsense and hasn't "broken up" with all of them. That made a lot of sense and made me feel less of an outlaw, for lack of a better word. I also worried about being perceived as drug seeking at first because I'm curious about some meds that can be abused like valium and have had scripts for it from time to time for various reasons. I think as long as you seem open to exploring all options, the doc is less likely to think you are truly there for just a drug. Obviously, if you're at a psychiatrist you are likely there FOR some kind of drug. Your illness could be causing you to feel more paranoia and thinking things are being done to you. It's worth considering that your thoughts and feelings may be distorted. You deserve a doc who you can trust and who does not assume you are a drug abuser. What makes you think they view you that way?
  4. This doesn't answer your request but may be useful. I've recently found that using moodtracker online when I get home from work or before I put my laptop away for the night has helped me track meds, sleep, and mood. It's free but god knows what they do with your info. You can journal too and I put my weight in there. I've never had an accountability buddy for anything. I like the idea but think I might end up lying about it to the buddy. If it's just a matter of you remembering...my pdoc recommended I program recurring reminders on my phone to take meds. She sat there and watched me do it. Right now, I'm doing really well with compliance and no reminders because I'm motivated not to piss people off at work with my BP-side.
  5. That's great! I was also thinking it could be hard to judge his potential as a pdoc from one session - especially given how judgement can be "off" without the right meds or right thinking skills. I have to remind myself of that when I feel a little paranoid about something and start assuming the worst. Any useful therapy you've learned?
  6. Congratulations on your hard work. It sounds promising that they will have you stay longer than 6 weeks if you need it, rather than kicking you out before you have a workable solution. That's positive. I only read the first and last pages of this thread so someone may have already said it - but lithium, even a little, can be really helpful for moods. It really helped me reduce anxiety/irritability and not get as emotional when something sad or enraging would happen. Definitely helps with work environment. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) can also help with energy and depression without interfering with a lot of other mood stabilizers and bp2 yet can be too agitating for some people. I feel like my pdoc was/is excellent because she does the opposite of what you say the new guy did. She asked tons of questions and listened. Then she went over the whole array of meds and discussed the pros and cons based on my health history, symptoms and concerns. She spends almost an hour with me and created an environment of trust where I disclosed information to her that was embarrassing but helped her better treat me. I even got her to do some therapy with me too - but she likes to direct people to other psychologists since she has limited availability and is costly. She even wanted me to take a blood test that can reveal which meds might work best for my body. She's very practical yet not cookie-cutter. And, when I was too tired during a short period - she prescribed nuvigil for hypersomnia (not easy to get) while encouraging better "sleep hygiene" and shifting the time of day I take the meds. So she's not afraid to let me try new things. I hope you experience someone expert and caring along your journey soon so you can do what you want to do with your life. It can be a struggle to get properly diagnosed with BP2 and a struggle to keep up with it over time...especially if you start feeling better and come up with (legitimate) reasons to go off them. What kind of therapy are you doing and do you find it useful? Like DBT for emotional control? I'm curious.
  7. With regards to lithium, come on in! The water's fine. Super cheap compared to abilify! Has some unpleasant side effects. Your pdoc could recommend adding a little to the abilify starting at a small dose and going up as needed or ditching the abilify since you're already on lamotrigine. It specializes in tamping down the highs. Too high a dose will bring on more side effects like feeling dull, shakes (drink more water) or dry lips. It takes a couple weeks to adjust and some go away. I'm a fan of using a sub clinical dose if it works - but I'm also not in the danger zone like others are of likely hospitalization if my meds get too low - knock on wood. What got me was the intense carb cravings at a higher dose - I'm prone. Now at a lower dose, I'm not noticing any that I can't handle. Gabapentin didn't do much for me so I quit it. Gabapentin can make weightloss more difficult. Most of these things except bupropion can add weight. Bupropion (wellbutrin) is too activating for some people but can be added to treat depression and cravings. I really like it.
  8. Some people pay good money to not feel anxiety! I relate to much of what you say. Looking back, like you, I wonder if most of the weird stuff I did in my youth was while hypomanic and the irritability/sadness was part of the depression. I justified all my behavior so it made sense to me at the time. My past makes so much sense looking back knowing I was likely suffering from a mood disorder and not depression. I even suspected it as a teenager. I'd say the wrong medication and diagnosis (citalopram for me) can be very blunting. Treated, I don't have the rapid, creative, critical pressured thoughts and speech that I used to enjoy and think made me smarter and more interesting (likely not) but not able to keep friends. However, I am not uncreative, dumb, or unable to cope with learning and life. It's just at a slower pace (sometimes) and with more focus (which is actually a positive in many cases). I do wish I could concentrate better. I might ask pdoc about that next. I actually like feeling the calm. It gives me more control than I used to have. I just feel less like I NEED to express things when properly treated. I can practice the DBT skill of "a feeling is just a feeling". That could be a good thing for my health even if it's not a great thing for creating art or writing literature. You could choose to "reframe" how you view thoughts and feelings. I've heard a few people express fear of "losing creativity" from treatment, but it just looks different (you were still able to have an epiphany!). You're also young and just finishing developing so it's normal to have evolving feelings and new experiences. When you feel empty, is there anything you do that you enjoy even if it's simple like being mindful (nature or people watching) or relaxing and watching netflix? That counts. Do you really want to feel hurt and angry when your father says mean things to you? You already understand they are mean words. You could view it as having the luxury of not responding in anger back. You can respond at a time and a place of your choosing and think more objectively. As always, you could check with your pdoc about changing your meds or dose.
  9. I'll repeat good advice I've seen here before. Show your post to your pdoc. It could be your medications, assuming you're using some. Maybe try tracking your moods with something like moodtracker online. It has helped me start to identify patterns that can help with a solution (like if you miss meds and your irritability then goes up). Sorry to hear your long struggle with this. I can relate to some but not a lot of what you are going through. I don't know much about mixed mood but it seems like having both highs and lows at same time - there's also the rate of cycling between highs and lows that you can take into account. (this Dr.'s article with graphs is interesting but doesn't explain everything) You could ask to review your meds and find a solution with your doc. I think getting rid of irritability (I finally realized that's what it was) can make the mood highs or lows seem much less problematic for being around people who otherwise prefer positivity. Lithium can be good for moderating ups, irritability, some downs. Not for everyone, but something your doc could consider. And cheap. For me, it takes away the cycling thoughts, agitation and feeling of being on edge, irritability, and it helps me delay my responses long enough to make better choices of what to say or think about a situation - so I don't overreact or alienate people. Like being chilled out. Or, maybe that's how normal people feel all the time. It has some drawbacks of course, but can be added to other drugs if you otherwise like what you're on. Lamictal is popular too but didn't work for me - negative reaction. DBT is a therapy for emotional regulation my pdoc told me about. I'd only heard of and learned some CBT techniques like mindfulness, journaling and checking for "cognitive distortions". It's helpful too because your thoughts influence your emotions and mood. You can buy a DBT workbook to look over the concepts and try practicing them even without professional guidance (see Linehan's DBT Skills Training workbook for example). It's sometimes done in a group setting, but I've never joined one so can't comment. That's all I've got. Good luck. Post back when you have an update.
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