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rethinking my "just depressed" diagnosis, ideas?


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unipolar depression/mdd/clinical depression/etc. = just the depressed moods, right?

I've been thinking, and I know that I can swing from 'oh god, can I please just stay in bed unconcious for the next year' to 'oh, wow, this is a whole new world' to 'I'm too tired to do anything but too jumping out of my skin to not do anything'... I spend most of the time in the depression stage of things though. I've never really discussed this with my pdoc because we were so focused on making the depression go away.

Just spent the evening going through my journals and moodtracker for 2007-now and put it in excel:

(let me know if you can't see the graph!)

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I don't know what to think. The time toward the last few months where I sorta level-off is when we added lamictal. Should I take this to my pdoc? I don't know what he'd do with it, but it makes me wonder if there's not something else going on besides depression-- I can be pretty all over the place.

any opinions? suggestions? the only BPer in my family that I know of was my grandmother (but that was the 60s...they had her on those hard anti-psychotics and stuff for her 'mental breakdown' and that's all I know.) MI isn't talked about in my family really. I'm doing okay, so I guess it doesn't matter what 'label' I have, but am kinda lost and want something solid, you know?

thanks guys,

m

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well definitely take it to your pdoc and see what he thinks. my guess is it can probably be interpreted a few ways.

i also find my moods swing a lot - all over the place. and each different shrink i've seen as a different opinion as to why, which, as my sig. says, ranges from bpII, to anxiety disorder, to major depression, to personailty disorder. my latest pdoc has a new theory (she has a new theory each time i see her!) that it's dysthymia battling with my personality... kinda like i'm just a particularly happy and excitable type of person naturally who happens to have a despressive disorder and so they do battle. and then there's an anxiety disorder on top. she doesn't buy into the bipolar thing because we've never seen anything close to mania in me, and my moods can also swing within matters of days or hours. so, anyway, i'd be really interested to hear how your pdoc interprets this graph of yours. looks like you can have fairly rapid shifts too.

but really i guess the most important thing is if you've found a treatment that works for you then it probably doesn't matter if it's just depression or something more. psych diagnosis' really seem more like a means to appropriate treatment than anything else. i personally get frustrated cuz no treatments really work for me so i'm always searching for new clues that might help me get better. if i'd found something i don't think i'd care less what i had!

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she doesn't buy into the bipolar thing because we've never seen anything close to mania in me, and my moods can also swing within matters of days or hours. so, anyway, i'd be really interested to hear how your pdoc interprets this graph of yours. looks like you can have fairly rapid shifts too.

but really i guess the most important thing is if you've found a treatment that works for you then it probably doesn't matter if it's just depression or something more.

I agree that finding Lamictal and *finally* having some form of 'normal'-stability-balance is the most important thing...I guess I'd just like to pin down more of an accurate dx so when (or if..I guess) I have to change meds, we have a better idea of where to go from there. that's why I wanted to get the past moods down on paper because if these meds poop out like I'm used to, then I don't want to be starting all over but to have learned from the past, you know?

** the 2nd 1/2 of the graph is probably much more useful since I was recording moods almost daily, rather than all over the place over the course of months (ex: there is no july.)**

thx for the input illusion, goodluck-- I'll make sure to let you all know what he thinks when I see him..which might be a few weeks from now (have to save up, no insurance, bleh.) until then I'm gonna keep collecting clues

m

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Absolutely take it to your pdoc. This is the sort of data that they tend to pay more attention to, rather than anecdotal comments. My pdoc first suggested to me that I might be bipolar, but she then was most skeptical, until I later was able to lay out a pattern of high moods that I could specifically recall ocurring every 3 -4 months over the past 2.5 years.

If you haven't already, check out Dr. Phelps Bipolar II website: http://www.psycheducation.org

He lays out strong descriptions of how bipolar II is often misdiagnosed as recurrent depression.

a.m.

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I thought that Lamictal was prescribed for bipolar, and not for unipolar depression.

Maybe your doc has BPII underlined in his file already.

-- B

i'm on lamotrigine and nobody calls me bipolar... just "depressed but doesn't respond normally to treatment";)

can you imagine? now there's a doc who does NOT believe in bp2 for ya.

when i did that mood tracker test the shrinks gave me, they he said there's no way you could be bipolar because you cycle way too many times a day. in the end, because i refused to be an ignorant sheep, i ended up with a mood stabilizer finally. and i'm finally seeing real improvement for the first time in many years.

a better doctor would have stamped the label bp2 or cyclothymic on my chart. in the end what matters was that i got my lamotrigine.

frustrating though, innit?

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I thought that Lamictal was prescribed for bipolar, and not for unipolar depression.

Maybe your doc has BPII underlined in his file already.

i'm on lamotrigine and nobody calls me bipolar... just "depressed but doesn't respond normally to treatment";)

can you imagine? now there's a doc who does NOT believe in bp2 for ya.

actually, I'm kinda on the same page with lysergia-- the pdoc hasn't ever said anything about bp, but I tend to have antidepressants 'poop-out' on me (wellbutrin and zoloft both do, but I stay on them because they work somewhat still)--

I was the one that suggested lamical to my pdoc, lol

I mentioned that my moods were kinda all over the place and then asked 'I've heard of mood-stabilizers sometimes being good for depression/swings...what's your opinion on that?' (knowing that if he said one, it'd be lamictal...was a tad manipulative of me, but he doesn't come up with outofthebox treatments on his own) -- then BOOM, a month into lamictal -- REMISSION.

remission is kinda an odd word for it now, because I can't tell if that mood was actually 'too high' or what, but I'm dipping back into the depression here and there and therefore am gonna speak to the pdoc again.

long answer to a short question, sorry!

m

ps- am starting a new thread about all of the stuff I've been remembering about 'episodes' I guess you could call them...this is a whole new ballgame from the wimpy graph above :) bleh.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You need to show this to your pdoc. He can't react to what he doesn't know. So it isn't really fair to judge him without updating him with all the facts. You clearly have some sort of severe mood swings. There are diagnoses that involve mood swings that are much more rapid cycling such as cyclothymia and the good old bipolar 2. Definitely tell your pdoc!

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