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my mom insists i'm not bp

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Mom and i were talking a couple hours ago, and she insists i'm not bipolar. she has some good arguments, but i want to know what you guys think and if you've ever been in a similar situation.

she says that i never had manic/hypo episodes before i started taking meds. and it's true. way before i started with the ADs, i never felt manic or euphoric, just depressed, really really depressed and anxious. but as we all know, depression comes with anxiety in 99.9% of the cases. so dep-anx are associated.

my pdoc started treating me for massive depression and anxiety. and mood swings. how hard must the mood swings be to be considered bipolar? i've always been moody, so i thought it was all part of the show. then, after months of treatment, the first manic episode happened.

is it possible that the meds caused the mania/hypo and eventually, the bp diagnosis?

thanks for reading. peace.

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I'm guessing that you could be BP2......it was over months of looking at my past, and seeing others experiences that made the picture fit into place. The trusty TCAD that I was one did nothing.......for the first time. When I told a pdoc that SSRIs made me trip out and get stomach cramps he pointed out that an antidepressant can trigger mania........one of the primary reasons to diagnose a DP as a BP...

Yes, some AD drug could have made you hypomanic..........which can be more fun and safer than fullblown psychotic mania......so who goes to a pdoc when they're well? shit, a little too happy? Isn't everybody? No. Just like everyone is not depressed in the way we are.

If you took an SSRI it wouldn't make you bipolar. It may bring out the tendency more. Looking back at my life and the reactions of people around me ? I spent alot of time in a hypomania I wasn't aware of at that time.........

When its between mom and a pdoc, I tend to go with the pdoc. Sounds like theres a bit of denial here on mom's part.

I have, since my own last episode, thoroughly shitcanned the idea of one or two, and just leave it at BP now .........since I discovered psych meds + booze can make you very very fucking psychotic... ;)

Bring up the question with your doc.......couldn't hurt. The final point in my opinion is that an AD won't produce a mood swing that wasn't there already. Like you, I spent all those years growing up thinking everybody had this so why talk about it? It turns out I m a unique and very twisted snowflake......... :)


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my understanding is that bpII can manifest as primarily depression with occasional bouts of anxiety (including racing thoughts) and no euphoria ever...which really blows...with original bp, at least you get the experience of being happily high, however brief and quickly leading to disaster it may be. it's an interesting experience.

anyway, ultimately you have to figure out whether you think the dx fits. faustus is right, family frequently are in denial, for a whole host of reasons, and may be trying to convince us and themselves that we don't have a mental illness but something less stigmatizing and easier to fix. pay attention to your instincts. and remember, the label doesn't matter so much, if you're getting tx that makes you feel better.

good luck,


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thanks for your insight guys.

i think that the best i can do is to ask my doctor again and tell him to explain why i fit in that diagnosis. maybe this way i will be able to explain my mom what's really going on. i haven't read much about bp2, to be honest. at the beginning i thought i might be bpd, especially because of the self-injurious behavior. but i've never been psychotic. my mood swings used to be pretty bad, extreme i'd say -they're under control now- and i was depressed 90% of the time.

anyway, the diagnosis doesn't matter that much. it's good to know what you're fighting, but diagnoses can be pretty labeling sometimes. so i'll ask my pdoc. and in the meantime, i'll leave my diagnosis as "crappy mind" ;)

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It's late here, so apologies in advance if I don't make a whole lot of sense.

I can't answer the question on the relationship between your meds and the diagnosis, although it certainly is possible for psych drugs to affect us in bizarre ways. In general, most AD's don't play very nicely at all with BP people. I think faustus is right though in suggesting that an AD wouldn't necessarily induce a moodswing that wasn't going to happen already.

I just want to say that I think that many, many of us go through periods of questioning a diagnosis that's been handed down to us. I was subjected to several years of misdiagnoses before a pdoc finally pulled BP1 out the hat. Four years later, even though I logically know I fit all the criteria, I still go through phases of analysing and agonising over whether it's really true. On the one hand, I need to have the label because it helps me to be able to name and categorise the crap running around in my head, but on the other, I don't want to be labelled because I don't like the idea of being defined entirely in terms of my illness. It's a chicken-egg thing.

I think that what I've described above is even more acute when you're just starting out on this interesting (ha) journey. And at the same time we're wrestling with trying to understand what's going on with our heads, we frequently have to deal with the reactions and opinions of family members and others who are close to us. I've had varied reactions from my family over the years, and they can be difficult to cope with because there's a standard opinion out there of what it means to be bipolar (which you have to explain too, because most people are more familiar with the term manic depression). So I think it's understandable that you're feeling a bit wobbly and unsure about the whole thing. Perhaps your mother's right and you aren't BP, or perhaps she's in denial because she doesn't want her daughter to have such a serious diagnosis.

I agree that the very best thing you can do right now is to ask your pdoc to get really specific about why he slotted you into this diagnosis. You have the right to know what his reasoning is.

Also, if you have the time and energy, have a look at the stickied post at the top of the BP forum entitled "bipolar information and support sites" - there's some helpful stuff in there.

best wishes


edited for 5,000 typos

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As a teenager, I didn't want anything more in life than to try as many drugs as possible and work some crappy job to pay for said drugs. It seemed like I woke up one day and didn't want that anymore. Nothing happened that I can recall. It was bizarre. I went from taking remedial classes to community college classes, my semester GPA's went from 2.2 to 3.8, I loaded up on art classes like there was no tomorrow. I decided that I didn't want to try every illicit substance known to man, and that I wanted some sort of a career. It was all pretty positive stuff. My family and teachers just assumed that I had finally matured and was going to go down the straight and narrow path. Except for when I decided to move in with a guy that I had known for three months. Just a blip, I suppose. I eventually became more down than up, but still motivated enough to keep going. I became depressed after five years of being "Superwoman."

An elevated mood state does not always impair judgment or cause euphoria. I have a close relative that doesn't necessarily insist that I don't have BP, but rather she has asked me repeatedly, "Are you sure it's not just the medication?" I recently had medication-induced something between hypomania and mania. To her, I had been fine otherwise - motivated, productive, had a bout of depression but it was because I was having difficulty "fulfilling my potential in the depressed economy that I live in." Uh huh.

Not everyone agrees that medication-induced hypo/mania should warrant a BP. I do think that it is a pretty good indication of something more than depression, though.

I hate that self-harm is a criterion for BPD. I think there are a lot of people who self-harm that would not otherwise fit the criteria. Makes everything so darn confusing.

I think you might find these sites interesting:

http://www.psycheducation.org All about the not so "classic" BP.

http://www.mentalhealth.com - had DSM and ICD diagnostic criteria posted.

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The main arguments against bipolar disorder appear to be:

1. You've never been manic before.

- Yes, but some people cycle from depression to dysphoric hypomania.

- Untreated bipolar tends to progress to wider and faster mood swings. Until then, few people go to the doctor until their life starts to fall apart.

2. You've never been psychotic.

- Psychosis isn't a determing symptom.

- It's just a myth that bipolar folks are all periodically psychotic.

After you've read enough "No one knew I was bipolar until I went crazy on <insert SSRI here>" stories, you'll likely see that in the end it does not matter if your diagnosis is "Bipolar Disorder (II)" or "Brain Cloud" if the treatment that comes out of it works, that's ALL that matters.

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you'll likely see that in the end it does not matter if your diagnosis is "Bipolar Disorder (II)" or "Brain Cloud" if the treatment that comes out of it works, that's ALL that matters.

Here here!

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thanks for all your comments and links and everything guys, really :)

i talked about this stuff with my t today, and even if she's not qualified to hand a diagnosis, she put some insight on the subject and explained that being manic or hypomanic doesn't necessarily mean being jumping and bouncing all around and spending thousands of cash and so on... that's a "textbook" bipolar... but every case is different....

so yes, i'm gonna ask my pdoc ;)

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