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Bipolar Signs Poll


Non-traditional bipolar symptoms  

160 members have voted

  1. 1. Select all which apply to you.

    • I have had Asthma at some point in my life.
      56
    • I REALLY struggle to get up in the morning.
      105
    • I use illicit drugs.
      47
    • I was defiant as a child.
      75
    • I like salty foods.
      111
    • I drink more than 5 drinks in one sitting often
      48
    • Suicide runs in my familiy.
      30
  2. 2. Select all that apply ONLY in regards to your depressions.

    • My first depression occured at or before the age of 16.
      138
    • I tend to oversleep
      110
    • I feel worse in the mornings
      93
    • I tend to overeat
      93


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Everybody who's bipolar probalby knows the DSM-IV-TR criteria, but there are several other signs which often correlate with it as well.

I've listed a few above, and you might actually be suprised by them. They've all been duplicated in two or more studies.

Anyway, be honest and select which ones apply to you.

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I guess I should have asked this before I answered, but there are some things that *used* to apply but don't anymore - like "I drink more than five drinks in one sitting." Should I have checked that too?

I suppose the answer will be useful to future poll takers. ;)

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I guess I should have asked this before I answered, but there are some things that *used* to apply but don't anymore - like "I drink more than five drinks in one sitting." Should I have checked that too?

I suppose the answer will be useful to future poll takers. ;)

Yes, you should have. Those with bipolar disorder tend to gravitate towards using drugs naturally.

There are several theorized reasons:

  • To self-medicate depression
  • To self-medicate mania
  • To try to obtain a manic state
  • It's a result of the impulsiveness/thrill seeking

If you've been treated (i.e. on medication), chances are you've learned to control your alcohol consumption.

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If anyone finds this remotely interesting, I can do one on mood stabilizer correlations as well.

Certain mood stabilizers are known to work best with certain types of bipolar disorder.

Example:

Lithium works best for those with a strong family history.

There are a lot of other correlations, but I don't want to mention them without a poll.

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omfg! how did you know so much about me??!!

I would be really interested to see the studies that suggested those options, esp the one on salty foods! (as a kid my mum was freak out that i might have kidney failure!)

r.

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Mmm, salty food. I'm not one for junky stuff, but kettle-cooked potato chips are one of my most favorite things ever. And pickles! My husband has me hooked on Claussen (sp?) pickles now.

And salt on margaritas. Heh. I can't say that I had an alcohol addiction, but I did drink at least five drinks at once when I did my social binge drinking thing. Does that count, I wonder?

Where did you find this info? This is so interesting!

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I drink more than 5 drinks and overeat, but those are the only ones I relate to. I am not overweight, and alcohol does not interfere with my work or social life. I think that I am handling my problems well.

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My husband has me hooked on Claussen (sp?) pickles now.
Claussen pickles are the only dill pickles I will eat. They are very crisp (like the duck/swan/egret in the commercial says) and the fact that they are refrigerated tells me they may be fresher or less preservatives or something. I generally prefer dill to bread and butter, but if the b& b are the only thing around, they are OK on sandwiches or burgers. Gerkins are not my thing. I tend to judge diners by the quality of their pickles. I don't like the squishy kinds or overly vinegary kind. A nice crisp dill spear is the perfect addition to any sandwich.

Wait, we were supposed to be talking about the topic? My bad.

I definitely fit most of that criteria. Seems like those would be something doc would use in their assessment.

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omfg! how did you know so much about me??!!

I would be really interested to see the studies that suggested those options, esp the one on salty foods! (as a kid my mum was freak out that i might have kidney failure!)

I don't remember where the articles are. The link between high sodium content foods and bipolar disorder developed from the pharmacology of lithium. Lithium reduces neronal firing in the brain by replacing salt. It does other stuff too, so that's not necessarily how it controls mania.

I'm just shocked by how many people said they had asthma. I know I had it as a kid, and I've frequently seen studies linking asthma and bipolar. Wikipedia says asthma has a prevalence of 6-8% in the normal population. It's an awful source, but it's probably reasonably accurate (and I'm too lazy to find the actual numbers). So far, asthma prevalence has been hanging around 50% in this poll. It's not normally that high in the studies, but it's definitly up there. I dunno, I just think it's interesting.

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omfg! how did you know so much about me??!!

I would be really interested to see the studies that suggested those options, esp the one on salty foods! (as a kid my mum was freak out that i might have kidney failure!)

I don't remember where the articles are. The link between high sodium content foods and bipolar disorder developed from the pharmacology of lithium. Lithium reduces neronal firing in the brain by replacing salt. It does other stuff too, so that's not necessarily how it controls mania.

I have previously considered this too. I was reading up on Lithium pharmacology, and found that it's processed pretty much like sodium, but takes much longer to eliminate. It's effects seems to be on chloride channels.

Perhaps the preference for salty foods is just a way of self medicating, while lithium is a much more suitable salt?

Is table salt psychoactive?

r.

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Perhaps the preference for salty foods is just a way of self medicating, while lithium is a much more suitable salt?

Is table salt psychoactive?

r.

Sodium is an electrolyte. It needed in order for neurons to fire. Imbalance of electrolytes can lead to neurological implications. Electrolyte imbalances need to be treated right away. Hm. Is self-medication in that regard kind of a stretch?

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Perhaps the preference for salty foods is just a way of self medicating, while lithium is a much more suitable salt?

Is table salt psychoactive?

r.

Sodium is an electrolyte. It needed in order for neurons to fire. Imbalance of electrolytes can lead to neurological implications. Electrolyte imbalances need to be treated right away. Hm. Is self-medication in that regard kind of a stretch?

Yes.

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What Supergwen said.

Your body has exquisitely complicated and sensitive systems in order to regulate electrolytes.

I've never seen anything indicating that people who have manic-depressive illness have consistently lower sodium levels, on or off lithium. God knows we get enough CMPs for lab monitoring, which include sodium, that we would have seen it by now. (Note: derangements in sodium or other electrolytes will make one Highly Weird, but that's a different situation altogether.)

I've heard the salt cravings thing many times, enough to give it credence for the time being, but never looked it up. Still, hyponatremia (low sodium) isn't likely to be the cause. Neither are slight alterations from normal in calcium, which are pretty common with lithium.

Now, there might be a derangement of some kind of reward drive, as us BPAD types don't do so well moderating the hedonic tone, and salt is 'rewarding.'

Cool. I have an afternoon project to look up.

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I've never seen anything indicating that people who have manic-depressive illness have consistently lower sodium levels, on or off lithium. God knows we get enough CMPs for lab monitoring, which include sodium, that we would have seen it by now. (Note: derangements in sodium or other electrolytes will make one Highly Weird, but that's a different situation altogether.)

Duh, I should have known that! I just had had a CMP! ;)

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I've never seen anything indicating that people who have manic-depressive illness have consistently lower sodium levels, on or off lithium.

Manic depressives probably don't have altered sodium levels. If that was the problem, a freshman biologist could've solved the mystery.

There are a few possibilities:

Our neurons could react differently to "normal" sodium levels. There are theories floating around about altered myelin production in people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. If that's the case, our neurons wouldn't be insulated as well, and they would react differently to a typical electrochemical gradient across the neuron.

It's more likely that bipolar disorder could be split into endophenotypes. Basically, this suggests that what we consider as bipolar disorder is actually a whole host of different biologically based disorders. For example, a bipolar characterized by euphoric, psychotic highs, and aggitated depressions could be a totally seperate genetic disorder than other types of bipolar. This would make it hard to do studies on bipolar disorder. Maybe that type of bipolar has a special relationship with sodium whereas the others don't. If this was the case, a study of all bipolar disorder wouldn't yield any results since only one portion of what we label as BP contains the relationship. This would explain why certain medications work better for certain forms of bipolar too. (If you don't get that, it's ok. I know that's a terrible explaination.)

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with the alcohol and salt thing...

do you think that eating/craving sugar excessively is also common?

I am not very well informed on this but i have been told that people with sugar cravings often develop alcohol cravings which may lead to alcoholism. Another thing is that people with mental illness who have no apparent family history have several alcoholics in the family. (this is the case in my family).

do you think its just drugs/alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms that all people with bipolar or depression experience, or do you think that people with bipolar have a specific attraction towards these things without wanting/needing to self-medicate. (i dont even know if that makes sense).

and this may be irrelevant, but I find sugar/salt/drugs/alcohol very appealing. i crave it, even drugs that ive never taken before. With alcohol its the taste and something about it, but im not a huge fan of being drunk or hungover, i really dont like feeling that way so i dont drink, usually. if i do drink i just keep on going because i crave more and more of it, stronger and stronger.

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do you think that eating/craving sugar excessively is also common?

Yes. I've heard this frequently anecdotally, and it shows up in patient literature. I've never gotten advice on it from a mental health practitioner but no one has ever seem surprised or disbelieving when I've mentioned it.

Sugar provides me with a temporary spike in feeling good. My mental health improved a LOT when I was seventeen and stopped eating sugar and white flour in favor of complex carbohydrates and a lot of protein. At the risk of recommending a book with a stupid title that unnecessarily opposes diet to medication, I like Potatoes Not Prozac.

Adequate medication seems to make sugar "okay" for me - I enjoy it, but I rarely have the "oh my god this is better than sex" response to Andes mints or whatever, and can take it or leave it as long as I don't start having it daily. I could start avoiding it entirely again...but if I don't have to explain to people that I don't eat sugar because it makes me feel bad and have them disbelieve me, I'd rather not...

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do you think that eating/craving sugar excessively is also common?

Bipolar depression is commonly associated with a craving for highly refined carbohydrates. (sugary struff) That relationship is very common, so I didn't really bother listing it.

Don't know about the alcohol/sugar thing, but I could certainly believe it. I'm not sure it's been studied.

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