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bipolar vs. schizophrenia


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ehm .. hi.

i'm totally sick of docs giving me different diagnosis including schizophrenia, bipolar, autism, unipolar depression with anxiety disorder etc. and i personally cant figure out it either so i need some help (i know, it's not my job or your job to make diagnoses but it's an special case so go on reading)

i can describe my current mental state as weird at best. i precieve the world different than before, have quite a bit of agitation and restlessness and i'm basicly lost in time and place (cant feel or tell where i am and what time it is unless i try to. some sort of mild delirium)

i tend to have "nervous brakedowns" every once in a while (3 times till now) with all the psymtoms above getting really bad. which means extreme agitaton, feeling of disorientation (just feeling. i still can manage to figure out stuff), sensory overload even in quietest places. and the feeling like my head could explode soon. racing thought etc.

and another kind of breakdown wich seems like the worlds volume being turned down and my mind being extraordinarily quite and absent (i could describe it as mild catatonia) i have also had 2 incidents of mild hallucination in this particular mood (as opposed to the agitated mood. no hallus there.)

i'm not quite sure but i can ascribe the moods to the meds i was taking an that time:

stuff which probably made me agitated: Lexapro, Risperdal, Lamictal, Edronax (Reboxetine norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI)), abilify, tiapride (not sure about this one)

stuff that turned the volume down: More risperdal, seroquel, Zyprexa, amisulpride

looks to me like medication induced mood disturbance and my mood being totally reactive to this stuff meaning i have bipolar. btw i'm now taking 300 mg clozapine, which doesnt help much which leads me to the belife that i may not have schizophrenia, which is the up-to-date diagnosis done by some allegedly very competent docs.

Sooooo that was my story. now i have some relevant and irrelevant questions.

Is it possible that someone with bipolar disorder has abnormal moods all the time, whithout having healthy mood in between?

going right to depression from mania and vice versa. i basicly dont fucking know what is normal.

Is it possible that the mood is stable but disturbed? like having mixed hypomania all the time whithout change (or better, is such thing still bipolar)? ( i think lamictal is doing this to me. mixed hypomania all the time despite clozapine)

Cheerz

bear

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I know how frustrating it is to flounder between doctors and not feel like anyone is treating you correctly but don't worry about the medical labels so much-- you are what you are and you just have to have your symptoms treated correctly as they come.

I do believe though that you don't ever have to feel "normal" whatever the hell that is. I've gone straight from despair to off the wall manic-- in fact I was just crying about it the other day because I'm so sick of it-- wanting just one "normal" day.

Not sure if that helps, but hope it does.

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There is no 'mandatory' mood leveling at normal between manic or depressed for bipolar disorder. Yes you can switch directly from one to the other.

If you have never gotten stabilized then, sure you may not ever be on an even keel.

The first list of medicines almost all could cause irritibilility, agitation, restlessness bad enough to be taken for symptoms.

Though not official, doctors know well that there can be a spectrum or overlap of symptoms between SZ and Bipolar disorder. Diagnosing patitents in this spectrum, makes the doctors really earn their pay. It can be very difficult and we have had members bounce between one dx and the other through the years. So, it's possible to be Sz with bipolar tendencies, and Bipolar with hallucinations or psychotic or SZ tendencies. Then you get into the murkiness of Schizoid and schizotypal disorders.

However, the Sz symptoms checklist is fairly straightforward. Disorganized thinking (logic difficulties) which is unlikely to be mistake for BD, flat affect or ***(i'm forgetting words at the moment), Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia. True Sz symptoms are not hard to distinguish. Probably what gives most people difficulty is having visual or auditory hallucinations in conjunction with their regular bipolar symptoms. One thought at how to dx the problem is to consider which is more prominent. The mood swings or pyschotic symptoms? Hallucinations alone dont' make one Sz.

a.m.

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Wouldn't a lot of the overlap between sz & bpad be considered schizoaffective?

Aren't psychotic symptoms during mood episodes consistent w/ a BPI dx?

I don't mean to be contrary or anything, I'm just a little confused.

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Wouldn't a lot of the overlap between sz & bpad be considered schizoaffective?

Aren't psychotic symptoms during mood episodes consistent w/ a BPI dx?

I don't mean to be contrary or anything, I'm just a little confused.

- yes, thats a word I couldn't recall

- [edit] About 30% of bipolars experience hallucinations or delusions at some time (according to Goodwin & Jamison), however they are not soley indicative of bipolar disorder but are also used to show the severity of mood disturbance. The pdocs will look at when the psychotic symptoms occured as well. Simple grandiosity, euphoria, or unrealistic belief in ones abilities are not considered psychotic symptoms. The presence of psychotic symptoms rules out BP2 and upgrades you to BP1, BTW. ;)

a.m.

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Thank to all.

I talked to my own pdoc (as opposed to the 10 docs in hospital who checked me up) and he said "your thinking is way too organized for an schizophrenic". he also believes that sporadical psychotic symptoms (mainly word salad that happened once for 6 hours and then healed completely on its own) are rather a sign of mania because they are too temporary and infrequent for schizophrenia.

he prescribed me lithium yesterday. so lets see what happens.

cheerz

polarbear

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Wouldn't a lot of the overlap between sz & bpad be considered schizoaffective?

Aren't psychotic symptoms during mood episodes consistent w/ a BPI dx?

I don't mean to be contrary or anything, I'm just a little confused.

- yes, thats a word I couldn't recall

- [edit] About 30% of bipolars experience hallucinations or delusions at some time (according to Goodwin & Jamison), however they are not soley indicative of bipolar disorder but are also used to show the severity of mood disturbance. The pdocs will look at when the psychotic symptoms occured as well. Simple grandiosity, euphoria, or unrealistic belief in ones abilities are not considered psychotic symptoms. The presence of psychotic symptoms rules out BP2 and upgrades you to BP1, BTW. ;)

a.m.

a.m.,

Your last sentence, about psychosis and BP1, does that mean if you've never presented with psychosis that you can't be BP1?or does it depend on your definition of psychosis? I dont have hallucinations or hear voices, but one time I thought I killed a lady by feeding her. I could tell my doctor thought that this was a break with reality.

I'm confused.

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Guest Fat Jimmy

Be aware that Lithium can cause a bad smell in your nose. I forget the medical term for this... BUt I was on the Lithium for just a few days and noticed a metallic smell and taste to everything that had butter in it. I really like my butter so this had to go. I was taken off of the lithium and it cleared up within a day or two.

They have me on trileptal and celexa now. Neither of which seem to be working. In the past... Depakote, Seroquil, Zyprexa, Zoloft, blah blah blah.

I have come to the conclusion that I will need to do this on my own and try to stay away from medications, as they do not seem to help my case in anyway shape or form.

I am not sure if I will ever be able to be happy, or normal, whatever that may be.

Sometimes just wish it would all be over with already, but then I think of my children and I get a burst of fight from out of the blue.

For the most part, I am completely out of control and riding the roller coaster from hell.

Sorry for my ramblings, I probably make no sense ;)

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