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Hey guys, just lurking around and thinking. I had some curious questions about bipolar and was wondering if you wouldn't mind answering them since I imagine you know more about this than I do. Sorry if I'm annoying

1. Do panic disorder and Bipolar come together? My general doctor has alluded to this saying many people with panic disorder usually have underlying undiagnosed bipolar illness, while my psychiatrist says they are completely seperate.

2. What do you think causes/caused bipolar? I was wondering if long term severe depression is a cause of bipolar illness. I know for some they are born with the issues, but it must have started somehow, somewhere. If someone were depressed long enough could the good feelings send them shooting upwards since there isn't much regulation? If I'm just way off course here, simply say so.

3. Does untreated bipolar illness worsen into other conditions?

4. How do you know if you're manic/hypomanic as opposed to just simply being in a good mood?

5. Can you tell the difference between a depression caused by life's events and a depression caused by your illness? That imagine would be very hard to go through.

Thanks for taking time to read and answer.

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I have wondered some of these questions myself. I deal with depression and anxiety, and have been taking Seroquel since I spent a week in the hospital. You are not alone in wondering these questions.

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I can't answer them all but I'll answer the ones I can. Anyone feel free to correct if I am way off base.

2. I don't think coming out of a depression would necessarily send you "shooting upward," I think you would just have a normal, baseline mood. It's possible in Bipolar disorder to have no normal period in between mood episodes, though, so if this person were Bipolar that's possible, but not because they are no longer depressed, but because of the chemicals and such in their brain.

3. As far as I know, I don't think untreated bipolar disorder can become other conditions, but certainly it becomes worse itself if untreated.

4. Mania and even hypomania are quite different from just being in a good mood. There are many symptoms such as: decreased need for sleep, rapid thoughts/racing mind, rapid speech/talking a lot, overconfidence, grandiosity, even psychosis, to name a few. Personally, I can't really tell when I am entering mania, I think I am just having a normal, good mood, but that changes pretty quick once I start doing impulsive and dangerous things, having big crazy ideas and such.

5. Well if there isn't anything stressful or big happening in your life, it would probably be safe to assume your depression is because of your illness and etc.

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question 1 answer: http://www.bipolarwo...2003/ph1077.htm

1. Can bipolar hide out in a different form like panic disorder and then appear in short order like this? The simple answer is yes. For a bit more complex discussion of whether the panic episodes were a "co-occurring condition" or actually part of bipolar disorder, which is very tricky but may not really mean much now given the current diagnosis, read aboutAnxiety as a Bipolar Symptom.

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Hey guys, just lurking around and thinking. I had some curious questions about bipolar and was wondering if you wouldn't mind answering them since I imagine you know more about this than I do. Sorry if I'm annoying

1. Do panic disorder and Bipolar come together? My general doctor has alluded to this saying many people with panic disorder usually have underlying undiagnosed bipolar illness, while my psychiatrist says they are completely seperate.

They are two entirely separate disorders which is why they are two entirely separate disorders in the psychiatric diagnostic manual. They can be comorbid disorders, you can have both. Some people can be misdiagnosed with one to turn out to actually have the other. Some can be misdiagnosed with one but turn out to have both. No matter, they are two different illnesses.

2. What do you think causes/caused bipolar?

Things in your brain going haywire in a bipolar way causes bipolar. It is thought to be genetic but sometimes an environmental situation is necessary to trigger it. All the science of it is yet to be known.

I was wondering if long term severe depression is a cause of bipolar illness.

As far as I know, the answer is no.

I know for some they are born with the issues, but it must have started somehow, somewhere.

To my knowledge, if you have bipolar, you always had it. The question is simply how long it took to manifest.

If someone were depressed long enough could the good feelings send them shooting upwards since there isn't much regulation? If I'm just way off course here, simply say so.

You are way off course here. If someone has MDD, they have MDD. If someone has bipolar, they usually start out having just depression. That doesn't mean they had depression the illness. It means they had bipolar depression before any hypo/mania started.

3. Does untreated bipolar illness worsen into other conditions?

Bipolar is progressive. Untreated bipolar turns into a worse case of bipolar. I don't think they believe it progresses into another illness.

4. How do you know if you're manic/hypomanic as opposed to just simply being in a good mood?

Good question. There are quite a few threads on this topic. Look thru the bipolar section or ask a question on it specifically.

5. Can you tell the difference between a depression caused by life's events and a depression caused by your illness? That imagine would be very hard to go through.

Yes. Depression due to life event that tripped you up tends to be situational. When/if it turns into intractable depression, that's the illness taking over. Depression with no cause is due to bipolar.

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1. Do panic disorder and Bipolar come together? My general doctor has alluded to this saying many people with panic disorder usuially have underlying undiagnosed bipolar illness, while my psychiatrist says they are completely seperate.

Yes, Bipolar Disorder is a distinct illness. However, there is a very, very high incidence of 'co-morbid' illness, especially of the Anxiety flavor, e.g. general anxiety, social anxiety,[ anxiety attacks, panic attacks, flavors of OCD, etc.

2. What do you think causes/caused bipolar? I was wondering if long term severe depression is a cause of bipolar illness. I know for some they are born with the issues, but it must have started somehow, somewhere. If someone were depressed long enough could the good feelings send them shooting upwards since there isn't much regulation? If I'm just way off course here, simply say so.

It is fairly well accepted (but not proven) that Bipolar Disorder has a genetic basis. A study at Harvard four years ago identified 3 genes associated with both Bipolar and Schizophrenia. It is obvious that despite genetic predisposition, some other thing serves as a trigger, since even in twins with same genes, one may develop BD and the other may not. Stress, life experiences and possibly environment exposure are thought to be factors.

3. Does untreated bipolar illness worsen into other conditions?

Correctly diagnosed bipolar disorder does not develop into other illnesses, e.g. Schizophrenia.

However, the natural untreated course of the illness is to get progressively worse, and life span is often significantly shortened. Suicide rates are the highest of all mental illnesses exceeding 25%.

The good news is that in the last two years studies have shown that the sooner medication is started, and consistently taken, the progression of the illness is greatly slowed, and outcomes are greatly improved.

4. How do you know if you're manic/hypomanic as opposed to just simply being in a good mood?

it's worth reviewing the DSM criteria for hypo/mania, but it's too late for me to dig them out. Normal people do not have major ups and downs in moods without obvious cause. If you are bipolar your mood is going to change without reason in a of days weeks or perhaps months. Of note: Hypo/mania is highly over rated by the igpynorant. "Euphoria" doesn't mean happy.

5. Can you tell the difference between a depression caused by life's events and a depression caused by your illness? That imagine would be very hard to go through.

And in fact most bipolars spend far more time depressed than manic, as much as 55% of the time depressed.

Again normal people do not have moods that change without reason, e.g death of someone close, being fired, and after a reasonable time of grief, perhaps a few weeks, they return to a forward looking outlook and are able to handle the daily ups and downs of life without major struggle.

a.m.

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Thanks for responses, very informed group.

I wanted to touch up on the question related to bipolar being genetic. Are there cases of people that get bipolar with no known genetic links?

Also, there's no evidence that says antidepressants actually cause bipolar?

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Guest Vapourware

Anti-depressants don't cause bipolar, but it can trigger hypomania/mania in some people. Sometimes that's because they are undiagnosed bipolars, as drugs such as SSRIs can push people into a hypomanic/manic state, while other times it is medication-induced. If it is the latter, then they don't fall under the bipolar category because you have to have the mood swings naturally. I would imagine that this would be teased out by taking a history of the individual.

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Thanks for responses, very informed group.

I wanted to touch up on the question related to bipolar being genetic. Are there cases of people that get bipolar with no known genetic links?

Also, there's no evidence that says antidepressants actually cause bipolar?

We don't really understand how the genetics work well enough to answer that question. The closest we can come is to say that there are certain neural substrates present in bipolar, apparently some before a person becomes symptomatic.

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Thanks for responses, very informed group.

I wanted to touch up on the question related to bipolar being genetic. Are there cases of people that get bipolar with no known genetic links?

Also, there's no evidence that says antidepressants actually cause bipolar?

We don't really understand how the genetics work well enough to answer that question. The closest we can come is to say that there are certain neural substrates present in bipolar, apparently some before a person becomes symptomatic.

"Neural substrate" means what?

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4. How do you know if you're manic/hypomanic as opposed to just simply being in a good mood?

Mania doesn't necessarily mean you feel good. In some people they feel super confident, super gregarious and witty, grandiose. That isn't what happens for me. For me, and I'm not alone, mania is my racing thoughts: high intensity mental activity; purposeless disconnected thoughts and impressions going through your mind faster than you can understand; an overload of mental stimulation beyond your mind's capacity to contain; and no matter where you go or what you do you cannot escape the overload of stimulation; this is a very negative experience for people to have.

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4. How do you know if you're manic/hypomanic as opposed to just simply being in a good mood?

Mania doesn't necessarily mean you feel good. In some people they feel super confident, super gregarious and witty, grandiose. That isn't what happens for me. For me, and I'm not alone, mania is my racing thoughts: high intensity mental activity; purposeless disconnected thoughts and impressions going through your mind faster than you can understand; an overload of mental stimulation beyond your mind's capacity to contain; and no matter where you go or what you do you cannot escape the overload of stimulation; this is a very negative experience for people to have.

And don't forget irritability. Which, in psychiatric terms, ranges from "gosh, I'm in a darn bad mood today" to "gosh officer, I'm glad I had that pepper spray cuz he was going right for my throat!" Yeah, I get the full spectrum, grandiosity, irritability, elevated moods...yay.

The key is intensity, as well as appropriatness and length. Nobody laughs at the top of their lungs for two mintues at a joke. Few people want to party til 4 a.m. (rock stars excluded). People who want to pay rent/mortgage don't go blow all their money on a clothes buying spree. You don't quit your job to paint or write books unless you're already selling or you just really hate that fucking job.

After a while you figure out where your "points" are, the spots where "normal" moves into problem territory. And then you act.

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Oh yes I've heard manias can turn into nightmares, that's no good. Even though our lives are hectic in the modern age at least we have medications available to fall back on for support. I hope everyone is doing good on medications and such.

Im dealing with anxiety/sever depression myself, but a few doctors have hinted at bipolar but i don't show any obvious symptoms so i don't think i have it.

One more question about antidepressants and bipolar. I hear they are a bad combo. Assuming you took an antidepressant and stayed on it: I was wondering if ADs send bipolar into an indefinite manic state? Or does the depression part still happen in a case with AD induced mania? If so, do they know why the ADs aren't effective in stopping bipolar depression from reoccuring? I guess I'm trying to find out if ADs cause a cycle or just cause mania.

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Thanks for responses, very informed group.

I wanted to touch up on the question related to bipolar being genetic. Are there cases of people that get bipolar with no known genetic links?

Also, there's no evidence that says antidepressants actually cause bipolar?

We don't really understand how the genetics work well enough to answer that question. The closest we can come is to say that there are certain neural substrates present in bipolar, apparently some before a person becomes symptomatic.

"Neural substrate" means what?

Neural substrate = stuff in the brain, usually activation patterns or connectivity, that is correlated with certain cognitive states, activities, disorders, or symptoms.

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Im dealing with anxiety/sever depression myself, but a few doctors have hinted at bipolar but i don't show any obvious symptoms so i don't think i have it.

The post above from Stacia with the info on soft bipolar is something you really need to read. I've never had mania or even hypomania, but my psychiatrist has changed my dx to bipolar II, or as he said, "There's clearly some sort of cycle going on." I've had five episodes of major depression, some that lasted for a couple of years, and no hypomania. I've been on various antidepressants for 11 years, and a mood stabilizer for the last two of those. The mood stabilizer (Lamictal) has made a huge difference and I feel more like 'me' than I have for years. I also take an antidepressant and the combo is working well for me.

I think you and your pdoc should focus on control of symptoms. It would be nice to able to take a blood test and say definitively you have xyz, inherited it from your mom's side, and need to take pill abc, but unfortunately science and medicine haven't gotten that far yet. It's not necessary for someone else in your family to be dx'ed with a MI for you to have one yourself, although it's very possible that other family members have some flavor of MI as well, even if it's never been dx'ed.

In your first post you mentioned some doctors in the past dx'ed you as possibly bipolar. Are you receiving treatment / taking medication / in therapy? Hopefully you're not changing doctors repeatedly because you disagree with their dx of you, although there's certainly nothing wrong with getting second or third opinions. But on the other hand, not wanting to believe that you might have bipolar if in fact you do, is not going to help you either.

Everyone here would agree that any form of mental illness sucks. However, it is treatable, and you can be in full remission as I am at this moment, and as many others here are as well. It's possible to have a completely normal life with a MI.

If I were you I'd focus on whatever symptoms you may be having, and getting them under control, instead of trying to put a label on things. Okay, lecture over... ;)

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