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Anyone have these symptoms? Just dx'd.


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I just got "Re-dx'd" with Bipolar I w/ psychosis. It makes a lot of sense when I read about it, but there are some things I get that aren't mentioned in the things I've read.

I get this feeling of rage, where I want to scream and bang my head into the wall. I've always been able to squeeze a pillow or something really hard to fight the urge.

I've been pacing a lot.

My mood switches back and forth several times a day sometimes. From irritable to talkative. I've read it usually lasts for days rather than hours.

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While I've not been 100% diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I have been getting closer to a clear diagnosis with my doctors and therapists. However, I do experience these kinds of surges of anger you've described. Sometimes there is a trigger involved, and sometimes it comes out of nowhere. I'd like to believe that there's almost always a trigger, but there are cases where the cause may be less clear.

It is common, from what I know, for people with bipolar disorder to have moods that range from irritable to talkative. These moods can last both hours and days, but more commonly days, I think. I'm not sure on the status of anger when it comes to bipolar. I'm sure that many bipolar disorder sufferers consider anger or rage to lie somewhere in the spectrum of their highs and lows.

I find that punching my mattress or screaming into my pillows helps when I'm experiencing any kind of anger, frustration or rage. I also enjoy a vigorous workout when I get in these moods, as the physical exertion usually helps turn my mood in a more positive direction.

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I always consider my severe anger to be part of the irritability, which is part of mania, which can include increased talkativeness. Talkativeness? That may or may not be a word.I could be wrong, since it's different with everyone... And I tend to cry when I get that angry, which only seems to confuse things more. I really hope you can figure it out and get the help you need.

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That's interesting, dpshaw. Believable, though. I'm certain that some of my cycles are as short as two and a half hours, maybe even shorter. Sometimes they even come in bursts that last only seconds, though I'm not sure if these short "bursts" would be considered cycles or not.

The DSM does give us these kind of narrow paradigms with the psychiatric conditions its goes into. This is one of the reasons I don't rely too heavily on it when considering what may be the case for me or someone else in the world of psychology. It has it's uses, though.

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I used to have the extreme rages. Went away pretty quick after I started topamax. I've tried other stuff but nothing else has worked quite as well. If your moods are not being controlled by your current meds, you really need a med check--not necessarily a change to topa, but something needs to change. You shouldn't be wanting to scream or hitting pillows or whatever. I left that behind a long time ago (though admittedly I'd like to kick my TV through a wall when a video game pisses me off...)

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You might be in the middle of a long mixed state that you just aren't used to recognizing the symptoms of yet. If you scroll down the page, you will see a topic about what symptoms people have during mixed states.

Keep in mind that when you are manic or depressed, you don't have to be that way every minute of the day to still be experiencing an episode. Manically active people don't always think about shopping, sex, dreams of world domination every minute of the day, and they still need help.

That being said, a long talk with your pdoc about your meds might be helpful. I failed a lot of meds too, but went back and tried some again a few years later and was able to improve my mental health state because of it. It all depends on the side effects, the dose, and the med combo.

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Thank you so much everyone.

deshaw, seeing that poll helped me a lot. I googled it afterward and saw that some dr.'s don't think it exists. Really?! After seeing how many people experience ultradian cycling on that poll and on other sights, I'm confident it's a legit thing.

Crazynotstupid, also helpful. I'm on Lamictal for seizures. I would think it would help but it obviously does not. Maybe a new anticonvulsant if my neurologist thinks it's a good idea.

gizmo, thank you for telling me about trying old meds. I've been in mental health treatment for approx. 12 years and I don't think I've tried but a few more than once. I told my doctor the other day that I want to start from square one, b/c from ages 13 to 25, surely my brain chemicals or something at least has changed. I'm on Risperdal now, something I haven't tried in 10 years. Thanks for the success story :)

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That usually means I'm in a mixed state... I go from angry to depressed to happy, in a short period of time (hours). I also have a decent amount of anxiety and if in the "right" mood I could hurt myself I get so agitated. A few months ago I felt sick at work (I think maybe mood related, you know you can have headaches and crap when depressed?) and I just broke down crying, there was no reigning it in and I had to leave. A few hours later when the doc called me back I was feeling better but louder than usual. He was the one that pointed out that i was mixed, not depressed.

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That usually means I'm in a mixed state... I go from angry to depressed to happy, in a short period of time (hours). I also have a decent amount of anxiety and if in the "right" mood I could hurt myself I get so agitated. A few months ago I felt sick at work (I think maybe mood related, you know you can have headaches and crap when depressed?) and I just broke down crying, there was no reigning it in and I had to leave. A few hours later when the doc called me back I was feeling better but louder than usual. He was the one that pointed out that i was mixed, not depressed.

^ this. These states are some of my most dangerous times. It feels sometimes like the line between ultradian cycling and mixed states can become blurred, though. I sometimes suspect that the diagnosis depends more on the pdoc than on us. I think that maybe what a lot of people might think of as rapid cycling might be mixed states.

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Mixed state is one of the most dangerous? I've been very suicidal and have seriously contemplated it a few times in the past month. Which brings another question to mind: How do you know if you are REALLY suicidal and are dangerously close rather than just considering it? I've always been confused by that. I never know if I should be really scared.

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The problem with ultradian cycling is that it seems to be a misunderstanding of what a cycle or mood state actually is.

You can be in a mood episode and have fluctuations within that mood episode. If you're in a mixed state or mania, this can go from irritable to happy in just a few hours, but it's not representing 2 mood states. It's one. You can also have okay days or not-as-depressed days in one episode. Mood episodes are not constant and don't have to be the same every day, all day.

The other issue is that the very short mood states that people label "ultradian" are many times emotional dysregulation, not a clinical mood state. Many of them are part of personality disorders or other diagnoses. I don't know how many times I've seen people say things like, "I got into a fight with my mom last night and I got so manic." That's not how mania works.

I personally think that ultradian cycling is very rare if not nonexistent.

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I do like the 'ultradian cycling as a type of mixed episode' explanation. I'd not heard that before. In retrospect, I sometimes think that when I do have very short mood states, they are more likely to be a form 'emotional dysregulation'. I never used that exact phrase, but I always was skeptical of any mood that seemed a bit too transient (that is so subjective, I know). That said, whatever causes the dysregulation can sometimes double as a trigger. If my mood state then sustains for at least a day or two, that's when I start to consider that I might be starting to cycle.

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My dad treated people with ultradian cycling, but very few. He usually monitored those patients very closely, sometimes daily, even on weekends, if necessary. They all took really bizarre combinations of meds, too, and were always being told to cut their pills into quarters, and things like that.

So we were aware when he was treating a rapid cycler, even though we of course had no idea to whom he was speaking. I can remember his having patients like that less than 10 times for sure, I am afraid to say less than 5 times. We actually *did* get to know a few of the people he treated for this. One of them I was close enough to that she gave us an engagement present. She was very, very fragile.

And he treated a lot of people, in 3 different states, because of where Pittsburgh is in relation to the borders. He was also a tertiary psychiatrist, so he tended to handle "difficult" cases. I know there definitely is such a thing as ultradian cycling, but I don't think it is as common as people here seem to think.

Remember, this is kind of like a "tertiary" website. It tends to attract people who are not having luck with treatment, or we wouldn't have been searching for info in the first place.

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wj74, thank you. I just don't know what it's like to feel like I want to wake up in the morning. It's been such a long time. I'm not trying to be dramatic or anything. I just don't really remember.

muriel, I really, really like that explanation. I hadn't thought of it like that. Do you think if a person (me) has had months of severe depression several times and has experienced 1 or 2 severe manic episodes (years ago) that lasted a few months, would that likely be bipolar disorder? Would the switching back and forth throughout the day be a mixed episode rather than a personality or other disorder? I know you can't diagnose me, just would like to hear what you think.

crtclms, that's very interesting and good inormation. (and your dad sounds like a very smart and caring man).

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