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"Are you bipolar or somethin?"


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I've been told off-again and on-again that I'm bipolar. It runs in my family but I often get the 'Mood disorder, NOS' diagnosis or the "I don't think you really ARE bipolar because you don't have true manic episodes." Then I'll find the diagnosis in my e-chart, then see it gone the next week. So I don't know what gives. I DO know I have a raging case of borderline for sure. So I'm not really sure where this post belongs but feel like bipolars could relate more.

What freaks me out the most is that although my psych doesn't think I'm BP, complete strangers will make that connection with my personality and moods. Like I just dated a guy and we got into an argument, then made up, then argued again, all within an hour or so. His last thing he said to me that totally pissed me off was "you are crazy. you are fuckin bipolar!" And that's before he knew ANYTHING about any of my mental health issues whatsoever.

Another incident was a neighbor-friend who I've been very close with who disclosed that before she even got to know me she could tell just in my interactions with people outside and my kids that I was bipolar because she has a cousin who is and I act very similar.

Couple that with my recent mood swings and I am starting to really wonder. I am sick of people saying that, asking me if I am, or assuming I am bipolar first of all. But what sucks the most is that these mood swings are out of control. It's almost like a personality change but without different names! I will be really pissed off one second and then depressed the next, and then lovey dovey and emotional the next. I've asked my pdoc for a mood stabilizer but he insists on Seroquel, which I don't feel is making a difference. I often wonder if the Paxil is making me worse.

I know you can't diagnose me and I don't want you to. Just wondering how you handle the mood swings and stigma!

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Guest Vapourware

I think if you have a mood disorder and BPD at the same time, then it's hard to tease out whether the mood shifts are being caused by the mood disorder or the BPD. I guess it depends on how long the mood shifts last for, and whether they are largely reactive or if they just occur seemingly without a trigger. If they seem to have a short life-span and are largely reactive, then IMO it would point to BPD causing the mood shifts rather than a mood disorder. If it is the BPD then therapy [like DBT] would probably help you more with dealing with the mood swings, although sometimes taking something like low-ish dose valproate can help.

I wouldn't pay much mind to non-professionals commenting about your symptoms. They don't have the training, expertise, experience or any knowledge of your medical history to make much of a judgement call. I've found that to a lot of people, if you show any sign of moodiness, it's "bipolar" - regardless whether or not the label is warranted.

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I am sick of people saying that, asking me if I am, or assuming I am bipolar first of all.

There is something offensive about when a person says something that suggests a flavor of MI, even if what they are saying has an element of truith (e.g., that mood switching is happening). As if the person saying it is somehow superior and the person they are talking about is defective. I hate when this happenes even when its true. And It;s not like you can just respond, "No, my moods do not switch." MI can make a person an easy target for criticism

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Try not to worry about what random people say. They are not qualified to diagnose you. My husband said the other day that my cat is bipolar because she will be lovey and purring one minute and then bite you the next. Like others have said, Bipolar and BPD can have similar symptoms, so you need to be working with a pdoc to get things sorted out and figure out a treatment plan.

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Thanks, all. A social worker today mentioned what I've been trying to avoid for a long time---taking ANOTHER MMPI. I took one a few years back but maybe it's time to reassess. I hate those things. :/ Seriously, I think they determine whether you are MI or not based on if you actually complete that thing without throwing it across the room! LOL

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Perhaps you should just deal with a psychiatrist for diagnosis - and not a social work with an MMPI. Since there is some confusion about your BPD symptomns and your mood symptoms I would treat it medically by an MD. just a thought

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People often have a misconception of what bipolar disorder looks like-- they sometimes think of a highly labile person who flips out over nothing and then is happy the next minute. That's not really bipolar. That is, however, how BPD can manifest at times.

It's also going to be hard for your clinicians to tease things out since you have so many things going on. That might take some time. Since you know you have BPD and SA issues, treating those is probably the best idea and then you can see what else is going on.

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Don't stress it too much (I know easier said...)... The public's perception of what bp is, is totally Not Cool. I mean, if you're sad one day and totally happy the next, or. pissy, it's "oh, you're being so bipolar...and, imo, one of the reasons for that is those little things they put out there. You know, the "quick quizzes", that can be useful, but that list the symptoms, "you may be bp if...".

And of course all bp's are great artists, poets, musicians...

And if you do have the official dx, and people know, well shit...you're sad, it's the bp; you're happy about something, it's the bp; you get pissed... you can never have a "normal" emotion.

Personally, I just suck it up and hate everybody equally. (Well, I try not to...)

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People often have a misconception of what bipolar disorder looks like-- they sometimes think of a highly labile person who flips out over nothing and then is happy the next minute. That's not really bipolar. That is, however, how BPD can manifest at times.

It's also going to be hard for your clinicians to tease things out since you have so many things going on. That might take some time. Since you know you have BPD and SA issues, treating those is probably the best idea and then you can see what else is going on.

This sounds like good info and advice to me.

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bipolar is just such a term thrown around these days by people. It's in vogue right now. Just as we had "you're crazy" and "you're mental" and "don't have a cow, man" doesn't mean these people are seriously calling you bipolar on a diagnostic label. I can think of three songs right now that have the word bipolar in the lyrics.

Best to get your diagnosis from a psychiatrist, or at a minimum, a psychologist. BPD means rapid mood changes, BP, not so much. (In most cases, IMHO)

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