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symptom versus normal


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i suppose this is part of getting used to the bipolar dx, but now everytime i experience something i think, is this a symptom? if pdoc asked me how i was, i would probably say pretty okay. i feel like i have before. but then something happens, for instance this morning i couldn't concentrate. there were so many things i wanted to do, and i could only do one part way before i had to move on to the next one.

i had to check the hurricane forcast (i have relatives on the east coast) so i turned on the computer, but then i thought i should write my blog entry. sat down to write that and then, oh i never got the paper, i should read the paper. went out and got the paper, started to read it, and thought, oh, the world championships in track and field are on tv, i should see what's happened. put down the paper half way read and turn on the tv, and think, oh, i should check text tv and see if the economy is as bad as they were saying yesterday. get the computer and think, i'd better finish the blog entry. write some more and think, i never did finish the paper. and on and on like that.

and then i think, is this a symptom? or is this in the range of normal? i've always had periods like this, where i can't concentrate on one thing and jump around like that, it's not that i CAN'T finish something, it's more like i HAVE to do the other thing. if that makes any sense. like if i'm reading the paper, i think i should do something else, and then it is like i only think of that and get restless reading the paper, and just HAVE to do the other thing.

how do you know if sometihing is a symptom? i suppose i just need to get used to this, and time will tell. but really, right now i feel like i am over analysing every thing.

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I definitely understand the over-analyzing.

This may sound like a copout...but to me it's bothersome to you enough to a degree that makes it worth mentioning. It's one of those "disrupts functioning" things and "controlling you rather than the reverse" things. Both are usually red flags to me to at least mention it. You may just get gentle reassurance (I don't know enough to tell, but others here might). But I'd say to mention it.

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I agree with Dance, and I would add that, for me, how long such a phase goes on is a big factor in how much it worries me. I figure everybody has a day like that here and there (which probably isn't strictly true, but "scattershot" is one of my big flavors of off, and everybody has some flavor of off day, right?), but if I have more than one at a time I know trouble is brewing. Phases like that, for me, in the days before meds, used to turn into manic episodes, so they scare me, and I find them very uncomfortable. Nowadays extra Seroquel and a good night's sleep usually puts out the fire. If it doesn't I know trouble is on its way.

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You mentioned several examples of sort of optional activities. Do you do the same thing with important activities of daily living? like brushing your teeth, watching the children, finishing a conversation, things like that? Not finishing what you start

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When I'm hypo or manic, I do this exact behavior. When I get akathesia from certain AAP's I take, I get like this. It's worth mentioning to your doctor about, because there is plenty that can be done to remedy the situation.

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I get this with my hypomanic symptoms too. I'm either hyper-focused or have no attention span at all. To the point where I can get to the end of a sentence and not remember what the start of it said (scary when I used to literally absorb books). Definitely mention it to your pdoc, and keep a log of when you get these patches as part of a mood chart - it'll help you see if there's a pattern and if you can use it as a warning sign.

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Any time I am not feeling "optimal" I discuss this with my pdoc. I have a pretty good sense of "optimal" for me, and though it does involvee some minor mood shifts and god and bad days, if something, even if it is small persists for more than a little bit, I bring it up. I have a pretty good sense of my "optimal" so if you don't yet, it might be worth looking back through your periods of stability or pre sx functioning (even as a kid) to find that out. I know i can get pretty optimal on the right cocktail, so i'd rather be tweaking things sometimes than feeling bad, so i don't worry much about bringing up the smaller stuff, or even stuff I'm not sure is a sx or not..... that is what my pdoc is for, to get me to my best functioning.

anna

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You're expressing thoughts I've had for months now. I over analyze my behaviour to a point of obsession trying to determine what's a symptom, what's driven by MI, what's simply eccentricity or circumstantial. My doctors tell me to relax and quit letting the diagnosis become such a presence in my day-to-day and just go and live life. As such, I've been trying hard NOT to analyze things and just "be." It's tough sometimes but I find that even my relationship with my MI friend is better because our bipolar isn't THE topic of discussion every time we're on the phone, I'm spending a lot less time trying to figure out if something means something and more time just living my life outside my head.

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Talk to your pdoc and tdoc if you are questioning. Your history is not necessarily the best guage since you probably had bp symptoms for some time.

To be honest, what you described sounds like me before I have my Adderall, and sometimes even after. Antsy. A bunch of optional, non-important things to choose from and so I sometimes bounce around. It's when I do this with more important, functional activities that I get particularly concerned. In either case, I bring the scatteredness to my doctors and let them judge. More and more, we agree but not always. Since you were recently diagnosed, you need their guidance more than someone with insight diagnosed and trained a long time ago. Also, always keep in mind, the Internet is not the best way to get answers.

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I live like that all the time, it's hard to focus on anything. My pdoc has suggested ADHD but he says that my good track record as a student would rule out a diagnosis.

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Um, Titania, I was a great student too, I got through all 3 of my degrees (and a double major honors graduate at one of the top liberal arts schools in the country, with a known rep as being hard core) without my provigil. i have an iQ, and i developed coping skills.

I found out I was ADHD by accident..... my doc put me on provigil for tx resistant depression, and all of a sudden I was less messy, left doors open less, and screwed the lids on jars properly. That type of stuff. My husband was actually so amazed at the change he asked me if I was "trying too hard" and he needed to ease off on the "close the damn lid!" comments, heh. nope, just untreated inattentive ADHD. I can focus like a madwoman if I have to, but the rest of it.... forget it...

I really prefer being treated, as my house is clean, my thinking is more organized, and I get FAR more accomplished with less effort.

Anna

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I know how you feel. I question everything. Every time I get mad. Is it bipolar? Sad. Bipolar? Stroke of genius. Mania? Bout of depression (even over justified things). Bipolar depression? It is absolutely maddening. What's worse is when loved ones pull the same thing. I get mad and it must be mania. NO IT'S NOT! Fuck! Maybe it is. I just don't know. I'm hoping that time and experience will quell these problems (i was only diagnosed 2 1/2 months ago).

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thanks for your replies. i will try not to over-analysis every.single.little.thing that happens. but you know, i just don't know. is this important? is it just something that everyone experiences?

i've also been told that i don't have ADD/ADHD since i did so well in school, and as far as i know did not exhibit symptoms before the age of 7 or something. that my lack of concentration, and that i love to start stuff but not finish it is not because of that, but because i've probably been slightly hypomanic a good part of the time. except for the times i didn't start things and just hid at home.

i realized today that i'm starting to believe my horoscope. i have to read it everyday, but before it was more for a laugh. lately i've been getting this feeling that it was telling me how my day was going to go. today it made me incredibly anxious. it was not that good. "people are working behind the scenes and life will become difficult for you because of that. keep your cool." i mean rationally, i KNOW that it can't be true, how can everyone born in the same 30 day period have the EXACT SAME THING happen to them? but lately i have this feeling like it is specifically written for me or something. is it time for an AP or and AAP?

I've been keeping a list of "weird" things in my planner calendar, like the bouncing from activity to activity without actually finishing any of them, as well as this feeling i had this morning. i'm bringing it with to tdoc this week. hopefully she will have some info about pdoc, because i really don't want to go to the p-er.

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