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Possibly bipolar II, possibly Axis II, possibly both.


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Hello, I've registered to the forums because this looked like a good place to learn a bit about mood and personality disorders and how others suffering from them cope.

 

For a long time I've been suffering from recurring depression which has at times made things very difficult for me. Sometimes I feel really great, though, like anything I wanted to do, I could… but most of the time I feel guilty, ashamed, and overall like a loathsome person. Sometimes it's somewhere in between, and other times it seems to be both at once with me feeling amazing one moment and then ranting on about how terrible the world is and how hopeless my life is the next. For a long time I went without treatment. I don't really know why exactly. Part of it was I felt like it was pointless to try to help the situation, or felt too ashamed to, like it would be a complete waste of people's time and money.

 

But in recent years I've really began to alienate people close to me: one friend I ended up pushing away yelling at her, and when she came back it would just happen again; another friend I ended up sort of getting too flirty with and they ended up having to distance themselves from me because they were depressed and lonely and knew what a mess it would be if they fell in love with me; yet another I got to fall in love with me but they were upset with my obsequious behavior and told me I had to stop being so needy and put an ultimatum on me demanding I seek help, then left me after I yelled at them accusing them of abandoning me, ruining our relationship….

 

Now I realize this is something which adversely affects others in my life, and — at the behest of several friends — am taking responsibility for my illness.

 

Tomorrow I'm going to be speaking with a psychiatrist who will be doing a differential diagnosis to determine whether or not I'm bipolar II. I'm a bit worried he'll determine it's a personality disorder. I don't think I'm borderline because I don't do any self-harm, don't experience any dissociative episodes, have a sense of self-identity, and I'm pretty sure I don't do any splitting. But maybe I'm wrong. I guess I'll find out soon.

 

I look forward to learning more here in the near future.

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You are who you are and that won't change with a label. I found some comfort in an actual diagnosis, though. You may, too. Give yourself some time to digest and don't be surprised if there is no definitive answer right away.

 

It sounds like your life is affected significantly by whatever is going on so kudos for seeking help. That first step is the hardest. A good rapport with your psychiatrist is important. Give it a few visits before you make up your mind on whether she is the right doctor for you. If not, try another but don't just switch because they say something you find difficult to hear. Any diagnosis can be tough. Same deal with therapists. If you have either bipolar or a personality disorder you'll be better off having both. Even if you have neither, a good therapist can help with coping and life skills, very valuable stuff.

 

Hang in there. The more you know and understand, the easier life will be. It just might take a little work to get there. You are worth it, though. Congrats on moving forward.

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Hello and Welcome to CB!  We ask that everyone read the User Agreement to get started.

 

I am glad that you are seeing a psychiatrist to determine your dx.  As Anne Marie said, give yourself some time to take in the dx.  Often knowing our dx doesn't provide any real comfort at first, but does help with medication and direction of therapy.  I commend you on taking this step.

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Thanks for caring, everybody. There were a lot of nice and supportive people in the chat last night and this morning, as well, so thank you to everyone.

 

I agree that the label doesn't change anything — I'll have been the same and be suffering the same problems with or without it. I actually if anything welcome the label so I can know what it is I'm up against, exactly. I'm just nervous it'll be a disorder which will take years of therapy to really get a handle on before I can have a normal life and relationships. If the psychiatrist gives me a diagnosis I don't like, it's not his fault; it just means I'm in an unfavorable circumstance and, if anything, need his expertise even more.

 

AnneMarie, when you said " If you have either bipolar or a personality disorder you'll be better off having both" did you mean both a therapist and a diagnosis, or both a personality and mood disorder? The latter would be a bit counter–intuitive.

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I'm just nervous it'll be a disorder which will take years of therapy to really get a handle on before I can have a normal life and relationships

 

I know I've said it in chat, but I'll say it again. I'm totally up against years of therapy, and I'm also capable of having a fairly decent life and relationships. MI is not the only factor here,  by a long shot. It seems sort of funny to me to phrase it this way. It sort of implies that anyone with difficulties with life and relationships has MI, even if they don't. Or, it implies that no one here is capable of it without years of hard work, which isn't true either. I'm pretty sure that that's not what you're talking about, though.

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It seems sort of funny to me to phrase it this way. It sort of implies that anyone with difficulties with life and relationships has MI, even if they don't. Or, it implies that no one here is capable of it without years of hard work, which isn't true either. I'm pretty sure that that's not what you're talking about, though.

 

What I mean is that I am clearly unable to have normal relationships as I am now. The question is what's causing me to explode in these relationships? If it's a disorder which is difficult to treat, then I may not see any improvement for quite a while and may not be able to live a normal life for a long time.

 

However, I have some good news.

 

While it turns out I'm not going to get the differential for a while yet, my therapist seems to think that because I don't actually engage in any risky behavior as you'd see during a hypomanic episode, bipolar disorder is quite unlikely. Right now he thinks it's just depression and general anxiety disorder. I prefer minimalistic treatment over taking lithium, and some mild antidepressants and minor lifestyle changes may be able to make a difference. I'm glad I was just fretting over nothing.

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AnneMarie, when you said " If you have either bipolar or a personality disorder you'll be better off having both" did you mean both a therapist and a diagnosis, or both a personality and mood disorder? The latter would be a bit counter–intuitive.

 

I meant having both a pdoc and a tdoc. Fewer diagnoses are usually better, but more does not necessarily mean you are worse off than others with fewer.

Edited by AnneMarie
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