Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Lost, looking for answers


Recommended Posts

New guy here. Thought maybe someone who shares this disorder can give me their opinion on my symptoms as I have got mixed messages from doctors, psychologist, and psychiatrists over the years.

 

Anyways I'm 34 male, I have two kids a wife. I work and up until recently I was going to work everyday, work out, dj, highly functional. Recently I was able to start working from home, which is a catch 22, as I have become kind of agoraphobic started having panic attacks after 17 years back in June. They progressively got worse the last month to where i have been avoiding quite a bit.

 

I was diagnosed with BP 2 at a very young age (12-13 yrs old) after my father passed away, but even before that i had some weird depression/anxiety/depersonilization going on then, back to normal moods, then id say a slightly elevated moods and cycle, Id do well for a while then bam crash into depression anxiety, or sometimes just depression. I always questioned my diagnosis because I acted out a lot as a child because of abuse in my family, my fathers death, and abandonment issues with my mother. Some say I just have PTSD, and not Bipolar. 

 

Anyways fast forward to now. It seems like there is about a 3 year period where things progressively get better then worse then start all over again. I do have signs of bipolar like past gambling, reckless spending, elevated mood, anger and irritability about insignifigant things. I obsess about things for a while, then never stick with it long term or get bored. This year was occult reading, which started out last year with conspiracy, then progressed into what is life, who am i type thinking where i became engulfed in books and material, searching for answers, obsessing, which kind of f**ked with my head to say the least. I have stuck with fitness after my last depression when my wife and i split, we got back together and up until this anxiety and extreme lethargy lately, i was going to the gym. 

 

I guess my major question is does anyone else have anxiety attacks in transition between a normal or hypomania phase into depression? For me its like anticipitory anxiety if i go here im going to have the attacks, then i have them. A week ago I had some blood work done, but yet several times before as well as just months before I had blood work done and was fine. This time, In mind, they were going to take too much blood, I was going to pass out, full blown panic attack in the office. Hypochondria, looking up medical symptoms, thinking i had everything under the sun because the anxiety was so bad. Again this seems to happen around every 3 years then im functional for 3 years. Last year or 2011 I rememember having some depression and weird like spiritual guilt but no anxiety attacks. This time its been hell. So again, being that the anxiety has not been an issue for a long time, atleast not at this level. I feel like im reliving something, weird de ja vu, impending doom feeling. And I question if this depression i feel stems from this or i just simply im somehow picking up an anxoety disorder that i havent had for years because of something that triggered it.

 

I guess i should add that the medicines I have been forever on are Lithium 300 2x daily, Gabapentin 2 x daily and Ativan 1 mg  2x daily.

 

Sorry in advance for the book i just wrote.

 

And Thanks for reading.

 

Maze

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I do what is called a "light switch," I get like that and then I spin into a mixed state. For example, I had severe postpartum depression after my second child was born and spent some time inpatient. Fast forward 5 years later, Oprah was on. Topic was postpartum psychosis and what horrific things moms had done to their kids. I flipped.Paranoid and anxiety that I would do the same thing. pacing at night.  Light switch. put me in a mixed state. was not diagnosed BP at that point. Did not sleep for 3 weeks until I went into my GP and he hooked me up with some sleep meds and changed around the antidepressant... I know, crazy... anyway.... I could go on and on with the outcome of that one. 

 

Anyway, yes some of your symptoms are common with someone who has a mental illness.. anxiety sucks!

 

Get back into your psychiatrist pronto!  hang in there.

 

Edited to add:  I have an anxiety disorder and when I was a teenager and in my 20's it was mainly OCD.  Not so much OCD these days, hardly any.  When I am severely depressed, I have no anxiety.  When I am in a mixed state, which is what I tend to experience more than anything, that is when my anxiety is present. The agitation and anxiety are intertwined.

Edited by Frenetic47
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply Frenetic.  When this all started I was getting like hypnic jerks really bad in my sleep, and nightmares. But it gradually got worse. Now Its like I am depressed but cant sleep. Last week was a nightmare during the day, anxiety, panic attacks constantly, paranoid, body scanning. 

 

I just wonder, why i read on here all the wild symptoms people get and why its not documented more about panic attacks online with bipolar? maybe a few articles? Guess not everyone gets them. I went a while without them. Like i read about people who get agoraphobic for 20 years, I get this way because i feel so out of control, but it doesn't last forever, like it passes through me.

 

Right now i have underlying anxiety but mostly no energy, depression, no appetite, and cant sleep more then 5 hours a night, where i guess a lot of people sleep more, so makes sense about mixed state i suppose? then the anxiety hits me in the morning HARD. 

Edited by Audiomaze
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Assuming your diagnosis is right, what you describe sounds like agitated depression (also known as a mixed state but it's one where depression is most dominant). Agitated depression can be like depressed mood, lethargy, racing mind. It makes little sense with the bipolar stereotypes but if you accept that bipolar can affect your mood, energy and cognitive systems independently, it does. And, that's what bipolar often does.

 

Anxiety likes depression and bipolar. They are pals, chums, best friends. You probably are comorbid. It's not uncommon for anxiety to be more dominant when otherwise symptomatic.

 

See your psychiatrist. Your meds aren't handling your symptoms. Work with your doc on finding a more effective cocktail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply AnneMarie.

 

"It makes little sense with the bipolar stereotypes" 

 

Another question i have is, based on literature, the cycles aren't as far apart as 2-3 years, is possible with Bipolar, in your opinion, that these things become more severe of that amount of time, or would it be more compacted in a shorter amount of time?

 

I mean I do have irritability, anger, some elevated moods throughout, then periods of normal. But the depression and anxiety thing seems to hit harder after that length of time. I cant drink caffeine at all right now, not even a small cup of coffee in the morning because it exacerbates the anxiety so much. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Anxiety likes depression and bipolar. They are pals, chums, best friends. You probably are comorbid. It's not uncommon for anxiety to be more dominant when otherwise symptomatic.

 

See your psychiatrist. Your meds aren't handling your symptoms. Work with your doc on finding a more effective cocktail.

She nailed it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply AnneMarie.

 

"It makes little sense with the bipolar stereotypes" 

 

Another question i have is, based on literature, the cycles aren't as far apart as 2-3 years, is possible with Bipolar, in your opinion, that these things become more severe of that amount of time, or would it be more compacted in a shorter amount of time?

 

I mean I do have irritability, anger, some elevated moods throughout, then periods of normal. But the depression and anxiety thing seems to hit harder after that length of time. I cant drink caffeine at all right now, not even a small cup of coffee in the morning because it exacerbates the anxiety so much. 

Left untreated, it can get worse with time. As for severity and length of cycling, there is no rhyme or reason. It is an individual thing. Everyone's Bipolar Disorder manifests itself slightly differently.  there is a set of symptoms, but we are all individual people with individual lives, genetics, circumstances and so it only makes sense that my experiences, and cycling will be different than yours.  Just remember that and it will help you as you deal will your illness and as you help others make sense of their illness.

 

Start writing a journal.  It will be the single most valuable tool for you and your Dr. in designing a treatment plan. Your Dr. will love you for it and when you look back a year from now and see a pattern, it will help you understand.

 

In the meantime, I hope you have at least called the pdoc for an appt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In regards to the anticipatory anxiety/panic attacks, that was a big issue for me and kept me from wanting to leave my home much.  The main situation this happened is when I had to go to my child's school to talk to the teachers or for events, I "had" to attend and I "had" to appear normal, and the pressure created panic attacks, which in the future created panic attacks every time I had to go.  I seem to have gotten over this, and two things helped.  One is PRN anti-anxiety meds that I could carry in my purse, just feeling like I had the power at hand to quell the anxiety made me feel in control (I know you already take anxiety meds, but maybe you could ask for another one for PRN or ask for an increase the dosage of the Ativan just for these situations.  I hold it under my tongue while driving over, just reminds me that I've got a buffer).   Another thing that helped is making guttural sounds or vocal expressions as I drove to the place.  For me deep breathing doesn't cut it and can actually increase my anxiety.  But if I take in a deep breath and then let it out with whatever sounds feel good to my body, even screams or moans, then it melts the anxiety in my stomach before it can knot up into panic.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems that the nomenclature of things changes over time. I had manic depression when i first got diagnosed, now they call it BiPolar. For the most part my doctor told me that in women, bipolar is different than in men. the elevated moods are few and rare and are not that intense as in men.  I find that he is right on q.  I am mostly depressed, and started to have so very god awful panic attacks and all kinds of horrific symptoms with anxiety just a few years ago.  Never had them before, but now I do.

 

You're not alone.  Yes, people cycle through their different states and they are different from other people occurring at different amounts of time. It's unique to the individual. I found for me that the length of cycles differ too. I don't just have one good year and one bad year. I can have a few good years and then a hell of long period of bad times which i'm in right now and it's not going away.  who knows man. mental illnesses are difficult to decipher. it's all trial and error too when it comes to meds. luckily i'm now proud to say i am off zyprexa. i was on that for 13 years and the last year i was on it, i didn't feel so hot. could hardly work, etc.  now i was switched to saphris... the lowest dose and it does me well. 

 

so ... i guess ... you might even run into that yourself... that you might have to switch meds periodically too depending on what new symptoms appear and dissapear. my phychiatrist told me to be careful to read the worning signs of an episode coming on... but i was never good at it. 

 

i'm super tired all the time!!!  it just wont stop. however i did find that doing some sort of exercise no matter how little... even just stretching or going to the pool for 10 min helps. 

right now i'm doing yoga and it has done wonders. all the sweating and stretching and getting stornger.  i got myself a year of unlimited classes and i go to all kinds of classes. on harder days,, i'll take an easy class, and on good days i'll even do 2 classes. it keeps me busy, and the environment at my yoga place is really peaceful. it's calming  and everyone is nice and there are all kinds of people so i don't feel that i need to look a certain way.

 

i would definetly suggest to keep up with some type of exercising. don't be hard on yourself, and be careful of all the stuff you read online. i read a bunch and started taking all these supplements which really messed me up. i feel anxiety just thinking about what i went through.  be really careful with that. a healthy diet and some exercise is key. 

 

sorry for the novel. i hope your health improves.  i know how it is to be tired all the time. suks.  good luck. sorry for my novel here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate all the replies.

This thing whatever it is, is all over the place. Even since I initially wrote this.

Furthermore.. I wrote a journal of all the places I had panic attacks.. where some made sense as "triggers" others at home. Where I was agoraphobic for a few weeks.. now driving is fine.. store doesnt provoke it anymore.

Now im having limited symptom attacks.. depression and 4-5 hour sleepless nights are worse.

Then again yesterday was a good day.. today blows. Started to get one at work.. but it manifested differently.. like stomache sensation and weird tingling.. before I was so full of negative energy, I would go from from 0-100 in seconds.

Anyways, ive spoken to a counselor and thought about it quite a bit (more like obsessed).

Last time I felt this bad was when I was young. Ive had these cycles with anxiety but last time I got really depressed 3 years ago or more.. anxiety wasnt present.

Ive had these panic attacks before but they lasted a while then went away with mood change.. which seems like whats slowly happening now.

Ive had some traumatic things happen when i was younger. So PTSD gets thrown out there a lot when talking about this. But at the same time I have had classic bipolar 2 symptoms. Sometimes it feels like im reliving something but I cant tell if its this experience or an actual event camouflaging itself through my symptoms. My anxiety initially had triggers now it seems mood induced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems that the nomenclature of things changes over time. I had manic depression when i first got diagnosed, now they call it BiPolar. For the most part my doctor told me that in women, bipolar is different than in men. the elevated moods are few and rare and are not that intense as in men.  I find that he is right on q.

 

 

Where did your pdoc get this theory? I am fairly certain that it was pulled from the library he keeps in his ass. He has told you that women have less severe episodes than men do? How did he arrive at this conclusion? How do you know how intense or not an episode is, compared to a person who is in an entirely different body? Remember, lack of insight is pretty standard symptom of mood swings, so self-reporting is not always 100% reliable.

 

Of course, due to our inability to experience intense things, like childbirth, we women couldn't understand what real MASCULINE suffering is like. Thank god I was born with a uterus, right?

 

Drs. notoriously downplay symptoms and under-medicate women, that is just reality. There have been about a zillion papers written about it. Witness: your pdoc. I feel sorry that he would be so dismissive of his female patients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally agree with you crtclms re: the pdoc being so dismissive about BP symptoms in women. That's just horrible.

All the literature I've read says that BP affects both males and females. Not just males.

This is a review of studies done that *attempt* to distinguish BP suffering in males vs females. The general conclusion is that the only difference is that women suffer more from postpartum stuff and males are not obviously capable of such stuff.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21047158

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my last session, we talked about or rather he said that, BiPolar in women tends to be mostly just depression, and that feelings of "Ups" are not that intense. At least that's what he said. I guess I need to take stuff with a grain of salt.  But I did find that for me, I don't have Ups as much as I have Downs. I'm mostly just down all the dang time. I can't come out of it. I've struggled with it for years and the Nuvigil only made my panic and anxiety worse. I was prescribed Nuvigil because I took it in the past and did help a bit. But back then I had no panic or anxiety. 

 

I agree thought that BP affects both men and women. I've been to therapy groups and have seen it first hand that guys are affected just like women, and every person is different on how their BP manifests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought: I've come to the conclusion that my bipolar actions are inducing the panic. I've just come off a string of panic attacks (waking me up at night kind of thing) and I'm still very, very agitated just in general. A lot of what you're describing sounds like what's happening with me now. I don't know if it's a depressive state or a manic state. It feels awful though.

And it causes me a lot of anxiety. Like I know that I'm going to slip into a depression and be a zombie and get nothing done. I don't know how to stop it from happening, so I'm anxious about that.

I also know I'm going to go manic at some point and probably do something embarrassing. That also produces anxiety. Does that mean I have an anxiety disorder along with the bipolar? I don't know. I don't really think so. I think if I got the bp under control, the anxiety would go away.

At the moment, it doesn't really matter if I have an anxiety disorder or not. It just feels bad. I know what you mean, though- I feel differently now than I did five or ten years ago. It must be starting to weigh on my psyche more or else my head is becoming less capable of handling it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was talking to a counselor today and though ive been told this before.. they think I suffer from PTSD as well. Its almost like the chicken before the egg scenario, what is it and what comes first.. which one am I experiencing. Reason I would even entertain the thought.. is because ive had depression before.. and only a few times in 34 years had this kind of panic/anxiety/hypochondria preceded the episode.

But the anxiety has subsided a little bit.. now it feels like all depression.. no motivation.. or just flat.

Edited by Audiomaze
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Audiomaze, I'm 33, but hanging on to 33 by a tiny thread.... married with 2 kids and have really really similar symptoms and background. First of all, crappy Internet hug to you. Second of all, maybe try low dose Seroquel? I get mixed/dysphoric a lot, I'm under a lot of stress and can tailspin into a panic attack in a mixed state which is effing hell on earth, seriously. I like gabapentin a lot for it but also love my low dose Seroquel. As for diagnosis... It's just a code for insurance, ultimately, right? At least that's what I tell myself. If the treatment works, who cares what the label is....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply ray.. yeah it sucks. Especially when you have kids and more responsibilities. Thankfully my wife is super supportive.

 

The reason i question it so much is because exposing myself to the panic in stores, restaurants car, doesnt seem to help. People with panic disorder, which is what i have whether being a symptom of bipolar or not, seem to get better through that. 

 

If im not feeling paranoid or have the energy, ill just say f**k it and go into it, but this has been going on a while now. My last post was "feel more depressed, anxiety subsided" now its a mixed bag throughout the day.

 

Ive journaled all the places it happens, and its at home and everywhere under the sun the last few months. So no rhyme or reason, unless im reliving some PTSD Tthing which sometimes it feels like, but other times its like "I remember this a long time ago" and it went just like this same pattern and i came out of it, waiting for that day/week, its progressively getting slightly better day by day in some ways. Feels like im exiting slowly the same door i came in, if that makes any sense.

Edited by Audiomaze
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...