Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Not quite sure about my diagnosis; feedback?


Recommended Posts

As a child I was diagnosed with ADHD, then at about age 17, mild depression. Just this week I was dignosed with bipolar disorder. That's it. No specific type 1, 2, or NOS etc. I've had maybe 3 severe depressive episodes that I can remember. One was the feeling of loneliness when I was around 9. I don't remember much but it was definintely depression. Another, when my first girlfriend broke up with me, I was down for the count for a couple of months. The last one, was my first and last semester of college and the months following my dropping-out. I'm not sure if them seemingly being situation based accounts for any sort of disorder. My regular depressive moods seem to be mild when I'm not feeling 'normal'. Normal implying middle ground, or the potential to swing from happy to sad; (not manic to depressive).

 

I feel the depression is there, but I'm still unsure, and a little immature with my understanding of mania. 3 or 4 times a year I usually latch on to a specific subject. I've gone through filmmaking, magic tricks, golf, weight lifting, atheism, physics and math, quite a lot of random topics. My interest in them burns like a spontaneous fire. They come out of nowhere and 2 weeks to 2 months later, I lose all interest in them pretty much overnight. When I'm having these sorts of obsessions, they're all I can think about, talk about, plan my life around, and overall spend a load of money on. Generally collecting bits and pieces of the topic when I can't afford it. It's caused my financial trouble in the past. I stay up late working on or researching something of the topic, then wake up early and continue the same. My anxiety feels lifted, I feel focused that I have a life goal to work towards, that "this is it! what I was born for!", every single time. That's the usual aspect of it. The last one though, was different. I had all of the above except with EXTREME self confidence. I have no idea why I did some of the things I did, but some suspicions. My closest friend and my cousin would hang out with me, and the usual, manly, deprecation of each other. But for some reason I thought they were jealous of me. They thought I was better than them so they had to belittle me. I'm quite sure if was just the normal guys making fun of each other, but I took it too far.

 

We were in a park throwing disc golf discs, when I through mine for distance. When I went to retrieve it, I turned around and everybody was laughing, and hurriedly running home. They ditched me. Once I picked up all of the discs I became furious. I walked home, into my cousins room where he and my friend were laying on the bed, and chucked all of the discs at them ferociously. Before they could mutter a "what the fu-", I spewed it all out there. "Quit with the BS, stop disrespecting me, treat me like a human." After about a minute I calm down, then, in the most inappropriate fashion, my cousin giggles a bit at me. I grab him by the throat and he throws me down onto the bed. I regain my balance and force my way ontop of him. That's when my friend grabs me in a chokehold from behind in an attempt to subdue me. I'm strong though. Superhuman. I'm just staring down at my cousin from a mounted position when it hits me. "I'm not gonna hit you. I just didn't think I was being funny." Still unphased by the chokehold I climb down off the bed. Time for some nicotine, and I'm out the door.

 

I've never been an aggressor before in my life. I just lost it for no reason. I was scared of myself for maybe an hour, but then it was back to the elation. "They won't screw with me now." I thought. It just seemed like a side of me that came from nowhere, and was the reason I chose to see a psychiatrist.

 

I wrote this lengthy write-up because I'm new to this diagnosis. I feel a bit in denial because of it, and it feels good to let anonymous stangers know. Really, I'm looking for validation but also general critisism and opinions. Besides the violent outburst, the depression/obsession cycle has been going on for years, possibly a decade. I've also been a chronic abuser of substances, but that his since stopped around a year ago. I appreciate any and all who read this in it's entirety and give me some feedback. It's been a tough road, but I used to live in Michigan and all Michiganders know how tough roads can be.    :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We can't diagnose you here or even confirm your diagnosis. But we can share our experiences and stories with you, and hopefully that may help you understand your diagnosis and illness a bit better. :)

 

Have you told all this stuff to your pdoc (psychiatrist)? This would be really good stuff to share with them. I'm assuming you did tell them most of this stuff, or else they probably wouldn't have diagnosed you yet. 

 

I used to go through obsessions too, complete with sleeping less, talking at lightning speed, feeling euphoric. My pdoc says that's hypomania. Hypomania is a milder version of mania, FYI. The bipolar component of my illness (I have schizoaffective disorder) is bipolar 2, so I only experience hypomania, not mania. 

 

Can you ask your pdoc to clarify your diagnosis for you? Maybe explain why they diagnosed you with bipolar disorder, and ask them if they think it's 1, 2 or NOS? You pdoc should be able to answer all your questions. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be seeing him next Wednesday, so thanks for your input! I'll be sure to let him know my feelings. I guess I'm just looking for similar experiences. If what I'm experiencing resonates with anyone.

 

Oh, what you're experiencing resonates with me for sure. I also get aggressive sometimes when I'm hypomanic. My euphoria turns into rage and snap at people and start fights. I also get grandiose and think people are jealous of me and that I'm better than them in some way. So yes, your story resonates with me. And like I said, I used to go through obsessions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're looking for folks that can relate to those feelings, you've come to the right place.  :)

 

Everyone has a different story but the feelings behind your story certainly resonates with me. 

 

Don't let the Dx scare you. You are the same person you were before the Dx, all that changed is that now you have a name for it. Some people like having a Dx. For me, it doesn't matter much. I'm me. Warts,. bumps, gray hair, and all--I'm me. We treat the symptoms. That's what matters. Being symptom free is the thing you aim for. Sometimes you get lucky and find the meds that work right off the bat. Others have a long road before finding the correct cocktail. What is important is that you keep trying. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't let the Dx scare you. You are the same person you were before the Dx, all that changed is that now you have a name for it. Some people like having a Dx. For me, it doesn't matter much. I'm me. Warts,. bumps, gray hair, and all--I'm me. We treat the symptoms. That's what matters. Being symptom free is the thing you aim for. Sometimes you get lucky and find the meds that work right off the bat. Others have a long road before finding the correct cocktail. What is important is that you keep trying. 

 

This, times one hundred.

 

I've never definitively experienced even hypomania, but my current psychiatrist (I move often for work) diagnosed (dx'ed) me as BP II.  In his words, "There's clearly some sort of cycle going on."  I had previously been dx'ed with Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent.  I had been on anti-depressants for several years with varying degrees of success, but the mood stabilizer this pdoc added into the mix gave me my normal, good self back. 

 

I have been continuously well and functioning normally for almost five years, so is it possible to reach remission and stability, although it takes some effort on your part.  From 2000 to 2007 I missed four years of work, and as I am on my own, that was a financial catastrophe.  So if I have to take meds every day and get enough sleep every night, I'm willing to do it.  I'll do nearly anything to stay out of the abyss. 

 

There's a lot to learn about your mental illness (MI), and you have come to the right place.  Everyone here is familiar with thinking, "Holy crap, I'm not really that crazy, am I?  Am I?....."  Welcome to the boards, and I hope your pdoc turns out to be a good one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sylvan and catnapper, y'all are right. Sylvan I do realize I'm the same before the dx as I am after, but I think my denial comes from catnappers explanation: "I can't be that crazy, right?" Yea as much as I like my hypo manic self, it's the really bad one in terms of time, energy, and money wasted. It's the hardest to control too. I've come to learn how to cope with depression, but I exile myself too much. Y'all are causing me to think and I'm getting great talking points for my psychologist! (Is pdoc psychiatrist or psychologist?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A pdoc is a psychiatrist.  A psychologist is known as a tdoc.  There's a big difference between the two. 

 

A pdoc is a medical doctor and can diagnose and prescribe medication.  These days it's rare for a pdoc to practice talk therapy, they usually just do medication management.  If you have health insurance, most of the time pdocs are treated like any other specialist doctor, like a dermatologist.

 

A tdoc is not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication.  They provide talk therapy only, and can be psychologists with a Phd, or licensed clinical social workers, or some other varieties.  If you have insurance you may be limited on the number of visits per year to a tdoc.

 

You'll probably get the best results if you see both a pdoc for meds, and a tdoc for talk therapy.  Therapy will usually be once a week, and once you're stable on meds, you will probably see your pdoc every few months, plus or minus.

 

It's really important to see a pdoc, because if you have some flavor of bipolar, you're probably going to need some medication to get it under control.  Your family doctor (GP for general practitioner) is not qualified to treat mental illness, especially more complicated cases that will likely require some cocktail of meds.  A good GP will realize this and will refer you on to a pdoc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add, whether you are I, II, or NOS is trickier than it seems. I've been all three. Only in the last year have they decided I am dysphoric manias. I was first treated when I was 24 as II, then about 10 year ago it changed to NOS, and a couple of years ago (I was 48) it changed to I.

 

It is just a label. I like to read up on my labels because I find them really fascinating, but I yam what I yam.

 

ETA: Didn't DSM 5 change it from "nos" to "nec?"

Edited by crtclms
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add, whether you are I, II, or NOS is trickier than it seems. I've been all three. Only in the last year have they decided I am dysphoric manias. I was first treated when I was 24 as II, then about 10 year ago it changed to NOS, and a couple of years ago (I was 48) it changed to I.

 

It is just a label. I like to read up on my labels because I find them really fascinating, but I yam what I yam.

 

ETA: Didn't DSM 5 change it from "nos" to "nec?"

I too like to read up on my labels, as abnormal psychology is fascinating to me. Cyclothymia fits me squarely, but bipolar ll may also be the case. I'll find out (maybe) the 27th. Seroquel is alright in the meantime, but I've got mad sugar cravings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I go thru fazes too. I've been a private detective, locksmith, photographer, hacker, religious, and a whole lot more. Never lasts and i lose interest and move on. I'm 58 and it never stops lol. I have grown to live with it and understand what is going on. I doubted my diagnosis for years and even argued with my pdoc until she eventually dropped me. I think it's very common and understandable to have doubts and question. The thing about bipolar they are discovering is it has a much wider spectrum then they originally thought it had. And often with MI is's a combination of things and we get tagged with the most predominant one. Not to worry. Whatever it is usually becomes undeniable at some point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

your story definitely sounds familiar to me.  i have experienced many, many hypomanic episodes, and have a gazillion unfinished projects, notebooks full of ridiculous "plans", crazy poetry, and ungodly amounts of craft supplies because of it.   :o   i believe i have experienced actual mania, but only back when i was doing coke every day (almost 13 years clean - yay! - but oh how i miss that high sometimes...).  now that i am relatively stable on meds, i still go through cycles, but they are more along the lines of cyclothymia.  i do still tend to fall into deep (DEEP, as in suicidal) depressive episodes when the triggers are just right though.  :( then i know it's time for a med adjustment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the great feedback! I've been looking up the symptoms for hypomania and bipolar disorder every few hours for the past week. Nothing changes. The symptoms all still fit neatly into my experience.

 

I go thru fazes too. I've been a private detective, locksmith, photographer, hacker, religious, and a whole lot more. Never lasts and i lose interest and move on. I'm 58 and it never stops lol. I have grown to live with it and understand what is going on. I doubted my diagnosis for years and even argued with my pdoc until she eventually dropped me. I think it's very common and understandable to have doubts and question. The thing about bipolar they are discovering is it has a much wider spectrum then they originally thought it had. And often with MI is's a combination of things and we get tagged with the most predominant one. Not to worry. Whatever it is usually becomes undeniable at some point.

Funny, I've been through almost the exact same phases. I used to call them phases too, until I realized they were more on the obsession side. I've got lockpicks laying around everywhere, my old computer had ubuntu that I was learning python on for hacking. Went through the whole militant religious (or in my case, non-religious) stint. Because I have had so many interests, and since none of them stick, choosing a career path is a HUGE struggle. Can I ask what you did in your situation?

 

your story definitely sounds familiar to me.  i have experienced many, many hypomanic episodes, and have a gazillion unfinished projects, notebooks full of ridiculous "plans", crazy poetry, and ungodly amounts of craft supplies because of it.   :o   i believe i have experienced actual mania, but only back when i was doing coke every day (almost 13 years clean - yay! - but oh how i miss that high sometimes...).  now that i am relatively stable on meds, i still go through cycles, but they are more along the lines of cyclothymia.  i do still tend to fall into deep (DEEP, as in suicidal) depressive episodes when the triggers are just right though.  :( then i know it's time for a med adjustment.

Yea I'm a notebook person too, sometimes. My whole life used to be surrounded by my unfinished projects. Good for you to remain drug free, though! I too abused substances in my past, and in hindsight, it was a huge mistake. I had a really bad hypomania episode as the most recent, and since I have a history of a few major depressive episodes, I guess I can't throw out type 2 bipolar as a dx. Otherwise, it's mostly cyclothymia, and because of that I just bought the cyclothymia workbook off amazon. I've seen some of the charts for moods and it looks like a good exercise in self-control.

 

Also, sorry if I comma too much. I tend to do that. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel focused that I have a life goal to work towards, that "this is it! what I was born for!", every single time.

 

I relate to your post, a lot. Especially the ^above^ quote and the task (aka great life decisions) cycle. I do not go into mania land where my thoughts can not be controlled and they are too fast to process. I at times have hypomania (a "lesser form" of mania) where I talk excessively fast, have racing & grandiose thoughts. However I most of the time go through periods of hyperthymia where I do sleep, and most of my actions & thoughts are thought through and controlled, but they are just unrealistically obtainable because I don't see them through or necessarily clearly.

 

So as you can tell from the posts, and the CB as a whole, there are many different types & severities of Bipolar Disorder. And as said, do not let the diagnosis scare you. The diagnosis is just a guideline of symptoms you might fit into (and usually not neatly!) so your symptoms can be treated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found what worked best for me during whatever I was in to at the time, was sales. Perfect fit for me as I get bored quickly any ways so in sales I just keep moving forward. Of course I tried to make money in all those other interests, but never made a dime, ended up losing a lot of money each time buying stuff I needed. What a waste of time and money. I am more careful now :)

 

These days I just do tech support over the phone. 

 

Good Luck with you!

 

omg I just remembered another bomb I did. I bought a pick-up truck and brand new snow plow. I was gonna be a snow plow guy lmfao. I did make a little money one winter but never made any where near what I invested in it. It's amazing how some women stick with their guys no matter how stupid they get lol.

Edited by IndieVisible
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A really good thing to do while you're learning what's going on with your head is to keep a daily mood chart.  There are several good ones online.  I sucked at keeping a journal, but even while crawling along the abyss, I could put an 'x' on a chart.  Since I do spreadsheets all the time at work, I made my own with a one to ten scale up the vertical axis, and the dates along the bottom.  Then I put a mark where my mood was every day.  It gives a great visual of how you're doing and how your meds are working (or not). 

 

Your pdoc will also appreciate it because it's a quick and easy way to see how things are going over time.  It's natural to tell your pdoc about how you've felt during the last few days before your appointment, but a mood chart will show an accurate longer term view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A really good thing to do while you're learning what's going on with your head is to keep a daily mood chart.  There are several good ones online.  I sucked at keeping a journal, but even while crawling along the abyss, I could put an 'x' on a chart.  Since I do spreadsheets all the time at work, I made my own with a one to ten scale up the vertical axis, and the dates along the bottom.  Then I put a mark where my mood was every day.  It gives a great visual of how you're doing and how your meds are working (or not). 

 

Your pdoc will also appreciate it because it's a quick and easy way to see how things are going over time.  It's natural to tell your pdoc about how you've felt during the last few days before your appointment, but a mood chart will show an accurate longer term view.

Yea, I started using moodtracker, and I just have to remember to do it. Got my hands on some reading material in the meantime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE: Just got back from the pdoc and the diagnosis he wrote down is bipolar I. I was caught off-guard and actually had a chuckle before I got on my bike and left. He didn't have a scale to rate the severity of my manic episodes, but apparently starting fights with family, and the degradation of relationships is severe enough. Seroquel has been a help. Couldn't afford XR due to insurance, but I'm anxious to try generic tonight. I feel like I have a list of hobbies that I actually enjoy now too, instead of a 24/7 preoccupation with them.

 

I recently got the cyclothymia workbook for it's good mood tracking tables, and the bipolar disorder survival guide. This reading material along with the help and inspiration y'all have given me will be of great benefit. I'm looking forward to sticking around the forum more, but I feel at ease with this diagnosis now. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad to hear seeing your pdoc was a positive experience for you!

 

Some more good books are in the Crazy Store. I personally like Welcome to the Jungle by Hilary Smith. It's really funny and educational. As well, a good memoir about bipolar disorder is Madness by Marya Hornbacher. 

 

Hope you stick around! :)

Edited by Parapluie
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...