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Revealing more and more....now I may be bipolar II

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So even though I've been suicidal and severely depressed since age 11 (probably earlier, just can't remember), described as an "extremely moody and sensitive child" since 1st grade and riddled with uncontrollable anxiety since high school, I only sought help within the past year because I felt I didn't deserve help, or that my condition didn't warrant help. 

Fast forward through the obvious diagnosis of dysthymia due to the length of my depression and GAD because of the anxiety.  The more I reveal about my moods, reckless behavior, rollercoaster moods, spending sprees, hypersexuality on and off, my docs think I may be bipolar.  I already knew I was BPD, but now I'm labeled as bipolar.  To get to the point, what were your first steps once you got this diagnosis??  I'm on Effexor, Zoloft, Xanax (very rarely prn), and Lunesta....do you think I could benefit from a mood stabilizer???  I mean, I respond to Effexor so I thought that kind of automatically ruled out bipolar........???

I'm dumb,  please inform me...... ;)

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When I got the dx, I became aware of it after the steps were already in process, trials on mood stabilizers. Me to pdoc: "wait a sec...you think I'm bipolar, don't you?" I found my current set pretty much right away.

Could you benefit from a mood stabilizer? Well, are you unhappy with what you're on now? And why? If you're doing well, I wouldn't mess with it. If you're still mood-swinging, then yes, an AC might be worth a try. Some BPD's also do well with an AP. I would focus on your symptoms instead of labels.


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Yes, people who are bipolar generally can benefit from a mood stabilizer.

A really good place to start to learn more about BP is here: Mood swings without "manic" episodes: Bipolar II - more than plain depression, but never delusional or psychotic. This has a great amount of information, goes into detail about the entire spectrum of bipolar disorder, and at the same time is in plain English. Even though it is primarily about BPII, you'll learn a lot about the entire BP disorder. Have any of the docs said what type they think you are?

One of what's called the "soft signs" of bipolarity is when the first episode of major depression occurred before age 26 (some experts say before age 20, a few before age 18; most likely, the younger you were at the first episode, the more it is that bipolar disorder, not "unipolar", was the basis for that episode).

I'm sure you'll get some more (hopefully better) responses. Just wanted to give you what I could.

Best wishes,


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Heya robotlove,

I've also been off my nut since 11yo.

In my 20s I had some trials of Paxil and Prozac which were like water.

Finally 5 months ago (around my 32nd birthday) I too revealed the mixed-manic side of things that I hadn't mentioned to my FP before, because I bloody well knew I was bipolar and sure as hell didn't want to be.  I just wanted to be a dysthymic weirdo.

While waiting for my psych consult, my FP and I decided to try a mood stabilizer, largely because of my previous non-response to antidepressants.

In fact, if someone with major depression isn't responding to antidepressants, stabilizers are often used to help.

For me, it was like the freaking sun came out.

Then I went a little obsessive, bought a tonne of books, joined a bunch of discussion groups, and got addicted to CrazyBoards.

If you respond well to antidepressants, it doesn't mean you're not bipolar, especially if you've had any of those "high" episodes while on the medication.

Could you benefit from a mood stabilizer?  Maybe, and don't be surprised if your docs bring it up as a possibility.

If your moods though are basically stable on your current cocktail, your docs might not mess with what's working.

(Also BP and borderline -- what a nasty word; I like the idea of changing it to "self-identity disorder" that was brought up at a conference -- run together quite a bit, so we tend to look for one when the other is present.)

*That* was a very long-winded non-answer eh?

Hang around the boards a bit, and read what others are dealing with.  This has helped me tremendously and is the basis for my addiction.

And here's my usual caveat:  It helps often to be slotted into a box, to have a name for the thing that's wrecking you.  But the specifics of the diagnosis are *not* the most important thing.  It's about what works to make you better.


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You know, I've struggled with diagnoses my whole life.  I was always the problem child; temper tantrums, strong willed, argumentative...etc...but I was also at times very engaging and entertaining.  Then crashed somewhere in my early 20's.  Now I'm 43 and am just now getting a correct diagnosis.  It's really not a big deal -- what the HUGE deal is is how much better I feel since I"m on the right mix of drugs.  I take Cymbalta and Lamictal.  I have never felt this stable in my whole life.  They can call it whatever they want; I don't care.  I don't have to tell anyone if I don't want to, I just care about how I feel!

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I know it sucks to get a diagnosis you don't really want. Hey, who wants to be labeled as crazy anyways? But getting a diagnosis is a necessity in getting the right treatment and eventually to feel better. Do you see yourself when you read about BP?? I sure didn't. I just thought that it was normal to be hyperactive everonce in a while and climb the sofa and start tickling my dad. Maybe it is, but then I had my first full-blown mania and I realized that my pdoc was right.

Maybe you want to do a bit of reading about bipolar. I'm not from US, so I really don't know any good english books, but I'm sure someone else here could recommend something. As someone said, the first step to accepting the diagnosis is probalby denial. Then slooowly comes the acceptance. It takes time and it's not easy. I still have these moment where I think I'm completely "normal" (hate that

word btw) and feel like going off all of my meds. But things will get better eventually, trust me.

Best wishes.

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