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okay, so the last time i saw my pdoc, i asked what my OFFICIAL diagnosis was, since no one ever bothered to tell me. he said i was listed as a type II (I believe) bipolar disorder. when i asked him to explain this, he said that it merely meant i have depressive episodes tempered by moments or moods of hypomania. now, my problem is this: i've never felt manic in my life. as far as i know, anyways. based on my understanding of what mania is, i'm certainly not manic, not ever. why the diagnosis, then? i don't get it. i've certainly never felt hyper in my pdoc's office, so what is he basing the BPII diagnosis on? anyone else have a similar quandry?

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Sk8Punk49:

Yes, absolutely. Been there. Here's the thing: "moments or moods of hypomania" don't necessarily look like mania. It might be more "irritable" or "anxious". I know that ncc1701 posted something good on this today (at least I think it was ncc1701), but I can't find it now.

Here is an excellent site to learn about BPII: Mood swings without "manic" episodes: Bipolar II -- more than plain depression, but never delusional or psychotic. Read through it, you'll learn a lot. Be sure to look at the list of "soft signs" of bipolarity on the "Diagnosis" page.

Best wishes!

revlow

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I was misdiagnosed for a long time as having depression.  The symptoms they were basing this on was mostly irritability and, well, bitchiness and rages followed by periods of more typical depression symptoms (sadness, guilt, etc.)  The symptoms of irritability and rages were not from depression at all.  They were, in fact, from hypomania.  The "ups" of BPII aren't full blown manias, and they don't even necessarily have to be good, happy things.

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Jenni,

Ditto for me.  I have been dx'd with Major Depressive disorder for many, many years, but I wish I could have a dollar for each moment I've wasted with being crabby, bitchy, irritable and overwhelmed.  I didn't start mood stabilizers until last month.  What a life changing event for me.  I can't believe that this must be what "normal" people feel like!

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ditto on what everyone said.

mania, or hypomania, does NOT necessarily mean happy.  it can be rage and out of control behavior.  it's like when i want to kill everyone for no particular reason and just have to play a video game or something to calm down.

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Sometimes when I'm out shopping, I think it's a damn good thing I don't own a machine gun, because I'd shoot everyone in my way (I really wouldn't, but it's just a fantasy)!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

after buying a few hundred dollars worth of stuff with money i don't have, hell yeah!

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Psycheducation.org is another great site with great info about various forms of BP disorder.  Definitely read up on the disorder, starting with this site.  Getting smart at recognizing symptoms will let you know what's important to report to your pdoc.

Chances are that during your intake with him he asked tons of diagnostic questions that you may have mistaken for him just trying to get to know you.  Pdoc don't base their diagnosis on how you look when they see you.  Sure, if you're disheveled and slumped and smelly and crying they might suspect that you're despressed.  But many of us have learned to act "normal" in order to get by in the world.  We're used to how we feel.  In fact some of us get a little attached to our hypomania or mania if it's a good feeling (in my case, hypomania or mania is always dysphoric, so I don't miss it at all). 

Anyhow, my personal view is that if meds work, who cares what the diagnosis is?  The only thing a diagnosis does is help the pdoc narrow down the med choices from thousands to dozens.  And if the meds don't work, he will re-evaluate things and see if he was wrong.

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Sometimes when I'm out shopping, I think it's a damn good thing I don't own a machine gun, because I'd shoot everyone in my way (I really wouldn't, but it's just a fantasy)!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes :> I understand that feeling.

Question, though, off this topic, perhaps? I have terrible anxiety issues...flight/fight pops up at the most inopportune moments, especially among crowds. Doc likes social anxiety for it; it was never a MAJOR issue before. Reading some of this, I wonder if it's just being hypomanic?

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Question, though, off this topic, perhaps? I have terrible anxiety issues...flight/fight pops up at the most inopportune moments, especially among crowds. Doc likes social anxiety for it; it was never a MAJOR issue before. Reading some of this, I wonder if it's just being hypomanic?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't know about social anxiety versus hypomanic.  I have had episodes of the flight/fight thing popping up, but have had no other problems or symptoms of social anxiety - just BPII symptoms.  My flight/fight issues come in the form of I don't want people to look at me, and I don't want to have to talk to people, as in ordering food from a fast food place, buying something in a store and talking to the cashier, etc., and don't want other people in the store to look at me. Overwhelmed by that, if that makes sense.

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I can only agree about what the others said: hypomania is very different from mania.

I was first diagnosed with Bipolar II and was very surprised. "What?! I don't get manic!" but then I realized my short moments of extreme hyperactivity was in fact hypomanias.

And then came the real manias... But that's another story.

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" I have terrible anxiety issues...flight/fight pops up at the most inopportune moments, especially among crowds......Reading some of this, I wonder if it's just being hypomanic?"

My husband's mania seems to have mutated into anxiety. He has never had any social issues and is a very friendly, outgoing guy. But after his first depressive episode (after years of mania & hypomania only), his mania side comes out more like panic attacks. So...in your case...you could be on to something.

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