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psychosis outside of severe mood episode?


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I'm wondering if anyone here with bipolar has experienced psychosis outside of a major diagnosable mood episode (mania or depression or mixed episode). If yes, what did your doctor say about it, if you asked them?

My doctors aren't calling the mood instability I just went through an "episode," but during it I did have delusional experiences and hallucinations at times. Is that normal for bipolar to have symptoms that don't add up to a full episode and also have psychosis? I mean, I was definitely having mood lability at the time, so maybe that's why my experiences fall under "bipolar" and not "schizoaffective." But I was under the impression that psychosis only happened in bipolar when an episode is very severe. What I just went through was not severe at all. I was having mild ups and downs. I'm confused.

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I meet the diagnostic criteria for SZA but my pdoc feels I think more like a bipolar person, so that remains my working dx (though he wouldn't argue with someone who said I was SZA).  But DSM diagnoses are just clusters of symptoms anyways, so I try not to fuss.

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I've experienced it outside of a major mood episode. I feel like it happens when I'm having a lot of anxiety. I usually start experiencing hallucinations and paranoia particularly related to things that scare me. If I can calm down the anxiety it stops. 

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9 hours ago, Gearhead said:

I'm curious, Aura, about how you're sleeping. It takes surprisingly little sleep deprivation to make you hallucinate sometimes.

I don't remember how much I was sleeping. I kept drugging myself to sleep because I couldn't stand being conscious, then I was put on very sedating meds that knocked me out in hospital.

These days I'm sleeping better and the delusions are gone for now. Maybe you are right and sleep deprivation was the cause.

ETA: I tend to have more auditory hallucinations when I oversleep rather than under sleep. Don't know why.

Edited by aura
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