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Bipolar Psychosis and Mixed Episodes or Something Else?

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So, I've noticed, as my symptoms are starting to return, that I don't have the typical bipolar episodes. Even for rapid cycling.

I have psychosis all the time, mostly paranoid delusions, a couple delusions of grandeur, general paranoia, and possibly mild hallucinations (seeing shadows,but that could just be common tricks of the eye that I put more meaning into because of my delusions.)

My mood tended to be elevated more than depressed, and even when I self harmed it would usually be because I was overly anxious, or frustrated/angry, and restless that it was a way for me to calm myself temporarily. I've since stopped, although the desire to do so is returning but I haven't acted on it. When I would feel depressed and/or suicidal it was more likely to be a result from anxiety and being overwhelmed. My anxiety, irritability, and delusions would cause me to draw away from friends and family. And then I would feel alone, tired, and depressed. This would either switch between my elevated moods quickly (multiple times a day, or every couple days tops) or they would happen together. I don't remember if I would ever go through periods of time without feeling any sort of mood issues but still being psychotic. There may have been times when I wasn't depressed or elevated, but I would still have anxiety and social awkwardness.

Most of my mood swings (this is what my family tells me, I was a bit out of touch with reality to keep track of it myself. Although I was very good at hiding the paranoia and delusions, not the mood swings though) were switching between extreme irritability and giddiness/excessive happiness.

Another note, is that even when I'm manic (I assume it's mania, unless the diagnosis is wrong and it's something else?) I have no trouble sleeping. I tend to stay up late, but I have no problem sleeping in. I actually have a bit of a problem with oversleeping, and am often unable to wake up before 2pm unless I set multiple alarms. I know a lack of sleep is a tell tale sign of mania, so I'm wondering how common it is to have mania without it.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with rapid cycling/mixed episodes (one psychiatrist said rapid cycling and another said mixed episodes) and put on lamotrigine for the past 3 years. For the most part my mood issues stabilized, with less severe irritability and elevated feelings not as often. My psychotic symptoms didn't completely disappear, but they were less intense, more easily ignored.

I'm just worried that I may have been misdiagnosed. I've heard that schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder with psychosis are sometimes confused with each other, but I don't really know much about the former. And of course I'm not a professional, so I can't make a diagnosis. I just wanted some opinions and maybe some help. Thanks.

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4 minutes ago, ohjustchillin said:

I'm just worried that I may have been misdiagnosed.

Welcome to CB!

I think the best idea is to find another psychiatrist (pdoc) for a second opinion.  Sometimes seeing someone new, with a clean slate, they might see or observe something that your current pdoc has missed.

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4 minutes ago, melissaw72 said:

Welcome to CB!

I think the best idea is to find another psychiatrist (pdoc) for a second opinion.  Sometimes seeing someone new, with a clean slate, they might see or observe something that your current pdoc has missed.

I'm kind of reluctant to do that, just because I just changed psychiatrists sometime last year. I am thinking about starting to go see a therapist though. I don't feel completely comfortable telling these things to my psychiatrist. When I see her it's usually for a handful of minutes where I just say yeah I'm doing fine, and then she hands me the prescription. I have to admit, as stupid as I know it is, I've been very inconsistent taking my meds (200mg of lamotrigine a day) and I haven't gotten about 2 or 3 prescriptions filled. I'm just so bored on it, and I've lost all inspiration for my art, to the point where I've completely changed my career plan. 

Sorry I kind of went a bit off topic there. 

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Taking meds inconsistently also can affect how you feel and are.  If you take your meds as prescribed, you might start to feel more like yourself.  I would also be honest with your pdoc because otherwise s/he can't help you.

I hope you are able to find what you are looking for!


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