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Negative symptoms in bipolar


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My diagnosis is Bipolar 1, but one thing that is apparent (to both me and my pdoc) is that I have negative symptoms, such as avolition and social withdrawal, in any mood (even when (hypo)manic), and I was wondering whether negative symptoms in bipolar are even a thing in the first place.

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The thing is that if this were brain damage from BP, should it not be irreversible, whereas what I've gotten is clearly reversible, because there have been some periods in which it has been worse and some periods in which it has been better. (With changes in antipsychotic medication this has gotten better in recent times.) Also, I have few cognitive symptoms, with my only ones being trouble understanding speech and even whole conversations, which have gotten significantly better with said med changes; rather my primary symptoms are classically negative ones, avolition and social withdrawal, and to a lesser degree anhedonia and alogia (in addition to my positive symptoms).

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I've noticed some negative symptoms as well, mostly trouble organizing my speech and following conversation, when I'm manic (and usually only when I'm feeling some psychotic symptoms with the mania).  Anhedonia, though, is a big one for me and seems kind of ever-present especially when depressed.  I've got some of the anhedonia during my stable moods (like I've been feeling it a bit recently, but that may be just stress due to finals getting to me), but I've experienced the symptoms.  Just mostly during my episodes.

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I was in particular referring to negative symptoms outside mood episodes, as of course things like avolition and anhedonia are usual parts of depression, and things like trouble with attention are frequent parts of mania. E.g. for me avolition has always been part of depression, but I eventually developed it outside of mood episodes too; it is the latter which I am interested in here.

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1 hour ago, Iceberg said:

My doctor calls them "sub-syndromal" meaning it's a mild mood discrepancy that's there but meds won't fix ...typically talking about depression/dysthymia 

For me they are (or shall I say, were) present in any mood, even high moods (I do not usually get the kind of motivation people normally get from high moods), and adding cariprazine has definitely improved them in any mood - I have more motivation even while depressed, and (which may be a bad thing) my high moods look more like typical high moods.

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On 4/29/2017 at 0:27 AM, mcjimjam said:

My last pdoc said no but the brain damage from BP causes similar symptoms to SZ negative ones.

Has this been scientifically proven? Is this reversible and how? What are the negative symptoms?  

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Yuna said:

Has this been scientifically proven? Is this reversible and how? What are the negative symptoms?  

 

 

I believe it's a theory similar to the kindling theory where each episode changes the brain to be...more bipolar I guess. AFAIK when talking about the neuroscience behind bipolar or any mental illness not much is known for sure.

They have found lithium and other BP meds to regrow grey matter, possibly repairing damage caused by the illness. Neuroregeneration? So maybe staying on meds and stable could fix the damage to some extent over time.

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6 hours ago, mcjimjam said:

I believe it's a theory similar to the kindling theory where each episode changes the brain to be...more bipolar I guess. AFAIK when talking about the neuroscience behind bipolar or any mental illness not much is known for sure.

They have found lithium and other BP meds to regrow grey matter, possibly repairing damage caused by the illness. Neuroregeneration? So maybe staying on meds and stable could fix the damage to some extent over time.

I think this is true^ going off meds has made me worse over time. I really wish someone would have told me this before hand. So glad doctors care so much. 

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On 4/28/2017 at 8:38 AM, Closure said:

My diagnosis is Bipolar 1, but one thing that is apparent (to both me and my pdoc) is that I have negative symptoms, such as avolition and social withdrawal, in any mood (even when (hypo)manic), and I was wondering whether negative symptoms in bipolar are even a thing in the first place.

I have those when I'm not in a mood episode, but not when I'm hypo or manic.

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