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Do you ever question your diagnosis?


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This happens to me all the time. I'm honestly not sure if I've ever actually experienced mania despite what doctors say. This whole mess started when I crashed into a really bad depression after having the best summer of my life. The thing is, during that really awesome summer, I don't recall ever having this intense euphoric feeling, having trouble sleeping, or being intensely focused on anything. I did feel pretty awesome, though. While normally I'm incredibly shy, introverted and depressed, I was suddenly really outgoing, being able to talk to strangers without any anxiety. I was also obsessed with public transportation for some reason. I had to ride every single train in the city and go to every stop. I have no idea why that was. Then there was this whole issue of me spending money frivolously like paying $15 for a bunch of freaking guitar picks, buying my friends things, and a plane ticket out west. Early that fall, I started to crash after I became obsessed with my self-image. My mood started to really deteriorate until I hit rock bottom after botching a job interview. It was then that I tried to end my life for the first time by taking an unknown amount of Zoloft. Thankfully I didn't suffer any serious effects from that, but after telling my therapist about it, she had me sent to the ER and I barely managed to avoid the psych unit somehow. After seeing my psychiatrist, she mentioned the possibility of me having bipolar and put me on Lamictal. I kind of just brushed it all off as me being weird that whole time. 

I'm not really sure if that sounds like hypomania. I know about how it's pointless to overthink the whole diagnosis thing, but this is constantly torturing my mind throughout the day and I feel like I need to know whether questioning the diagnosis is a symptom of the disease, or if I've really just been faking it this whole time. I really don't want to be taking all these meds if I really don't have to. I know I'm kind of rambling, sorry, but can anyone else relate?

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My fully blown manias and psychoses rapid cycling through mixed and depressive episodes....my diagnosis of bipolar 1 was not a surprise nor a relief. But I didn't question it. 

It took me a couple of years of therapy to accept my diagnosis and the impact of the disease on my life, health, goals, relationships, etc. It was money well spent. 

My pdoc focuses on treating the symptoms and doesn't focus on labels, although he made sure to properly diagnose me (bipolar 1, GAD, OCD, PTSD, Panic disorder, and Social anxiety disorder) before throwing meds at me. 

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48 minutes ago, getouttamyway.exe said:

My doctor likes to keep the diagnosis in the back of his mind, but manages meds based on your symptoms and not your lable. There is a point when It doesn't really matter if what you are doing is working.

That makes sense. I haven't really thought of it that way. I know for a fact that I've been worse off when ever I miss meds than when I'm on them consistently, and they seem to help with keeping my mood from dipping too much unlike SSRIs which had no effect on me. 

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Yes, mainly when I'm doing well and not having symptoms. Or when I'm very unwell and losing insight. Somewhere in the middle I can tell the diagnosis is right and I need to stay on meds.

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I do sadly, I wonder if it's only the borderline showing it's symptoms or bipolar but I realize that I'm taking meds an that's what "fixed" me I feel more regular.  Because I'm taking something made for bipolar depression  and that the reason why I feel like I can't trust others or I split it's cause of my bpd but it's hard cause they are so intertwined 

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Yeah, definitely.  I think it's normal to question things.  What you describe sounds exactly like hypomania, and even though I've had similar phases (mine are shorter though, I'm one of those rapid cyclers) I still sometimes feel like I must be making it up.  That I was just happy and why should I think that being happy is a symptom?

I do not question that I experience depression.  That is reeeeally obvious.  I have phases where just getting out of bed feels like a marathon and all I see in my future is a black hole of misery, so I can't deny that.  

I think the thing that keeps me okay with my diagnosis is the meds that finally work.  I tried antidepressants in the past, and they were either ineffective or baaadd news.  Mood stabilizers and aaps, on the other hand, seem to work rather splendidly.  I am not totally stable, but I have also made it through half a year without my typical winter misery, start of spring wild phase and subsequent crash back into misery.

Sometimes it helps to think of diagnosis as just a thing that helps you figure out what will help make you better.  Like, maybe I don't actually have bipolar, but the meds that help bipolar seem to help me, so this label is okay.

 

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I questioned it for a while, but after doing trials on/off meds, and the med merry-go-round, I could see the difference the right meds make in my life. Without them, things are pretty horrible. Now, I just see it as another label, and I move on.

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I'm in a constant state of questioning my diagnoses, even when I'm very unstable and symptomatic. Like I'm fairly certain I've downplayed my symptoms a bit when talking to my pdoc because I had convinced myself that I may have been overdramatizing whatever it was that I was experiencing. But when I'm able to logic myself out of the hole, I remind myself that I've never felt more awake and stable than when I was on a mood stabilizer and AAP, and the fact that staying up for 2+ days and covering my body in lipstick isn't normal. 

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I question my diagnosis, but I do not question that I am most definitely mentally ill and will always need medication. My diagnosis is bipolar I (along with OCD traits), but I strongly suspect that I am actually schizoaffective bipolar-type, due to my positive and negative symptoms being found not just during mood episodes but also while not in any mood episode. Yet my pdoc insists that bipolar I can have psychosis in any mood and that I most closely fit a bipolar I dx. That said, all of this is pretty irrelevant, because my pdoc treats me based on my symptoms and not my dx, so in effect I just have mood symptoms and psychotic symptoms, and the dx is just something for the insurance company. However, I still feel the need to have a name for what I have that fits, and bipolar I does not feel like it does.

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23 hours ago, sweetlysinister said:

I do sadly, I wonder if it's only the borderline showing it's symptoms or bipolar but I realize that I'm taking meds an that's what "fixed" me I feel more regular.  Because I'm taking something made for bipolar depression  and that the reason why I feel like I can't trust others or I split it's cause of my bpd but it's hard cause they are so intertwined 

I think that's just our bpd symptoms affecting our judgement of bipolar disorder. maybe.. idk lol

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