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Bipolar with little depression?


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I'm going to precede this by saying that this may partially be because I forgot about a lot of the depressive episodes that I had, as I tend to forget how something feels and sometimes entirely about it once it's over because what's life without self doubt. But this is something I've been curious about and I've been wanting to start a thread asking about others' experiences and if they're similar to mine.

So I'm diagnosed with bipolar 1 and something I noticed is that I don't feel I go into major depression all that often. I can recall one especially bad depressive episode, something that was triggered directly by the grief of losing my grandmother when I was 19, but other than that I don't feel as if I've experienced major depressive episodes much. I've definitely experienced depression, but it's mostly felt like a dysthymic level of it. I'm still able to function okay. I don't often have the energy to do schoolwork and I feel as if I need more sleep than usual, as well as forgetting to eat, but I usually remember to shower every day and can usually move around and get myself dressed and go out to do things. I just feel extremely bluh, not particularly low at all. And when I do feel especially low, I feel my behavior and symptoms more closely resemble mixed episodes. I often have these rapid fire thoughts, my mind feels like it's going too fast for my body, I can't fall asleep because I'm so restless and awake even though I want more than anything to sleep, I'm prone to impulsive decisions, and have some mild grandiosity (though during my mixed episodes, I'm somehow the best and worst person ever). Most of my suicidality has been confined to my mixed episodes as well, with the only ones during dysthymic-type/more purely depressive times (excluding the depressive episode after losing my grandmother) have been fleeting, "the world would be better off without me" thoughts that don't usually involve self harm or desire to self harm.

On the other hand, I've been told by my pdoc that I've definitely reached full mania, as I've had some experience with psychosis in mania, so that's where my type 1 diagnosis comes from.

Does anyone have experiences like this, or know anyone whose bipolar (especially type 1) experience isn't tied heavily to major depressive episodes? I've just seen so many people talk about their really deep depressive episodes on here and I kind of feel really alone for not so much experiencing those.

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Personally, I was mainly depressed before I was correctly diagnosed. Since a med change, I'm rarely depressed but can tip into hypomania or mania. So sometimes it's med related as to what you experience. And your depression still doesn't sound pleasant so no need to feel "less than", if that's what you're saying. Both ends of the spectrum are bad, just because you don't go to the end extreme of one or the other doesn't discount your experience of MI. My manic times have been disruptive and had consequences, but I never reached the extremes some do. Doesn't mean I don't fit the criteria. People are different even year to year, too.    And yes my diagnosis is bipolar 1. In the last 10 years I have not had any more major depressions , and I'm glad for that. So you're not alone, not everyone hits equal highs and lows. 

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It really is the full-blown mania that gets you the bipolar l diagnosis. I'm bipolar l, and I can relate to your experiences with depression. I've had full-blown, dark, months-long impenetrable depressions, but I've also had what you're describing. I get awful mixed episodes. They're a special flavor of depression hell.

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