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when did it start for you?


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Maybe this was asked before, but I couldn't find the topic so I'm risking making this anew.

I'd like to ask:

1. How old were you when you were first diagnosed with a mood disorder?

2. How young you were when you first experienced the symptoms of being bipolar - been either depressed, manic, hypomanic etc?

I've been diagnosed at age 21, but looking back with my Pdoc now, it's so *darn* obvious I was hypomanic or mixed at ages 13-15; I think before that I might have leaned a little to the dysthymic side, but nothing to base a diagnosis on. So, how was it like for you? onset on adolescence? later on? childhood? for as long as you can remember?

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I was diagnosed at 47 with depression and at 50 with bipolar.

I can remember hypomania and depression as far back as age 12.  My folks actually sent me to a pdoc at 17, but I wouldn't talk to him so after 3 sessions he called it quits.

Tommy

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Diagnosed with depression by my GP at 18.

Diagnosed BP a few months later when 19.

Looking back I'd say I've experienced symptoms throughout my teens. I never, ever fit in, and I still don't know why, but something's changed in the way I relate to people very recently, since I stabilised out. Don't know if it was directly related to the BP or not, but it's a very recent thing, as is stability.

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I was sixteen when I was diagnosed with depression, or more precisely dysthymia.

When seventeen I was diagnosed with bipolar. After my first intense mania (as in, not hypomania), my doctor was even more sure about it. And more importantly, I was sure. Oh yeah, I was seventeen then too.

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Hi,

There was a topic awhile back, not particularly regarding bipolar: How long to get the right DX?

My answer from there has more detail; am cutting and pasting below. I encourage you to read the other answers there, as well. Interesting.

Re 1st Q: Age 51 (Well, 50 almost 51 at the time).

Re 2nd Q: Symtoms were as far back as I can remember, I'm guessing I was 3 or 4? My mother says I was always a fussy, unhappy baby, so???

=====================================================

I'm hoping my story is atypical.

1) Was 1st dx'd as depressed when I was 14. Had been depressed as far back as I could remember; in fact my pediatrician wanted to refer me to a pdoc when I was about 6, but my parents refused. Got the dx when I insisted on seeing a pdoc when I was 14.

2) By the time I was in my early 20s, I was dx'd with refractory depression.

3) The first time BPII was mentioned was around 1991. But then I got into an open drug study of Effexor, I responded well to Effexor for a few years, so the BPII theory was never pursued.

4) My current doc feels that I am somewhere in the BP spectrum, most likely BPII. This makes more sense to me than anything else thus far. I think I am finally on the road to getting the correct dx. At age 51.

Looking back, I can see there were definite signs of BP from an early age. So, from the time my pediatrician first sensed I was depressed at age 6 till now = 45 years?

I very much hope this is the exception!

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There was a topic awhile back, not particularly regarding bipolar: How long to get the right DX?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for the link, Revlow. Hadn't thought of checking the NOS forum... duh.

I was more curious about the other question, though - not how long it took you to be correctly diagnosed, but what one'd reckon the onset age was. Apparently most people are reporting first manic, hypomanic or mixed episodes in adolescence or adulthood but depression since infancy. This seems to confirm the whole thing about the link between major depression at an early age and bipolar, but I wanted to see if there were some exceptions out there and hear their stories. I'm reading the other topic too, wonder if it makes this one redundant?

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I was more curious about the other question, though - not how long it took you to be correctly diagnosed, but what one'd reckon the onset age was. Apparently most people are reporting first manic, hypomanic or mixed episodes in adolescence or adulthood but depression since infancy. This seems to confirm the whole thing about the link between major depression at an early age and bipolar, but I wanted to see if there were some exceptions out there and hear their stories. I'm reading the other topic too, wonder if it makes this one redundant?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Though I was mainly depressed, I did experience severe irritability from an early age, which is a sign of hypomania. I mean ridiculous irritablility. I can remember being like 4ish, and going nuts if my blankie wasn't just perfect. Lots of other examples. I'll spare you.

Also, from early school age I'd get hairbrained schemes that I wouldn't let go of. Lots of projects I just had to do, and most of the time wouldn't finish. Got worse as I got older.

Maybe this is what you're asking about? I think as Dr. Phelps points out, a lot of these symptoms can happen early. On the other hand, just plain ol' vanilla depression at an early age is in itself a soft sign of bipolarity.

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I was diagnosed officially w/ BP when I was 24 years old.

I grew up in a house with a father who was BP but he was never formally diagnosed, and even if he HAD been, he'd have never taken meds or gone to counseling. No way.

In college I started getting panic attacks and after many months went to the school therapist, who sent me to the campus doctor... who gave me Paxil. I had HORRIBLE side effects on Paxil, including horrible leg tremors, sexual side effects, didn't sleep for a few days, etc. but eventually the panic attacks went away.

However, being only on an anti-depressant made my mania REALLY bad. I did some terrible things, horrible... can't even discuss them really... and went back to the same counselor post-college.

Eventually I ended up with a pdoc who diagnosed me as BP, and after trying every a/d on earth, settled on Zoloft. For the first year I took Zoloft/Lithium. Zyprexa for the first few weeks.

Very long story short... today I'm on Zoloft and Lamictal, and occasionally Seroquel when I feel like I need it. Life is good. VERY good.

Looking back, I could tell that my dad was/is BP, though in his old age he has mellowed out a bit. Very interesting childhood, though. Bittersweet. We are very close, I'm a daddy's girl... but due to the ups/downs of our relationship, it's made all of my relationships with males quite tumultuous to say the least.

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I've just been diagnosed BPII (last week) = age 43

I've been treated for MDD and dysthmia for the past 16 years.

Looking back, I've had symptoms of depression most of my life. 

My first deep depression was in 6th grade ... so age 11 or 12.

Since getting my new label, I've been reflecting on my life

and realize I've had hypomania and mixed states all along. 

It's been odd ... getting used to this new dx. ;)

I was just getting comfortable with the old one. 

Sandy

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I was dxed at 24 but I can remember being 9 and laying down in the wheatfields praying that the combine would run me over.  They dxed me with depression when I was 16 (first attempt), but never got to the bottom of BiPolar until I was 24--I am 31 now-kel

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