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Cyclical depression

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Emmacos

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Hi all, I’m new on here and really wanted some help with regard to my partner. He seems to suffer with bouts of low mood (depression) where for four months he is very high energy and then for four months he suffers with very low energy and just struggles to do much or have any enthusiasm for anything that he would usually enjoy.

He’s been told by his doctor that he doesn’t have bipolar disorder and any medication he has tried just doesn’t help, in fact it makes him feel worse, quite sick.

Any idea what could be going on here??
Many thanks.
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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I'm surprised he wasn't diagnosed with having bipolar disorder. Maybe he should get a second opinion from another psychiatrist. Maybe that's why the meds he was prescribed don't help him and actually make him feel worse.

I have bipolar depression. Could it be that instead? I take Latuda for it. Read the information on the Latuda website to see if that makes more sense for what he's dealing with.
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Hi Emmacos.
When you say about low energy spells and high energy spells, what kind of things does he do, or not do, at these times?
 
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Emmacos

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When he’s having a ‘high energy’ period he’s just 100mph, up at 6am playing his guitar, juggling many plates, very enthusiastic, gets things done, funny, interested, can get a little manic but always in control, great to be around, very charismatic, everyone’s mate... when he’s ’low mood’ he sleeps in and loses interest in everything that he gets enjoyment out of when he’s feeling good, goes through the motions, sleeps a lot, no enthusiasm for anything.
He’s never nasty, there’s just a definite change in him.
 
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Mistral

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Usually doctors will discuss the matter next of kin or people who are caring for their patients. Have you managed to speak to his doctor about his care?
 
Wishbone

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Hmm, interesting. And his doctor that said he wasn't Bipolar, was this a GP or a psychiatrist?
 
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Emmacos

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Usually doctors will discuss the matter next of kin or people who are caring for their patients. Have you managed to speak to his doctor about his care?
I haven’t no, I wouldn’t like to go behind his back to be honest
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

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Sorry for the billion questions but one more: was he on medication when he saw the psychiatrists and if so which ones? And they said what he didn't have, did they say what they thought he did have?
 
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Mistral

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I haven’t no, I wouldn’t like to go behind his back to be honest
I understand that. Sometimes the doctors will consult the carer of the patient with the patient's permission. That might be in the more severe cases though. This was done when I cared for my brother. It was also done when I was suffering from severe depression myself. Another brother of mine, who lived several hundred miles away and I say not very often, took it upon himself to ring up my doctor. i was very annoyed, but with people close to me, and were affected by my behaviour I did not mind
 
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Mistral

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It is important to realise that people with depression need more care than usual. This often seems unfair to many people who are in relationships or they simply can struggle financially with giving the care or with fitting it in with other activities or responsibilities. Hence you have to be in a good place yourself. It is often compared to whenever an aeroplane is in trouble they recommend that adults put on their oxygen masks first before fitting their baby's mask
 
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Emmacos

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Sorry for the billion questions but one more: was he on medication when he saw the psychiatrists and if so which ones? And they said what he didn't have, did they say what they thought he did have?
His doctor tried him on different meds... sertraline, Prozac, the usual and a psychiatrist he paid privately to see tried him on a different type Venlafaxine... all made him feel quite nauseous and didn’t help. He did stay on them for a few weeks to give them a good chance. Everyone he has seen has said he isn’t bipolar and that he may just be medication intolerant. He’s now down for a course of Counselling with Minds Matter
 
Wishbone

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If he's having regular prolonged spells of being up and down though, that suggests something else, to me at least. One thing you've got to watch out for is being assessed whilst on medication because they obviously change you. For example, you can be depressed and take something like Venlafaxine and it takes a little while to kick in. When it does you can present with more of a mixed state or rapid cycling, with moods going all over the place, but the problem with this is that many psyches lazily look more towards something like Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), not taking into account the effects of the medication on the person.
I've been in that situation and it's the most mixed up confusing state to be in and you do look and feel like an emotional wreck, but it's only because the meds are putting you through the mill. Being assessed when 'clean' of meds can paint a clearer picture sometimes. Alternatively, that same situation as I just described, being assessed much later, can also be more obvious to those assessing as you may have such a strong reaction to the meds that it is unmistakable.
A lot of this is timing, unfortunately, and I reckon that's at least part of why it can take so long to be diagnosed; they have to be sure before handing out a severe mental illness diagnosis.
 
MeAndMyDepression

MeAndMyDepression

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His doctor tried him on different meds... sertraline, Prozac, the usual and a psychiatrist he paid privately to see tried him on a different type Venlafaxine... all made him feel quite nauseous and didn’t help. He did stay on them for a few weeks to give them a good chance. Everyone he has seen has said he isn’t bipolar and that he may just be medication intolerant. He’s now down for a course of Counselling with Minds Matter
Maybe he needed to stay on the meds longer than a few weeks. Usually it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the meds to kick in, at least that's what it takes for antidepressants to kick in. "Treatment-resistant" is most likely the more appropriate term to be used rather than "medication intolerant." What diagnosis was he given???
 
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