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Does this sound like bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? In need of advice!

Maya J

Maya J

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Does this sound like bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? In need of advice!

Hi everyone,

I'm going to the GP soon to discuss things but am interested in getting other people's opinions, people who may recognize what I go through.

I struggle with stress, and everyday I struggle with heavy, persistent thoughts, a lot of negative ones. I exercise and try to eat well, but can't do that every day.

My moods do shift about quite a lot, but there is always a reason, like a certain thought that just drags me down. I can be fine and then it all takes just one thought to just put me in a bad mood for a long time. I used to have mood changes for no apparent reason when I was a teenager, so maybe that's normal, i'm not sure.

I do have a terrible temper and short fuse, especially when internal values are threatened and am not the best at handling moods and stress. Other than that I am a sociable and quite friendly person.

I'm worried about my thoughts, I get confused a lot, because my thoughts can become so speedy and so overwhelming because there are so many of them all tangled together and then I can't decipher any of them. I am easily affected by sugars, caffeine and certain foods so tend to avoid them.

I have had one episode of severe depression in the past, triggered by recreational drugs. I also used to have panic attacks and two nervous breakdowns, one at 19 and one at 22. I felt almost psychotic in both, and sometimes I think my depression was almost psychotic. I can be very irrational and emotional and subjective, and am working on my 'adult' part of the ego, trying to be rational but its hard to be when very stressed. I'm not sure whether this is my will power or chemical imbalance. I am still trying to figure out the extent to which I can control myself and my moods. I search for a sort of closure in this sense.

I don't want to be quick to diagnose, because, I have had a stressful year, and have recently broken up with someone who was quite incompatible and I kept denying that fact. It was so bad that I felt like I was forgetting who I was, and felt empty. It was a co-dependent relationship. I could not handle it, could not think straight, was overly defensive all the time, jealous about things I imagined myself, started to compare myself to others a lot, and I felt I was starting to fragment into tiny pieces. I felt he was not on my wavelength all the time and often felt frustrated with him.

Also, I still don't feel fully established or secure in life. I am still studying. People call me highly imaginative, creative etc, but I don't always let that out creatively. So maybe it is also that. I'm still figuring out what exactly it is that I want to do. But I can be very grandiose, and sometimes my ambitions and thoughts scare me. Sometimes I just want everything, to be everywhere. My curiosity is insatiable, and I have trouble with limits. I'm not all that down to earth, I get called a 'dreamer' and I love to daydream. And sometimes I take so long to process thoughts and go over them until they are 'complete' but that could just be tiredness.

I'm often sick of being too sensitive, especially in this world. Everything gets under my skin.The state of the world and a lot of people's attitudes depresses me and I feel like a lot of things like what i see around me, entertainment, lifestyles etc seem too shallow, and I have to dumb myself down a lot. Or mould myself for a constrictive system/structure, when I feel that I and a lot of others are bigger than that. I felt like I had to limit myself at school, and it didn't do much to help me. It didn't give me the guidance and support that young people need. I somehow think that a lot of people's lifestyles make them sick, and that's why so many people are on medication.

I'm trying to figure this out, because there are so many factors. I've been through a lot recently, but I'm not sure if it is just that. I am more on edge since the break up, but I have also been a moody and nervous person since age 10 and maybe even before I don't know, and have struggled with anxiety even before the relationship. It's just that being in it has made my negative sides come worse. So I'm waiting for time to pass. I'm doing all sorts of things to keep balanced, from tai-chi to running to writing etc.

But it is really like keeping a wild horse on its reins, all day, every day. Thanks for reading this far!
 
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Cody*

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Hiya Maya :),

Well, ironically you sound so much like me :p

Anything I am about to write, please don't take gospel, this is just the view from the outside by a fellow sufferer.

It doesn't sound like you have bi-polar, bi-polar is both extreme ends of the scale so depression up to what's called Mania, bouts of over-activity, extreme happiness, high energy etc. You seem to just have the depressive end of it and if you suffer with a lot of bouts of depression both chemical and event-based, over a prolonged period e.g.: years, persistent depression problem then i'd say you have Manic Depression. To what degree I can't exactly decide because when depression goes 1 step lower, it turns into psychosis but I don't know if you would be a sufferer of that tbh. SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, i.e.: Anti Depressants) will most likely be prescribed for it but what brand will be up to your GP and there are many brands but the most common seem to be Seroxat, Paroxetine and Citalopram. Ususally the starting dose is 10-20mg and if you go on Paroxetine, 40mg is the highest effective dose, anything above that and you will see no difference, that's why i'm stuck on 40mg Parox.

Also you need to sit back and think more. I sat and thought about why my relationships keep breaking down. Just remember, even if you aren't aware of it, emotionally, every bad experience in life or relationships makes you start and slowly build a wall to protect yourself incase the same happens again and every brick you put in that wall is more of a defensive stance the next time until that wall is complete. Then it's a seemingly never ending battle to pull that wall down and let somebody in, so you will be wary and keep them at bay but it's not your fault. Relying on others can have the negative effect of making it worse if/when things go wrong because it's the same person you relied on that you now need help regarding, dangerous ground.

Do you have a history of an anxiety disorder?, like GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) or Social Anxiety/ Social Phobia?
Doctors can prescribe tablets but in regards to Anxiety Disorders there isn't a huge amount available, i've been put on beta blockers for my Anxiety attacks, they're usually used for heart problems etc but help with Anxiety disorders as well.

Hope this helps :)
 
Maya J

Maya J

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Thanks for your help :)

Reading what you wrote, I may have an anxiety disorder, because I didn't do much about it when I was younger. Been on zoloft in the past but didn't want to become dependent. I was just wondering because my father is bipolar and I heard it was genetic. He has rages like I do too.

You're right about analyzing relationships, and assessing the patterns. Everything is linked, generally.

Is paranoia part of all this? maybe psychotherapy is all someone needs sometimes!
 
Cody*

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Does this sound like bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? In need of advice!

By what you originally wrote I would say manic depression and anxiety but you will need to pinpoint what anxiety it is. GAD is when you get anxious in a multitude of different situations, not just necessarily one, hence 'generalised' anxiety disorder, other will be specific like social anxiety, primarily getting anxious in social situations or situations you have to be around people in certain circumstances. Sit and think what makes you anxious and you will be able to pinpoint it.

In terms of bi-polar being hereditary, you won't necessarily get it because it runs in the family, I got most of the disorders that run in mine but there is history of schizophrenia but I don't have it or any signs of it so you may well have escaped the mania end of the bi-polar scale and ended up with just the depression side, changing bi-polar to manic depression.
Anger disorders aren't really linked to the psychosis part of bi-polar, psychosis is more hallucinations etc than anger. You may well have from what I can tell:
Manic depression
Anxiety
Anger

I say that because those are 3 of my 5 disorders.


I'm athiest, I don't celebrate Christmas but thank you for the sentiment :)
 
Cody*

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Does this sound like bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? In need of advice!

PS: paranoia can be confused with anxiousness and I'm still, after 10+ years trying to get to the bottom of whether mine is anxiety, paranoia or both but still no luck. ATM my experiences point toward anxiety.
Also anti-anxiety tabs aren't addictive so there is no way of getting reliant there, the only way to really get reliant on meds is to become dependant mentally, believe in your mind that you can come off'f them and that they're the only way to live but you most likely be started on the road to recovery with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), designed to change the way you think and perceive yourself, surrounding and the people around you. I'm on this and at stage 2 now of 3.
 
pepecat

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so you may well have escaped the mania end of the bi-polar scale and ended up with just the depression side, changing bi-polar to manic depression.
Um.... Manic depression and bipolar are the same thing.
You sure you don't mean major/clinical depression?

And I'd be VERY wary of diagnosing someone on the basis of a couple of posts on here. Only a gp or, more usually, a psychiatrist should diagnose mental health stuff. It's not for us on here to do that on very limited information.
 
Maya J

Maya J

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You're right pepecat.
Really I just want to hear about other people's experiences, those which are similar to mine!
 
Cody*

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Does this sound like bipolar disorder or cyclothymia? In need of advice!

Yeah clinical, my bad.

Hence why I put in my original post:

"Anything I am about to write, please don't take gospel. This is just the view from the outside by a fellow sufferer"

I gave my opinion based on my experiences which was what the O/P asked for. I'm in no way a medical professional.
 
calypso

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Hiya honey and I am sorry you have had such a bad time lately. No-one on here can diagnose anyone, even if they were a doctor they couldn't. What you describe is a really stressful time and feeling overwhelmed by it. Depression can make anyone feel as above.

Sometimes depression isn't understood. It is far more complex than just feeling really low. You can feel psychotic, have fleeting delusions and terrible fear with it. These are all within the gambit of depression, believe it or not. Having racing thoughts is also within this, as anxiety almost always accompanies it too. We feel so alien to our normal selves, we feel we are "going mad". And that is terrifying.

But I would suggest you tease apart all the factors going on in your life and take them one at time. Don't try to keep them all in one huge problem. You know the old adage, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time". Often though people can't do this on their own, so I would suggest, if you agree, asking for therapy (docs can offer this) and perhaps suggest you ask about some meds. But I don't believe that meds are the answer for a lot of problems, just a support only. I am sure that many of us don't need cocktails all their life - and I am diagnosed bipolar.

Oh just to add, Manic depression is the old fashioned word for bipolar, they are the same thing. There are classed to be 3 types, but no-one stays in one area only, and these are hotly contested still. However, it would take a lot more than you have described to have any such diagnosis in my opinion - but as I said, I can't diagnose on here, I don't know you or your life.

Lots of HUGS and I hope things improve soon. Sorry to write so much. xxx
 
rasselas.redux

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Oh just to add, Manic depression is the old fashioned word for bipolar, they are the same thing. There are classed to be 3 types, but no-one stays in one area only, and these are hotly contested still.
Just to clarify, the criteria for "bipolaren affective storung" as classified by the originator of the word Bipolar Affective Disorder, the German Nazi psychiatrist, Dr Karl Leonhard, and adopted by psychiatric systems in eastern Europe and other ex-communist states, differs completely from the classification system of the American Psychiatric Association, but who stole the word and invented Bipolar Type 2 in 1980.

Both of these radically differ from models in the past, including follie circulaire and manic depression, so-called.

This is the 21st C. and Bipolar is the non-illness "de monde".
 
loulabelle

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Apparently i am incorrect and must stand out of the next round and not press my buzzer so i wont bother with replying in future

Hope u feel better soon
 
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calypso

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Can we stay on topic and asner the OPs needs please. Don't derail her thread with a semantic debate. Please remember she is in distress.
 
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