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Hello! Anybody feel like comparing notes?

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Ima Ask Questions

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I don't suppose anybody might feel like answering some questions about their experiences with Bipolar Disorder? Long story short, I am diagnosed with "probably the Type II or III form of BD" (as the specialist put it), as well as other comborbid disorders / difficulties. Psychology has come a long way since the time of my diagnosis and, for reasons too windy to elaborate here, I am trying to figure out whether I may have been misdiagnosed. I'm being re-evaluated in a few weeks, so thought maybe it could help asking a community about specific symptoms to see how mine compare.
 
OmniscientNihilist

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I don't suppose anybody might feel like answering some questions about their experiences with Bipolar Disorder? Long story short, I am diagnosed with "probably the Type II or III form of BD" (as the specialist put it), as well as other comborbid disorders / difficulties. Psychology has come a long way since the time of my diagnosis and, for reasons too windy to elaborate here, I am trying to figure out whether I may have been misdiagnosed. I'm being re-evaluated in a few weeks, so thought maybe it could help asking a community about specific symptoms to see how mine compare.
bipolar is mainly the serotonin going too high and or too low. and being either too easily triggered by external events into that, or doing it with no triggers at all

high serotonin is:
- more pleausure
- more confidence
- more power
- more intelligence
- more wit
- more energy
- more talking
- more happy
- faster talking
- less sleep

feeling like someone injected you with cocaine or ecstacy

low serotonin is the opposite
- feeling tired alot
- feeling sluggish
- more suffering
- crying more easily
- more disinterest in the world
- not wanting to talk or socialize
- feeling weak
- trouble understanding more complex things
- feeling more anti social or dark
etc...
 
JessisMe

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I don't suppose anybody might feel like answering some questions about their experiences with Bipolar Disorder? Long story short, I am diagnosed with "probably the Type II or III form of BD" (as the specialist put it), as well as other comborbid disorders / difficulties. Psychology has come a long way since the time of my diagnosis and, for reasons too windy to elaborate here, I am trying to figure out whether I may have been misdiagnosed. I'm being re-evaluated in a few weeks, so thought maybe it could help asking a community about specific symptoms to see how mine compare.
Sure, shoot.
 
Ghost_Owl

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Sure, go right ahead. I would also like to welcome you to the forum.
 
I

Ima Ask Questions

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Thank you so much, both of you, for offering input, and also for the welcome! Bit of context: although many of my symptoms are certainly typical to bipolar, they potentially could be the combined symptoms of other disorders that are frequently confused with BD. If this were the case, it would explain why other of my symptoms are a bit less typical in BD, like how rapid my cycling is and the fact that 15 years worth of trying various medications has had limited effect. There is of course the possibility that my other disorders in themselves could limit the medication's effectiveness. So I'd like to ask about what sorty of difficulty you may have with short-term and long term memory, feelings of disorientation and emotional lability. Also, I hear BD folk can feel the onset of a manic episode. This has never been my case. I get the impression my mania is fairly mild, so maybe this is why its onset isn't detectable (?).
For what it is worth, I am also diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, and these are also associated to varying degrees with the symptoms I described. Since I have certain symptoms that are sometimes found in BP, but are more typically associated with trauma (severe emotional lability, a glitchy memory, and night terrors), I'm being re-evaluated to see if I have BD plus another trauma-related disorder, or if I don't even have BD -- but the combination of dyslexia, ADHD and trauma disorder have enough symptom overlap to look just like BD. I tend to wonder if these types of symptoms are not actually caused by the BD itself, but indirectly because people with BD (any disorder, really) are more vulnerable to traumatic experiences in the first place. Sorry this is so long, I find it hard explaining complicated things succinctly!
So, in a nutshell, could you describe what, if any, sort of difficulties you have with long and / or short-term memory, with disorientation, and with extreme emotional lability. I only know a couple of people with BD (type II, roughly like my type), and their experiences with these things diverge from bit from mine. I hope all that makes sense!
Thanks again!
 
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Ima Ask Questions

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bipolar is mainly the serotonin going too high and or too low. and being either too easily triggered by external events into that, or doing it with no triggers at all

high serotonin is:
- more pleausure
- more confidence
- more power
- more intelligence
- more wit
- more energy
- more talking
- more happy
- faster talking
- less sleep

feeling like someone injected you with cocaine or ecstacy

low serotonin is the opposite
- feeling tired alot
- feeling sluggish
- more suffering
- crying more easily
- more disinterest in the world
- not wanting to talk or socialize
- feeling weak
- trouble understanding more complex things
- feeling more anti social or dark
etc...
Thank you very much for this, I really appreciate your input! There is another message I've written below to the other people who responded, which I worry might be just sitting there, as a response to my response, rather than going out to their inboxes as a reply. Because I am rubbish with contooter forum thingees. (sigh!) Just if you want to see what I wrote below....
 
Ghost_Owl

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Thank you so much, both of you, for offering input, and also for the welcome! Bit of context: although many of my symptoms are certainly typical to bipolar, they potentially could be the combined symptoms of other disorders that are frequently confused with BD. If this were the case, it would explain why other of my symptoms are a bit less typical in BD, like how rapid my cycling is and the fact that 15 years worth of trying various medications has had limited effect. There is of course the possibility that my other disorders in themselves could limit the medication's effectiveness. So I'd like to ask about what sorty of difficulty you may have with short-term and long term memory, feelings of disorientation and emotional lability. Also, I hear BD folk can feel the onset of a manic episode. This has never been my case. I get the impression my mania is fairly mild, so maybe this is why its onset isn't detectable (?).
For what it is worth, I am also diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, and these are also associated to varying degrees with the symptoms I described. Since I have certain symptoms that are sometimes found in BP, but are more typically associated with trauma (severe emotional lability, a glitchy memory, and night terrors), I'm being re-evaluated to see if I have BD plus another trauma-related disorder, or if I don't even have BD -- but the combination of dyslexia, ADHD and trauma disorder have enough symptom overlap to look just like BD. I tend to wonder if these types of symptoms are not actually caused by the BD itself, but indirectly because people with BD (any disorder, really) are more vulnerable to traumatic experiences in the first place. Sorry this is so long, I find it hard explaining complicated things succinctly!
So, in a nutshell, could you describe what, if any, sort of difficulties you have with long and / or short-term memory, with disorientation, and with extreme emotional lability. I only know a couple of people with BD (type II, roughly like my type), and their experiences with these things diverge from bit from mine. I hope all that makes sense!
Thanks again!

Sorry for the slowness of my response. My sleeping has been terrible of late.

Well, that is a lot of potential overlap. Sadly there are no direct tests available that would give you a clear cut answer. Unlike say diabetes. All professionals can do is go on your self-report. With overlap to this extent, it makes it very difficult to separate one thing from another.

Rapid cycling can be its own classification within the bipolar spectrum. So it is worth analysing just how frequent these cycles are? What they consist of?

Do you at all keep a mood journal or make use of any kind of mood tracker? These tools can be invaluable in better understanding what is going on. Then can be used to relay that to your care professionals.

My memory has got progressively worse. It is hypothesised that depressive and manic episodes can damage brain matter. This might be partially responsible for creating memory defects. But memory and concentration go hand in hand. So could be an element of that too. When I am going more manic my concentration goes more scattered and for that reason my memory also suffers.

Certain medications also can create short term memory issues. Also being on an anti psychotic can further add to this. So it is fair to say I have a bad short term memory. My long term memory seems fine.

Sometimes I can feel a manic episode building up. There are signs I am vigilant for. For me its a sense of restlessness and feeling unsettled like there is something that must be done. Even though I don't know what that thing is. Also noises start to bother me. Steadily I get more irritable at petty things.

At other times I am just swept up in it, too fixated on something creative to notice I have gone down the rabbit hole.

As for disorientation, it more feels like being drunk at times. Usually within mania when everything is flowing around me. The most disorientating part is coming out of it and trying to grab ahold of what specific messes I have made and what I may have said. The come down after a bit of bender. Somewhat fragmented memories some of it is clear and some of it is vague syrup. Depression hits hard then.

Night terrors are kinda common in bipolar, but also in trauma, so again you are back to the problem of overlap.

I think unfortunately you will have to dig through things with your professionals and experiment. Fifteen years is a long time already. Overlapping diagnosis can cause issues in providing medication something you seem aware of. I am also vaguely aware that some drugs given to people with ADHD can actually create the complete opposite effect entirely. Which adds a new level of complexity.

I hope though in time you can get your answers. If you have further questions I don't mind answering. You just may have to be a bit patient with me.

Take care.
 
I

Ima Ask Questions

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Hey, no need ever to apologise! It is I who owes a huge thanks for such effort in this response! Anyway, I think it was pretty quick. I see my paragraphs didn't indent. Thanks for powering your eyeballs through all that. Guess I'll double spacie instead, as you did.

This message here is primarily more of a response to yours but, of course, feel free yourself to reply, ask questions, or whatever. I wish it were easier to explain things without writing a huge novel but, alas, this is truly a skill I don't have. When it comes to informal writing, it seems impossible to get everything lined up just right so we're all precisely on the same page, you know?

I'm currently compiling a list for my evaluation, outlining my intellectual, physical and emotional difficulties, to see if this helps highlight things my psych and I haven't explored or, for that matter, rule out other things. That's why I thought I'd compare notes with other people to see if that shed any light on things. To that end, your message made me recognise ways I may have been taking things for granted, leaving out crucial bits of info. So thanks for writing!

Understanding disorders is a full-time job in itself. The last couple of years have been spent investigating all disorders (both mood and personality disorders) as much as possible, to help untangle nature and nurture factors. This exporation here started from a combination of not understanding why friends with the same overlapping disorders do not have some my difficulties, and discovering how early trauma can damage your brain, and then going off my bipolar meds. This decision was not made lightly, so you know. I'd never encourage it. I consulted my psych about this, explaining the side effects had a worse emotional impact than the manic symptoms, and I still take medication for the depression anyway. He supports this decision. It's been about a year and a half, and there are no noticeable changes in my mood. This doesn't mean I don't have BD, but does support my idea that my BD might be more like cyclothymia, and also my list of reasons for considering that I might not have BD.

It is a major issue that I could have a trauma-related disorder with serious symptoms that mimic BD enough to fool experts. How many of us spend our entire lives not getting the help we need, even despite having made real, proactive effort -- our quality of life severely impacted by being on the wrong medication, not learning important coping skills for employment, etc. This stuff seriously should be taught in schools! People are still confusing Schizophrenia with Disossiative Identity Disorder, reduce BD to "bein' real happy sometimes but super sad other times", and don't even know what major / unipolar depression is at all. While only a tiny sliver of the population has BD, if you combine all of the disorders, suddenly a HUGE chunk of the population is affected and really struggling -- yet we as a society know so little. How absuredly destructive! To cope with these frustrations, I'm thinking about making a comic about my experiences. Not because I'm special, but precisely because I am not.

Well, thanks again. You're great!
 
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