• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

How Do You Find Out If You Really Have Bi-Polar Disorder?

T

tangledinthislove

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
3
I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2006. However, since then, there are more and more red flags that point to me not having this. Don't get me wrong, I am not condemning those who do have this disorder, but for anyone who does have it, could you send me a private thread if you would be so kind to explain how I can tell if I genuinely have this disorder.


Tara
 
T

tangledinthislove

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
3
:oops: Maybe I Should Explain This Better

I just posted asking about bi-polar disorder, but I don't think I put enough background in the post. From my diagnosis, I have been on Seroquel and at least a dozen different mood stabalizers to work together to get my mental state under control. NOTHING has worked, so is this a sign that I don't have bi-polar disorder? From what I have read, from diagnosis to stabalization shouldn't be much more than a year. Am I wrong, or should I talk more to my psychiatrist? Anyone here have similar problems?
 
D

Dollit

Guest
The criteria for Bipolar diagnosis means that you can have a bunch of symptoms that other people may not. The differences in how people experience highs are quite striking.

Finding a medication that suits you and helps you to stabilise isn't always straightforward. You will see many posts that say how they've finally found something after x years but also quite a lot like me who have found one major drug and a few minor ones to get them through. Medication seems to be as individual as bipolar itself.

I will pm you so we can talk about this and also of the things you put on your introduction.

And welcome to the forum.
 
F

familycrisis

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
12
Location
Knoxville, TN
Bipolar Disorder

Everyone experience multiple mental health symptoms throughout their life. That is a fact. A doctor I work with when I was living in Phoenix Arizona told me that a little mania never hurt anyone.

The diagnosis of Bipolar has different degree's, just like anything else. Starting at Mild moving up to sever, then there is mixed episodes, hypomania, etc. However, the key to the diagnosis is the following.

You must have a distinct period of experiencing the listed criteria in the DSM for a period of time specified and the symptoms must be present concurrently during that period of time. It also has to be a specific degree of severity.

The symptoms must occur not by any physiological effects of substance, medication, or other medical conditions.

Also, lets face it, if you find yourself in a situation where you go without sleep for several days. You are working bi-coastal and you fly between east coast and west coast three to four times in one week and you worked long hours at each stop, you might find yourself feeling a little bipolar.

So, I have to ask you. During the time you were diagnosis with Bipolar, what was going on in your environment, how old were you? What was your diet like? There are a host of physiological disorders that can look like mental health disorders. I always recommend my clients to see their doctor and have blood work test to rule out vitamin and other deficiencies rule out. I also recommend them to use a mood chart, track your menstrual periods if you are women. If you do take medication, learn about the medication and track them in your mood chart. Most importantly, understand that symptoms of different mental health disorders over lap. Educate your self on the different differential diagnosis of mental health disorders.

Remember medication is a tool. Therapy and learning coping skills to manage your symptoms is as important if not more important then the medication. If you understand your triggers and your cycles you can take better care of yourself and limit the severity of your symptoms. Understanding your medication is important too. Not all medication have an unlimited life, some medications are for short term use, and others can be taken for years. If you track your symptoms and cycles you will know if your medication is no longer working for you.
 
T

TiredofDepression

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
46
You are smart to question your diagnosis- do some reasearch yourself and make sure what the dr tells you is matching up. My husband was diagnosed with bi-polar in 1999 after a 2 week hospitilization with major depression. Up until 2009 when we swithced doctors I never seemed to question it. I always read and felt you should do what the dr says and take your meds exactly as prescribed. When he had a horrific accident at the end of 2007 it eventually led us to switch from our local dr that he had seen for years and years. After the new dr's dug in his records and questions both him and myself they were led to belive that he does not have have bi-polar, but recurrent major depression. Over all those years he never, never had very many manic episodes. He has also been diagonised with OCD and I am to the conclusion that thoses manic phases were really OCD compulsions. Yes, he did have sleep problems and many, many times would stay up for up to 2-4 days at a time. His manic episodes were never psychotic, never spent large amounts of money, and never thought he was someone else or could concour the world so to say. Most of the time during the manic episodes he completed LARGE amounts of work in a small amount of time. Such as cleaning, painting, organizing, washing, etc.....
If you still question your diagnosis I would encourage you to get a second opinion from another dr. It is now in my husbands permanent dr records that he had been incorrectly diagnosed as bi-polar. Oh, so many meds that he was on--if we had knew he was diagnosed wrong he could have avoided taking. His current dr has got him down from 7 different meds a day to 3. But, still he has treatment resistand depression and meds are hardly helping him. He will start rTMS soon. Hope this helps u, I have learned there are many more doctors in the world besides the one we currently see.
 
T

teedoc

Guest
Hi Tara,
I have found that childhood onset PTSD (when trauma was before age 6) is commonly being DX'd as Bipolar. IF the bipolar DX is incorrect, this PTSD (dissociative disorder) should be considered:
1. How often the mood changes occurs. Often the answer is something like: "It happens most days, sometimes more than once."
2. How long does it take for the mood swing to go from one to the other? Often they say, "a minute or two, it seems to just happen."
3. When you get angry do you ever space-out or not remember what you did or said. If the answer is , "yes," we are well on our way to the correct DX. I believe the most common disorder that is mis-diagnosed as bipolar is the above.
Dissociative disorders always include depression, anxiety, almost always panic attacks, and sometimes OCD. In about half, the patient hears voices or has thoughts that seem to be seperate from their own. If so, these are not hallucinations of something not there; rather it is the thought or words of a seperate part of the mind that is there. These are amazing people, amazing survivors.
I'm not commenting on how often Bipolar is the correct DX, only saying that the above should be asked as part of the diagnostic interview, and it usually is not.
I don't adhere very closely to the 'medical model, and I listen intently to anything the patient says. My experience is that this stuff is pretty logical and almost nobody is "crazy." We just sometimes don't have enough info to make sense of it yet. Thanks for question.
IMO, teedoc
 
mommywoman

mommywoman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
73
Location
Michigan
Guidelines

There are guidelines that doctors have to follow in determining and diagnosing mental disorders. I want to say this book of guidelines is called DMS-V (or DSM-V, something like that). This gives the guidelines of all different disorders and I believe the guidelines are used to diagnose for the benefit of insurance companies.
 
A

arwilliams

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
117
Bipolar has become rather fashionable to diagnosis.

Stay away from the sedating antpychotics(Zyprexa, Seroquel, etc.). Google most sedating.
You will never be able to stop these if started.

If medications don't work you have borderline personality disorder.
 
Top