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How many years before being diagnosed with bipolar?

G

Gratefultobewell

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I’m interested to know how many years you had symptoms before being diagnosed bipolar. What finally happened before the diagnosis? I think I had symptoms, mostly depression when I was in high school, but wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until I was in my 40s. I was working the night shift for several years which I think set off the mania which led into a years long depression and was finally diagnosed. In the end I’m glad I was diagnosed bipolar so I could get on the right medication.
 
P

Pink

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I was diagnosed with psychosis 10 years ago. It took approximately 10 years for my diagnosis.
 
Zana

Zana

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A good 5 years of increasingly erratic behaviour and moods but the signs were there from at least teenage years.
 
M

MHFPokeplantz

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Isnt there a more specific test or analyzis that shortens the time?? Cause it would be better to treat right right away, as soon as possible
Some ppl are treated as Depression only and it often WORSENS the Mania or Bipolar symptoms. Sucks
 
Zana

Zana

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Isnt there a more specific test or analyzis that shortens the time?? Cause it would be better to treat right right away, as soon as possible
Some ppl are treated as Depression only and it often WORSENS the Mania or Bipolar symptoms. Sucks
Sadly it's still not physiologically understood very well and it's unlikely that new patients will understand hypo/mania. Certainly hypomania might seem like just a great time so it wouldn't be reported, thus mainly the depressive symptoms get reported and thus they are treated for depression.

From my personal experience the fastest route to a diagnosis is to be data driven; keep a written journal and a numerical mood journal - both dated - and present this to your doctors.

Hopefully one day we'll understand the brain sufficiently to run diagnostic tests for bipolar but seldom with mental health issues is it that clear cut.
 
S

Saaaaad66

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Coventry
I’m interested to know how many years you had symptoms before being diagnosed bipolar. What finally happened before the diagnosis? I think I had symptoms, mostly depression when I was in high school, but wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until I was in my 40s. I was working the night shift for several years which I think set off the mania which led into a years long depression and was finally diagnosed. In the end I’m glad I was diagnosed bipolar so I could get on the right medication.
I was on antidepressants for years (about 20) was referred to anger management meetings, councillor, cognitive behavioural therapy, also on diazepam and various other sleep aids for insomnia. It was only at the age of 47 that I was finally referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me as being bipolar and put me on the appropriate meds. I sometimes wonder if my life would have taken a different path had I not felt so screwed up all the time
 
L

LadyDomino

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Dorset
I suspect I would have been diagnosed bipolar earlier but for my self medicating with alcohol. It wasn't until I got dry that it became apparent that I couldn't function "normally". However, in hindsight, there were clues of problems, both mania and depression going back to my childhood.
 
K

karma44771

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deerfield, il
i was diagnosed bipolar II with mixed episodes at 27 (im 42 now) but treated for depression/anxiety for 10 years prior but was bipolar all along. i can remember having symptoms of bipolar at 3 years old.
 
R

Roxylox

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May 25, 2021
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Ireland
I’m interested to know how many years you had symptoms before being diagnosed bipolar. What finally happened before the diagnosis? I think I had symptoms, mostly depression when I was in high school, but wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until I was in my 40s. I was working the night shift for several years which I think set off the mania which led into a years long depression and was finally diagnosed. In the end I’m glad I was diagnosed bipolar so I could get on the right medication.
 
R

Roxylox

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My first mania aged 23, didnt have another major high for 24 years, was then diagosed bipolar. So it took 24 years and was diagnosed at 49, am now doing well on medium dosage of Lithium.
 
J

jmariah001

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Jul 22, 2016
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Ohio, USA
I've had depression since high school and was diagnosed with Bipolar when I was 25 in 2005. I had known something was wrong since I was 19. I would go through periods when I was really happy then I would just break down and cry for no reason. I would blow most of my paycheck in a day. I made a lot of bad choices. Just remembered I belonged to this site. Didn't realize I registered so long ago.
 
R

Roxylox

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How are you doing now and are you on medication?
 
U

Underdog21

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Mar 26, 2021
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Location
Oxford
I’m interested to know how many years you had symptoms before being diagnosed bipolar. What finally happened before the diagnosis? I think I had symptoms, mostly depression when I was in high school, but wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until I was in my 40s. I was working the night shift for several years which I think set off the mania which led into a years long depression and was finally diagnosed. In the end I’m glad I was diagnosed bipolar so I could get on the right medication.
4 years. First I was diagnosed with psychosis and then the mood component of my illness became more obvious.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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One. One year of hell.
(Although I suppose I got off lightly compared to some)
 
S

SFGuy

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Mar 28, 2021
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California
I was diagnosed bipolar II after decades of "Depression with Anxiety" that was treated with ineffective antidepressants and Xanax. When a new psych. prescribed Depakote, it only took three days to become convinced I have bipolar. My very worst symptoms were relieved within 2 weeks.
 
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