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Looking for Bipolar II People

R

retrogothic

Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
6
Location
England
Hello,

I have just joined this forum as I have recently been having worries about my diagnosis and would really like to meet other people with similar experiences.

My official diagnosis is for Cyclothymia which for those of you who aren't familiar with it, is a mood disorder with quite rapid cycling of depression and hypo mania but does not include mania as a Bipolar person would experience.

The trouble I'm having at the moment is with my mental health team. They are all very nice people and have helped me alot but there is a tendancy to ignore certain parts of my experiences, basically being that I have had episodes of low level mania.

I saw a different Psychiatrist from normal and he told me that I should have a diagnosis of Bipolar II, and showed me the official descriptions of the two conditions. When I read the Bipolar II description it was exactly me, the Cyclothymia fell far short.

My usual psychiatrist (who has more influence) refuses to change my diagnosis, she says the important thing is that I have the right medication and condition management. This is a valid point but I am very affraid of the possibility of further low level manic episodes as in the past they have devastated my life and I don't want to loose the wonderful things that are in my life now.

Two of the health professionals often say in passing...'because you don't experience mania...' and similar statements even though I have. I know that I am not Bipolar I because i haven't had full psychotic episodes or been so out of touch with reality that I would fit into that catagory. However, I can be gradiose, compulsively manipulating, rash and take devastating risks, amongst other behaviours. I have lost so much over the years from these periods, wonderful relationships, my career, friendships, my home, my business, so many things... It feels as though the professionals don't take this part of the problem seriously.

Has anyone else found that getting help and understanding about depression is quite stright forward if you search it out? But the mania side makes me feel isolated, lonely, and it is more difficult to find anyone to share with.

I worry that if the health professionals don't recognise it that it could creep up on me and ruin my life all over again. I have had to come off my mood stabilisers temporarily for another health reason so I have no protection.

Anyone out there with Bipolar II who can share their experiences of mania?

Thank you
:grouphug:
 
jax

jax

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
868
Location
Belfast, N.Ireland
I have had mental health problems for 21 years - since the age of 17. I only 'officially' got the Bipolar 1 diagnosis just 3 1/2 years ago. I had a variety of diagnoses including Cyclothmia, Schizophrenia, Psychotic illness, BPD, major depression. etc, etc. I was diagnosed during one ofmy admissions in the states as being Bipolar 1 - but that diagnosis disappeared as my primary Pdoc did not agree with the Diagnosis I was given by the other Dr in the hospital.

So I guess I am trying to say that it may take some time to get a proper (Correct) diagnosis. I read that a lot of people with Bipolar often are misdiagnosed for years and years. My Pdoc said to me in 2005 when I had a massive manic episode, ' I guess those guys in the States we right about your Bipolar 1 diagnosis afterall!!!' (I am home 15 years from the States and been with my current Pdoc for over 10 years). :mad: Good luck with getting the diagnosis that best suits you.
Jacqui
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Your psychiatrist is right, it is more important that you get the right medication regime and condition management. It doesn't matter what it's called as long as it's being handled correctly.

Also - and I say this to anyone who has done a similar thing - there is a lot more to diagnosis than checking a list in a book. If your diagnosis is changed in the future it could be because the medics have had a chance to view your behaviour long term.

You then say - I know that I am not Bipolar I because i haven't had full psychotic episodes or been so out of touch with reality - but pyschotic episodes are actually part of the criteria for Bipolar I not Bipolar II.

You also need to remember that mania is actually a blanket term that covers a spectrum of behaviour. Anyone that saw me whilst I was in a manic episode wouldn't usually know that I was manic, the manifestation in me wasn't about the traditional view of the high.

If you're getting treatment and your condition is being managed try and concentrate on that just for the time being. By worrying about what might happen in a still undecided future you're putting yourself under more stress.
 
R

retrogothic

Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
6
Location
England
Hi

I am glad that my first respondent was supportive. I really appreciate that. I have been diagnosed for about 6 years (I'm in my mid 30s), but back diagnosed to my teens as alot of my behaviour has been antisocial for all my adult life. It is very lonely to experience upsetting episodes and have no one to share with. I live with so much guilt about the things that I have done and I work hard everyday monitoring my illness to avoid triggers and manage symptoms. I am not on here looking to be diagnosed by members - I was talking about the diagnosis to illustrate the situation.

Thank you for taking time to reply to me. Dollit, I don't think you understood where I was coming from my post, I was saying that I know I am not Bipolar I - because my experiences do not fit with the extreme mania. I also know there is a broard spectrum of mania, that is exactly what I am saying about the situation and I have said that it is valid to make sure the treatment is correct and helpful but my main point was that if the professionals ignore a very important part of my illness then I will miss out on help and that is what scares me.

Of course I know that lists in a book won't explain everything, but if one is very wrong, then surely that's important. I had already written lots and didn't want to bore people, but there was alot more to my consultation with the other dr than the book; he took time with me, listened to me, didn't make assumptions and I felt comfortable talking about my experiences so I trust him precisely because he didn't pigeonhole me like others had done. Another two lower influence psychiatrists also diagnoses Bipolar II in the past and were over ruled by the main dr, so the recent dr was not alone.

Anyone else, what is your mania like at various times? I am normally a quiet person but become loud, attention seeking, larger than life and controlling. I have absolute confidence in decisions I make, even though they come from no planning or other considerations. Of course I am awake for days and very focused and ofthen think I am a genius, during one I believed I had a direct line to a god (I am an atheist), he was my personal best mate. These things do not fit into hypermania, I have that very badly but it is totally different.

Thanks
 
jax

jax

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
868
Location
Belfast, N.Ireland
sorry, long reply!

Manias and big highs for me are usually a fantastic experience for me (at the time) I have had grandiose delusions. Often to do with world peace - not always though. I do things when manic and very high - that I would never ever do when not high. I am generally a bubbly and friendly person. However, when manic, I have been told I am the life and soul of the party. I make people laugh and I don't even think that what I am saying is that funny. I still laugh too though. I thrive on being the center of attention when manic. I love that I can make people laugh and that people think I am fun.

I went into my hairdressers a few weeks ago and she said that the last time I was in - I had the customers in giggles. She said that a man who came to read the meter quickly made his way out ASAP because of some of the things I was saying. My hairdresser said I was hilarious. I do love a laugh - but I am not normally like that. I am not loud. I am not rude and I am very sensible. I am a totally different person when high.

I do completely out of character things when high. I have always been very good with money. I spent thousands and thousands before last hospitalization. I am sexually promiscuous. If you knew me personally - you would know why this is so difficult to deal with and accept. I hardly sleep. I talk non-stop and so very fast and have difficulty with pressure of speech. I tumble over my words because of this pressure amongst other types of pressure. Gosh, they list goes on and on!!

When the depression hits, I am so incredibly disgusted with myself and full of hatred with what I have done. My lows last only a short while and then right back up to my almost constant highs again. This illness sucks!
Jacqui
 
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