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Misdiagnosed?

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transform

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5
I was diagnosed as bipolar 4 years ago. I had an incident that was definitely odd and hasn't happened since. It had all the symptoms of bipolar and I've had breakdowns but nothing was close to that. I'm starting to think that I'm blowing it out of proportion.

I feel like I've never hit anything near that. This next part might seem cruel or mean but I don't feel as though my life is hard. I don't like to point to bipolar or depression for my short comings and while I may have low self esteem I like to take responsibility for my own actions and correct them. Whenever I see people talk about being bipolar it is this huge thing that really affects them. If I have it, it certainly doesn't happen to the severity that everyone else seems to.

I do think that I'm probably depressed. I've been particularly unhappy lately and now that I have this extra time on break I've been laying awake thinking about this. What if I'm not? Why keep taking all this medication if I'm not bipolar? It only really bothers me because I suddenly became dizzy one day. No vomiting or headaches just a loss of balance. I told my psychiatrist and he reduced my antidepressant and it's reduced but my vision has a slight "swimming" look at times.

I'm afraid to talk to my psychiatrist about this. I'm not going to just drop my meds but it's frustrating. I think I have some social and anxiety issues. But I'm afraid that I'm building them up in my head. I feel crazy. It's bizarre that I lack trust in my own judgement. I've been miserable lately, even though my family keeps pointing out that I've been doing well. My life is back on track and I've taken steps towards making it better but it just isn't making me happy. I'm alone and tired. Rereading this just shows how disjointed and aimless my thoughts are. It's cliche but I don't feel like I know what it's like to be happy. Everything seems temporary and loses its shine fast. Then I go back to hoping something will make me feel like I achieved something. Or that I can be proud of myself. I'm sorry there's no structure to what I'm writing anymore. I just feel lost.
 
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Polar Bear

Guest
I questioned my diagnosis so stopped all meds. I realised I did have bipolar so started them again after I became ill. Not suggesting you try this though.

Are your meds making you flat and therefore unable to be happy or are you used to hypomania which you no longer have due to meds?

There is such a thing as depressed by life too. Just because we have bipolar doesn't mean we are immune to the other types of depression. I think we might be more likely to have them sometimes.

Kelly x
 
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redrachel

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
98
I can relate to some of the things you're saying. I think it takes quite a long time to adjust to having a mental health diagnosis and, as you say, (I think) once you have this kind of diagnosis, it can be tricky working out which part of the problem is yourself, which part of is the mental health condition, and which part might be affected by medication. I'm not saying that Psychs never get it wrong-of course that can happen-but some of the feelings you describe towards the end of your post would be experienced by a lot of people with bi-polar.
I think you should consider opening up a bit more to your psych or, if that's too tricky, perhaps there's another mental health professional such as a CPN who could hear your concerns. Unfortunately on top of everything else, the 'stigma' about having a mental health condition is still very prevalent and that might be part of what's getting you down a bit at the mo. I can only say my own experience which is that every now and then I convince myself that the professionals have got me all wrong and that I'll be fine-in fact much better-without the meds-but the times that I've stopped the meds-even gradually withdrawing have always ended up in a bit of a nasty mess. But I know I'll be doing again some time in the future!!! I wish you all the best with these rather complicated feelings you're getting. If there's absolutely no-one amongst professionals you can talk to then maybe consider a local bi-polar support group if there is one. It might just hep to find you're not alone in thinking these things.
 
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transform

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
5
Are your meds making you flat and therefore unable to be happy or are you used to hypomania which you no longer have due to meds?
I've never really felt any persistent mania. I really only experienced (which I'm not sure if I ever did) mania once. I've always been quiet and as I got through my teens I though the depression was just because I was younger. It never went away and that episode or whatever you'd like to call it happened when I was 19 or 20.

I ended up being hospitalized because I told my doctor that I wanted to commit suicide. I feel like I was overreacting at that point too. I was only there for 2 weeks. It was a good experience because I saw that my life wasn't bad at all but sometimes I'm not sure if any of it was justified.

I wish my mood really would elevate again. Not to prove that I'm bipolar but I feel like it might give me a boost of confidence to try something. To talk to people or really make an effort to be nicer. Last night that post became erratic because I broke down and started to cry. It's happening again and I'm afraid if I go to one of these groups and talk about it that it will happen there too.

It just seems that the way I feel pales in comparison to others. It just feels invalid to take all this medication when my symptoms are dwarfed by others. I don't want to go to these groups and hear how hard other people's lives are when mine isn't.

Thanks for the responses.
 
SarahD

SarahD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
2,095
Location
UK
Hi Transform,

I think the above posts make good points. However psychiatrists don't always get it right first time, many people get re-diagnosed several times before the right diagnosis is found. I went through four diagnoses by two psychiatrists, and some people have more than that. So your hunch could be right.

There are several types of bipolar, including a milder type called cyclothymia. It might be worth looking into in case that fits your symptoms better. However you really need to discuss it with your psychiatrist. If you have depression rather than bipolar, there is no point in taking drugs for the wrong illness. They have side-effects and also won't give you the appropriate help.

If you feel you can't explain this to the psychiatrist, write it out first so you can include exactly how you feel and all the points you want to make, and show him.

Good luck, Sarah
 
Susanna

Susanna

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
54
Location
South Carolina, USA
I've never really felt any persistent mania. I really only experienced (which I'm not sure if I ever did) mania once. I've always been quiet and as I got through my teens I though the depression was just because I was younger. It never went away and that episode or whatever you'd like to call it happened when I was 19 or 20.

I ended up being hospitalized because I told my doctor that I wanted to commit suicide. I feel like I was overreacting at that point too. I was only there for 2 weeks. It was a good experience because I saw that my life wasn't bad at all but sometimes I'm not sure if any of it was justified.

I wish my mood really would elevate again. Not to prove that I'm bipolar but I feel like it might give me a boost of confidence to try something. To talk to people or really make an effort to be nicer. Last night that post became erratic because I broke down and started to cry. It's happening again and I'm afraid if I go to one of these groups and talk about it that it will happen there too.

It just seems that the way I feel pales in comparison to others. It just feels invalid to take all this medication when my symptoms are dwarfed by others. I don't want to go to these groups and hear how hard other people's lives are when mine isn't.

Thanks for the responses.
Hi, Transform, sorry to be answering a year late!! :redface: but I just saw your post and boy can I relate. I do suffer from some kind of depression (usually dx'd as "Dysthymia", much more rarely as "Major Depressive Disorder"). (MDD is more severe than Dysthymia but doesn't last nearly as long--I've been depressed for decades, which IS NOT FUN!!! Actually the MDD episodes I went thru were somehow easier to live with than the Dysthymia--maybe because (1) MDD tends to respond better to medical treatment and (2) because Dysthymia lasts so freaking LONG I just feel like giving up--nothing ever seems to get better.

What especially struck me was your remark about (possibly) having ONE episode of mania in your life. Actually, it only takes a single episode of mania (or hypomania) for someone to be classified as "bipolar". Yes, it's rare, but it does happen. (Assuming it's properly diagnosed as hypomania/mania and not mistaken for something else, of course--I know, all this mood stuff gets terribly confusing!!)

I was hospitalized some years ago in a very odd state of mind--so to speak. I was definitely not psychotic (and a lot of ppl dx'd bipolar aren't psychotic either, it varies greatly in severity), but what's odd is that when I walked onto the psych ward, I felt very depressed. Depression and I are certainly no strangers--the really weird thing happened soon afterward. I was greeted by the psychiatrist in charge and when he asked "So what can we do for you?" I said, "Give me a happy pill!" The doctor laughed (in a nice way) and said, "Hey, if we had any 'happy pills' here, we'd all be taking them!" He talked with me a few more minutes in his office, then he introduced me to a very friendly male nurse who he said would talk more with me and go thru my psychiatric history.

That's when the really bizarre thing happened. I've been in a psych hospital numerous time before and after this time, and this is the ONLY time this happened. Out of nowhere, my depression lifted (I mean, it was GONE]and suddenly I was laughing, joking, and overall just feeling fantastic. I had never felt that way before (and no, they hadn't given me any meds yet.) The male nurse gave me a startled look, then he started to grin. "Feeling pretty jovial, aren't you?" I remember him asking me that and I said "YES!) with great enthusiasm. And I continued to feel fantastic (except for a couple of spells of depression) the whole time I was there. I talked incessantly and I've never been so popular in my life. It was like a "me" I had never met before--and I loved it!!!

When I was getting ready to check out of the hospital, I suddenly spied my "folder" lying on the desk and written on the front were the words "Bipolar Disorder". Still unable to stop myself from blurting out words, I said, "Bipolar?!?" :eek: and one of the nurses hastily covered it up and said, "No, that was just the initial impression. Your actual diagnosis this time is Major Depression." HOW THE HELL COULD I FEEL SO FABULOUS IF I'M SEVERELY DEPRESSED?!?!?!?!?

Sorry to rattle on so long...but frankly I don't think most "mental health professionals" know what the devil they're talking about!!! :drool:
 
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