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bipolar I/bipolar II or depression?


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#1 Sassy85

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:18 PM

I am curious can some one educate me on the difference between bipolar I and bipolar II? I suffer from major clinical depression(I think), I say I think because they say people with bipolar are sometimes first diagnosed as having depression. I am wondering if any one knows how you could tell? Is it possible that manic states are so minimal you might not know? I have tried several different medications and dosages to ail my depression and none seem to help that is why I am wondering.

#2 natoking

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:12 PM

Sas,

I was diagnosed as having clinical depression. I was put on celexa (an antidepressant). I started to feel euphoric! I was thinking that this was the way I supposed to feel all of my life! Turns out I was manic. My friends told me that I was not myself and I was overbearing. Well, it turns out that the doc thinks I am bipolar 2 because of the reaction to the celexa. I stayed on a lower dose of celexa but he added Lamictal ( a mood stabilizer ). I was okay for a while but then I started having mixed episodes of depression and mania at the same time. It was bizarre and frightening. I researched the net and found out about these mixed episodes that bipolar 2 people get. My doctor immediately took me off of the antidepressant and upped my mood stabilizers. So far it is working but the meds are terribly expensive, especially without insurance. I get them from a Canadian website for a fraction of the cost.

Typically bipolar 2 people get depression and occasional hypo-manic or mild forms of mania.

Google around, there are some good websites that helped me communicate with my doctor too zero in on what is going on.

Mixed states from Wikipedia -

"In the context of mental disorder, a mixed state (also known as dysphoric mania, agitated depression, or a mixed episode) is a condition during which symptoms of mania and depression occur simultaneously (e.g., agitation, anxiety, fatigue, guilt, impulsiveness, irritability, morbid or suicidal ideation, panic, paranoia, pressured speech and rage). Typical examples include tearfulness during a manic episode or racing thoughts during a depressive episode. One may also feel incredibly frustrated in this state, since one may feel like a failure and at the same time have a flight of ideas. Mixed states are often the most dangerous period of mood disorders, during which substance abuse, panic disorder, suicide attempts, and other complications increase greatly."

I sure as heck don't know what your diagnosis is. I am pretty sure that I am bipolar 2 but looking back, I realize that I have been manic at times in my life. I don't know if there is anything between bipolar 1 & 2 but that's where I think I am at.

All I can say is keep working with your doctor. Hopefully, together you will find a diagnosis or a medication regiment that brings you back to a healthy state. It take time. It is hard to be patient but you will get there. Hang in there Sassy. Bob

#3 Sunshineinmyface

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:19 PM

I cannot do as good a job at the folks at psychcentral.com. I have bipolar II, which -for me- is composed of major depression most of the time and 4 days, exactly, when I feel really, really good, but not out of control. Just a so good feeling that I wonder if something is wrong. If that helps at all. Another site to check is depressioncenter.net or just google for other sites if these are of no help.

#4 drgnfly

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:12 PM

Hi Sassy!

I also suffer from Bipolar II. It took 10 years to finally get this diagnosis after trying to treat clinical depression. I finally went to a new Pdoc at a specialized Depression/ Bipolar clinic who looked at my past with antidepressants and questioned why none of them worked for any length of time. After asking me a few key questions about my symptoms she gave me this diagnosis. I have since read a lot about bipolar symptoms and the bipolar spectrum and can see that I do fit this diagnosis.

The key is to find a professional you can talk to and share all of your symptoms with. It can be a long road to get the correct diagnosis, but it is worth all of the work.

Good luck!

#5 Sassy85

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 12:11 AM

Thank you all for your insight into bipolar. I am not sure I know what "normal" feels like, so I couldn't say if my good moods are episodes of high or merely just being normal. I wish there was a blood test or brain test or something. Seems like some levels of bipolar and depression are too close to differientate between. It all seems rather confusing, and misdiagnosis is so common. Ahh well, I guess I will just keep on trekking and hope that it all comes together. Thanks again for the help guys, it is appreciated.

#6 spinstr39

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:34 PM

i think i have cyclothymia, which is a milder form of bipolar II. it's characterised by low level chronic depression with periodic excitability (from what i remember reading), but to the layperson it can look like the normal ups and downs of life. I think this is what my 'doctor' thinks and he won't help me. i was due to see the psychiatrist but due to depression i didn't make the appointment. has anyone ever got a diagnosis of cyclothymia? most british doctors have never heard of it, i've got all my information from american websites. also my antidepressants have stopped working. i'm on citalopram, and i don't have access to medications that may be available in the u.s. I'm having a good day today. hello to everyone. does anyone have any answers or advice for me?

#7 drgnfly

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:47 PM

There is a site that I refer to periodically that has some good information. It's has a sort of unfriendly layout, but the info is worth the bad asthetics.

http://www.psycheducation.org/

Hope this helps some!

#8 Sunshineinmyface

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:46 AM

Sassy it is really unfair to us bipolars that pdocs only get round to bringing up the diagnosis after we have had years of depressive episodes and failure with so many anti-depressants. You would think they would get a clue earlier, but like every other field there are complacent and ill-suited pdocs.

It took years for me to get clued into bi-polar II because it had not been recognized yet, but a nurse-practitioner brought it up for consideration after hearing about it at a conference, she was a smart one. There was no literature for patients then and all I had were the criteria from the conference. I called people who have known me all my life, and at different times of my life and went over the criteria with them and it was a resounding yes to bi-polar II. Once I was on mood-stabilizers it was drug experimentation again. I have still struggled with severe depression, but I think I must keep searching for a qualified doctor that takes Medicare, as I have not found one yet. It is indeed very frustrating and painful to say the least. I credit therapy greatly with my ability to cope and crawl out of depression better. I mostly credit BtB for the constant support, caring, home base, light-hearted fun, distraction, friendships, great advice, and an outlet for me to pour all the compassion I have out, which needs to go somewhere and seems okay here.

Keep with it dear and stay with us we will be by your side the whole time if you let us.

Say, why not stop by S&S Beachside Bar (a link is in the BTB Commune section & the first page is an introduction to the land of wishes) and have a cuppa, or a drink, yacht run, Zen Garden experience, a whole lot of more options or let your imagination create some. Looking for you there - free months beverages for new members (sea shells are our currency so you will not have to collect for that) and we have some great creations.

Hugs,
Sunshine