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DeSelby


Member

Posted Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 8:29pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

Last year I was diagnosed as being Bipolar, but I’m finding it hard to see the signs in my own life.
I’m 19, and about 3 years ago, I had a massive breakdown (my first of many). I was hugely depressed, removed from all social activities, suffering from crippling psychosomatic pain, didn’t eat, didn’t talk and had dropped out of school. I won’t go through the whole boring story, but I found my way to a psychiatrist, and he told me I suffered from a bipolar II disorder.
Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago…
I paid the psychiatrist another visit to talk about medication, because while I was on lithium a few months earlier I had attempted suicide. He asked me if I wouldn’t mind going to hospital to do some bloodwork, which I agreed to, not realising I’d be handled in a psychiatric ward (It’s obvious I know, but I didn’t put 2 and 2 together).
Being on the ward was really stressful for me, and I’ll admit, a little frightening. I had expected it to be a very routine set of tests, and then I would go home, but all of a sudden I’m surrounded by nurses with very solemn faces, giving me indeterminate timeframes for treatment (“two weeks at the least, we’ll see how you do, could be much longer”).
I asked to go home and was allowed into the care of my father, but they didn’t want to discharge me. The next day I paid the psychiatrist a visit, and told him that I had been having doubts about the diagnosis, and that while I was on the ward I had put a lot of thought to it. The other patients were very kind to me, but I just didn’t rank my problems as being as bad as theirs.
The psychiatrist was dismissive, which I find strange considering he’s basing his diagnosis entirely on my previous testimony, but suddenly what I think doesn’t carry weight with him.
I know I have problems, I really do. Some sort of depressive illness for sure, but I don’t really think it’s Bipolar. I’ve read all sorts of articles since I was diagnosed, and taken in lots of first hand testimony that talks about an upward swing, that I just don’t have. Even the other bipolars on the ward seemed a bit dubious about my diagnosis.
My depressions never seem to manifest themselves with any sort of agitation, it’s always something that drains me. I’ve suffered insomnia but it’s never an energetic thing. I don’t ever become talkative, or hyperactive, and my family members swear blind that they haven’t seen me in a state they would call “manic” for any protracted amount of time. Indeed, the only time I’ve ever been so desperate as to attempt suicide was because of my medication!
I’m willing to believe that my Doctor is right, but I have a gut feeling about this. I have all the classic depressive signs, but none of the others.

Have any of you found yourself in a similar situation, dealing with a dismissive Psychiatrist who keeps pushing a diagnosis that you don’t think fits? Perhaps I’m in denial? I’d appreciate a new perspective.
I’m getting a second opinion soon, and I’d really like to hear about your experiences.
Thanks in advance,
DeSelby


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katysara


Moderator

Posted Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 9:40pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

Hi DeSelby,

I sort of had the reverse problem, i kept getting diagnosed as unipolar for...9 years before a doctor came along and asked me the bipolar side of the questions and I was diagnosed bipolar 1. I knew about my bipolar symptoms but was too ill to simply offer the information - oh how I wish I had.

I know what you mean about the dismissive psychiatrist, almost like they have made a decision about how the session would go before you walk in. I think you should get that second opinion and be very clear about your lack of manic symptoms - from what you wrote you certainly sound unipolar to me but I'm just some nutter on the internet for all you know. I don't think you are in denial but I'd need significantly more information to go on to make a diagnosis. There are parts of your story you skipped over, like details of why you got the BPII diagnosis in the first place.... and a real life 2nd opinion is what you really need. Good for you.

(I'm no nutter, I promise, I know my stuff).

KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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DeSelby


Member

Posted Mon Mar 22nd, 2010 10:21pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

katysara said:
There are parts of your story you skipped over, like details of why you got the BPII diagnosis in the first place.... and a real life 2nd opinion is what you really need. Good for you.

(I'm no nutter, I promise, I know my stuff).

KSx

D'oh! I knew left something out.
Basically, I was asked all the obvious questions when it comes to depression, but then he asked me about temper, creativity, racing thoughts and the like. I'm actually having a hard time remembering what he asked exactly.
I do have racing thoughts, I'll give him that. However, I've always felt that over-thinking every little thing was a defence mechanism. I am quite prone to temper, but I believe that comes from my situation, and 3 years without any company would be hard on anyone.
I recently had an outburst after a night of insomnia, I jumped out of bed, threw myself into the wall and began hitting myself in the face. The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes, and I was back to myself within the hour. I've also spent time intensely focused on different topics, taking total flights of fancy. Most recently I read about the problems in Israel, and I imagined what it would be like to go there and fix everything, but I must stress that I never "believed" anything like that was ever going to happen. I don't believe that I was having a delusion, and to a certain extent it's part of a dreamworld I use to escape boredom, but the psychiatrist insists that this is delusional behaviour.
Those would be the sorts of things that are cited when my doctor defends the diagnosis. I believe it's more to do with all the time I've spent locked inside, but I just don't know anymore. It's all very confusing.


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katysara


Moderator

Posted Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 9:57am Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

Ah yes, that does muddy the water somewhat. If these things you imagine are just fantasies then it's no problem, but you need to really truthfully discuss it with your second opinion guy to make sure it's nothing more.

E.g. When I can't sleep I might imagine what i'd do if I won the lottery, or I dream that I could bring the first ever olympic gold for skiing back to britain... thing like that, and i see no harm in little day dreams BUT you need to make sure that is all that is going on.

Make sense?

KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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DeSelby


Member

Posted Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 9:13pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

katysara said:
Ah yes, that does muddy the water somewhat. If these things you imagine are just fantasies then it's no problem, but you need to really truthfully discuss it with your second opinion guy to make sure it's nothing more.

E.g. When I can't sleep I might imagine what i'd do if I won the lottery, or I dream that I could bring the first ever olympic gold for skiing back to britain... thing like that, and i see no harm in little day dreams BUT you need to make sure that is all that is going on.

Make sense?

KSx

Yeah I get you.
I mean, it seems pretty natural that bored people daydream under normal circumstances, and I don't find myself in a normal set of circumstances.
I've had some really involved daydreams where I read up on the topics and my interests centre in on them over a period of time. I'm being told I'm suffering delusions, and try as I might, he just won't accept that 3 years of isolation might be the actual cause.
We'll see how it all goes from here. Thanks for your comments, they were very helpful.


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Nitro


Member

Posted Wed Mar 24th, 2010 7:26pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

Three years of isolation can influence a lot of things.

Just wanted to stop in and state the obvious.

Really? Wow.

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katysara


Moderator

Posted Thu Mar 25th, 2010 2:24am Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

Nitro is right - 3 years in isolation could lead to many things.

ksx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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Batesy57


Member

Posted Sun Oct 3rd, 2010 9:23am Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

I believe the isolation is a conservation withdrawal need based on the 'neuroception' of threat, an unconscious view mediated by the autonomic (animal) nervous system.

See NUEROCEPTION: We live in an age of advancing knowledge that can set us free from our struggle, and calm a madding world, finding a path to the right knowledge is often more luck than judgement, such is information over load. WHY do we all love our comfort zone no matter how uncomfortable, click here to find out why. http://www.lifespanlearn.org/documents/Porges-Neuroception.pdf
for an explanation, goes a long way to describing Freud's "id."


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UnsettlingLife


Member

Posted Sun Oct 3rd, 2010 4:57pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

Most recently I read about the problems in Israel, and I imagined what it would be like to go there and fix everything, but I must stress that I never "believed" anything like that was ever going to happen. I don't believe that I was having a delusion, and to a certain extent it's part of a dreamworld I use to escape boredom, but the psychiatrist insists that this is delusional behaviour.

I want to make clear that I'm not qualified in any way and am speaking only of myself here, but I am bipolar and much older than DeSelby :o) and I can very much relate to the quote above. I'm not so sure it is not bipolar behaviour, but Katy is right, you should get another opinion. However...

Apart from working, I have had zero social life for many years. I'm used to it now. Like DeSelby, I regularly see myself fixing the world's problems as some sort of super hero, but I don't think I do it because of isolation or because I am bored. I want it to be so. When I listen to certain songs, I find myself on stage singing them, but not as a Rock God in front of a huge audience at Wembley stadium, instead I am always in a small pub that I used to frequent in happier times and the audience is always the friends I had when I was there. The songs contain lyrics which I believe explain my behaviour at the time, and my singing is an apology for that behaviour. I know these two extremes are delusional, but it lasts only for twenty minutes or so and is harmless. The important point is that they can happen at any time, even in the middle of a conversation. They are cries to be valued and understood. I think.


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hardis


Member

Posted Wed Aug 28th, 2013 2:55am Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

I know what you mean about the dismissive psychiatrist, almost like they have made a decision about how the session would go before you walk in.

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nawings


Member

Posted Wed Sep 4th, 2013 10:19am Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

I have had zero social life for many years.

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aiaalisa


Member

Posted Mon Sep 9th, 2013 12:51pm Post subject: Doubting my Bipolar Diagnosis

"Last year I was diagnosed as being Bipolar, but I’m finding it hard to see the signs in my own life."

- i hope this diagnosis is really going to be so fine.

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