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Old 14-07-2011, 08:40 PM   #1
bright.side.of.life
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does being diagnosed with bipolar change your life??

basically, i have recently started to think i may have bipolar type 2. My doctor has enquired about it with me before and i said no, but recently the symptoms all match up and my girlfriend said she agrees i might have it too...

im scared to go to the doctors about it because i feel like if im diagnosed then everything changes... medication for life, no real chance of complete recovery from it (unlike with depression) and a label i dont want. also i dont want him to disagree with me and make me feel like im over reacting...

i was wondering if anyone had any advice or opinions on the matter? im feeling a little worried about telling my doctor because im scared my life will change after the diagnosis, too much change i mean, not all for the better...

row
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"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 14-07-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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Well if you didn't get diagnosed and you had it, everything about having it would be the same except for medication. One of my diagnoses is Bipolar and all the label did was make it easier for professionals to treat me adequately.

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Old 14-07-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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Hi there. I don't have Bipolar but I do have a diagnosed mental illness which is sometimes considered lifelong.
My opinion about recovery in mental health is around the Recovery Model - that real recovery is about being able to live a meaningful life whether in the presence of absence of mental health problems.
Don't write yourself off - not everyone with Bipolar does take medication all the time, though it is very helpful for a lot of people. Also, many people are able to learn to live alongside the symptoms and may find that they learn a lot about themselves and the world. It doesn't have to be doom and gloom.
I consider it possible that mental ill health could strike anybody at any time, so learning to deal with it now puts you at a great advantage to having a stable future - though I do understand that you may be more susceptible to relapses than people who are 'mentally healthy' (if there is such a thing!)
What I am, very inarticulately, trying to say is that it's better to get mental health problems treated early rather than later in life.



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Old 14-07-2011, 08:57 PM   #4
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for me i cant help but feel a little like its admitting defeat that i cant be "cured" so to speak, and that its a lifelong thing... i feel like it means i dont have a chance. i dont know... i guess im just scared...



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 14-07-2011, 08:59 PM   #5
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You still have a chance. Yes, bipolar is a lifelong mental illness, but that doesn't mean it can't be managed and treated so you can have a better quality of life.

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Old 14-07-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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is the treatment for it that much different to major depressive disorder (my current diagnosis)?

are the meds similar etc? because ive just been taken off anti-depressants due to tolerance build up. would they just put me on more anti-depressants? or another type of meds? i get the feeling that i will be put on meds immediatly, as that was the plan for when i came off these ones anyway.

ive just started CBT aswell, is that the right type of therapy for bipolar?
im sorry im a bit naive when it comes to this...

thanks for replying everyone, i really appreciate it



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 14-07-2011, 09:39 PM   #7
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You are likely to be put on a mood stabiliser for Bipolar disorder as well as possibly antidepressants if they are helpful.
CBT seems like the right kind of therapy for treating many with Bipolar.



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Old 14-07-2011, 09:43 PM   #8
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ok... even if its not that bad? i only have hypomanic episodes and no pscychosis



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 14-07-2011, 09:44 PM   #9
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if i have it at all, ofcourse...



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 14-07-2011, 09:46 PM   #10
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It's not for definite, I'm not sure what your GP will recommend but if you're worried about meds, do let him know.



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Old 14-07-2011, 09:56 PM   #11
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thank you for your help :)

ill try get an app tomorrow if i can. x



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 14-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #12
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Re. the meds anti depressants often send people with bipolar high or arent particularly effective the aim with the mood stabiliser is to stabilise the highs and the lows (some bipolar sufferers will very rarely have highs whilst others will very rarely experience lows)

I got diagnosed back in 2009 and it did change my life HOWEVER the label bipolar didn't but the circumstances (a manic episode) did. Since then it's been up and down but it's not the label but the mood swings and getting help has helped put things into perspective.




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Old 15-07-2011, 12:48 AM   #13
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thanks random.swirls,

the meds i was on for unipolar were effective but only for about a month on each dose then increase and after 4months and on the highest dose it just stopped working and i might as well not be on it. so they took me off. ive been off it for the last 3 weeks, the first 2 i was hyperactive and showed symptoms of hypomania, then i hit a real low last week, harmed for the first time in 3 years out of nowhere (not even any real trigger) and then ive been suicidal and triggered since...



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 15-07-2011, 01:48 AM   #14
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Hi bright side,
A GP is unlikely to make a diagnosis of bipolar, so they would refer you to a psychiatrist.

I understand the fear of having something considered to be life-long, but in practise "recovery" is a complex thing, depending on the individual, their specific condition, and how they respond to treatment. If the doctors are missing information they cannot treat you as effectively. But in the end the name they give it on paper is not the key factor.

I have recurrent depression. I was assessed for bipolar 2 and they decided I don't have it, just tendencies. However I am now on a mood-stabiliser. (Anti-depressants didn't help and seemed to make the mood crashes worse.)

So I think the main question is really whether it's worth you trying a mood stabiliser. If so Lamotrigine is worth asking about as it has fewer side effects and is meant to be helpful with depression.

Talking therapies including CBT can be useful for both unipolar depression and bi-polar.


Last edited by Geranium : 15-07-2011 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 15-07-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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when i was first diagnosed with bipolar i was all consumed about it. it felt like it was the only the thing that deifined me. i became obsessed with researching on the internet (beware, there are some dodgy sites!) and books, etc. I joined groups solely for people with mental health issues. I see now that i am so much more than just a diagnosis. the meds are there to make your life easier, just like a diabetic needs insulin. Just go with it. after a while you'll come to accept it and it won't seem such a black and white issue.

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Old 15-07-2011, 10:44 PM   #16
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ive got an appointment with my doctor booked for next week :s

is it a symptom of bipolar to be perfectly fine one minute and then distraught the next? because this keeps happening to me, and its when i harm, but its almost like i feel suddenly terrible then i kind of zone out a bit and it seems like the "right" thing to do (harm) for some reason and its only afterwards that i actually think about it... but it keeps happening recently. and i can have a perfectly ok day then in the evening i just turn... is this common for bipolar or am i just weird...?



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 15-07-2011, 11:13 PM   #17
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Hum for me my moods stay the same for a long time e.g. I am depressed for several months I am high for several weeks I am stable for a while!

However, it is not abnormal for your moods to change during the day as maybe something has happened during the day.

I think what I would say is stop thinking is this bipolar is this me being weird because you will drive yourself mad :p!

A diagnosis of a mental illness is not straight forward generally and may well take your psychiatrist months or even years before they come up with a semi definate answer. Bipolar has at least 3 branches to it (1,2, and cylothmia) and within these there are things like rapid cycling. Borderline personality disorder shares a number of characteristics of bipolar, heck even unipolar depression can be mistaken for bipolar and vice versa.

I guess what I'm saying it try not to second guess yourself and seek help principally for the symptoms you are experiencing because a label won't change them




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Old 15-07-2011, 11:14 PM   #18
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I don't think that's a symptom, or at least I've never experienced it anyway. Bipolar is generally unique to the individual though. My moods tend to be pronounced and last anywhere between a month and several weeks, and are constant. I suggest explaining your problems with moods and let them make a diagnosis. Make sure you let them know how often it happens, and how long they normally last for, as that will help with your diagnosis. Concentrate on the symptoms that are really affecting your life. Going in and saying you think you have bipolar might cause more bad then good, as you might not get the treatment you need for your problems.

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Old 15-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #19
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my doctor has asked me before if i thought i could be, and asked me questions relating to it, so i think he already has suspicions...

this is really affecting my life as i cant predict my moods at all, and its causing me problems in my relationship and a relapse of SI :(



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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Old 24-07-2011, 04:10 PM   #20
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update:

my doctor has referred me for a psych evaluation, that was last week. and i still havent received the letter with an app yet :(

im less worried about the actual diagnosis now, i just wish things would speed up a bit, im so sick of being on waiting lists....



"Tonight i will dance on the graves of all my darkest days,
and erase all the worries of all the time i wasted, my scars may never go away but i'll learn not to mind them along the way"


"i was broken for a long time but its over now."


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