Conditions that commonly occur with bipolar disorder
If you have bipolar disorder, you may also have another health condition that's diagnosed before or after your diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Such conditions need to be diagnosed and treated because they may worsen existing bipolar disorder. They include:
Anxiety disorders. Examples include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD has symptoms that overlap with bipolar disorder. For this reason, bipolar disorder can be difficult to differentiate from ADHD. Sometimes one is mistaken for the other. In some cases, a person may be diagnosed with both conditions.
Addiction or substance abuse. Many people with bipolar disorder also have alcohol or drug problems. Street drugs or alcohol may seem to ease symptoms, but they can actually trigger, prolong or worsen depression or mania.
Physical health problems. People diagnosed with bipolar disorder are more likely to have certain other health problems, including heart disease, thyroid problems and obesity.
Bipolar NOS is a classification for Bipolar symptoms that fit no other category. It includes: fast cycling between manic and depressive episodes; Bipolar not primary disorder but still present; Bipolar Disorder present in a Delusional Disorder, residual Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS); hypomanic or manic episodes with no depressive episodes.
Denial is part of the package. The diagnosis may change from psychiatrist to psychiatrist just to let you know that, but regardless you have some serious issues going on. Otherwise you wouldn't be going to a pdoc I imagine. It is first instinct to say it isn't real. I went on every online test imaginable and skewed every result to say I wasn't bipolar. lol. That was my 'proof' the doctors were wrong. Then I went on a couple of posting sites and heard stories that sounded way too familiar and that was what convinced me I really am bipolar and I really do need help.
Bipolar is often quite manageable, especially with medications. It can take a while so be patient.
I am glad you have the strength to know that pdoc is bad news and to get a re-evaluation.Let us know how Dr. Number 2 is (can't possibly be worse than doctor number one).
It is pretty shocking to read all of that and understand it! I agree it is pretty normal to feel that someone has got it wrong..even now after years and years of pdoc's and medications I still occasionally have doubts, it doesn't take long before I realise I'm just sweeping it all under the carpet.
Bipolar does make you question yourself..when I was first diagnosed, every morning as soon as I opened my eyes I would assess my mood. Even now I find it hard to decipher between happiness and hypomania..
I hope you have better luck with the new pdoc, it sounds like you have so many questions that need answering!
thank you everyone =) sorry it's taken me a bit to post back but sometimes my mind is so fuzzy I can't remember from one day to the next; dr's think it's due to my heart stopping so many times and I suffered mild brain damage but I don't know and I forgot about this post and been sick with H.Pylori treatments.
if I'm being honest with myself, I can see it - tough pill to swallow but the sooner I accept it the sooner I get help and I've put off my mental health far too long; which I think has really played a number on my physical health. With major physical problems I'm told to cut myself some slack but I can't - one of my major faults though I'm too hard on myself and end up coming off as all kinds of things that I'm really not...
I'm going to another new dr because this 2nd woman was a joke and really had no clue about what I'm going through. I don't think she understood bi polar, sexual and physical abuse and what chronic health conditions can do to your mind. She wanted to do an eval all over saying that's not what's wrong and just pushed meds w/o consulting my heart dr first; which could be deadly - I have to have cardiac clearance even for ibuprofen
this time i'm going to a male dr in a couple of weeks; he must be popular because he's booked a month in advance...
I didn't really think it would be this hard to find the right doctor; but I'm going to keep on until I find someone who understands me because if they don't, how will they ever help me?
would anyone have any tips for quiet time or some way I can help in the meantime of feeling trapped? I can't drive, can't walk far ...really has been bothering me - I'm thinking of taking up needle crafting again; I had a dream and remembered I used to do that growing up and really liked it.
Anything that takes a lot of concentration will make you feel better. I like to mess with my nunchucks. It creates a life or death scenario in a sense. If I mess up I could easily break something or hurt myself. The concentration it takes to not hit myself in the head or WORSE makes me feel better.
I sometimes sit in the garden if I'm feeling like that..I get very tetchy if I feel there isn't enough space around me..I often feel like I can't go for a walk as I'm too anxious about seeing people..so I sit in the garden with a book or magazine. I am not allowed to drive at the moment due to my last episode so I know how you feel..
When I am confined to the house I do a lot of cooking, but I really enjoy baking! I love how it makes me feel like a domestic goddess ( for once!) and the kids appreciate it, but I find it really relaxing and therapeutic..
Another thing I do is cleaning ( I do get obsessive ) I think basically for me I need to feel a sense of achievement..some days I am so unhappy with my self that I need to stay positive even if it's just because the bathrooms clean!
Needlecraft is a really good idea, I hope it helps you.
wow sounds like we're all in the same situation dealing with the same things; it's so difficult to deal with I hope everyone takes care of themselves...I used to cope by exercise, keeping active esp gardening, mowing the yard etc it used up all this anxiousness in me. Now I have so much damage all over I'll be lucky to be able to craft even part like I used to.
I keep wondering WHY did I let myself go for so long ignoring what was staring me right in the face and think this is what I get for not taking care of the whole person and feel like deserve to feel miserable all the time.
has anyone had success on Lamictal (sp)? the dr here said it may also help with my Endometriosis/Adenomyosis symptoms; I'm just waiting on my dr to approve it.
I am on Lamictal now. I have went up to 200mg recently and I am looking forward to having some "normal" days. It is not for everybody but I couldn't live without it. Just be carefull as it can cause Stephens Johnson syndrome usually in the first two weeks. It is a rash that is fatal to some. Just don't start at over 50mg, prefer 25, and keep an eye out for rashes. The doctors or pharmacist will tell you more.
I'll have to see what mg the new dr prescribes; I did read about the rash being a side effect and even a small one could turn fatal - dr mentioned it and said to stop taking it if I noticed anything.
I'm really hoping it will help for some of those "normal" days for me also; but with my sensitive ANS system they're never sure how I'm going to react to meds...at this point I'm willing to try anything =)
I really hope it works for you as well. I live by it and it saved my life. It may be rough for about a week but as long as you don't get a rash please give it a chance. I didn't like it at first.
this is part of my problem...I don't deal with things and then let them build up to where I'm a weird mood and a ton of emotions all inside; sadness and crying jags and then I'll turn around and get angry thinking WHY me why had I had to endure so much and have so many bad things happen in my life when I'm a good person and try to go out of my way never to be mean or hurt anyone's feelings.
It all started over having to get records this morning for a doctor I need to see brought up so many bad memories about having a baby born weeks too early who didn't make it. It's been 14 years, I should have dealt with it and been over it by now.
Stop beating yourself up! I went through a premature birth with my twins, I was 27 weeks, I was lucky cos I still have my boys, but I know what it does to you..I can't fully understand what losing a baby so far into pregnancy is like but I can imagine. People think that a premature birth is easier than a full term birth because the baby is so small but it's horrendous! It goes against nature, it is incredibly painful, a lot worse than it was having my 8lb son! That is a huge trauma to go through, and for it to end like it did for you is horrible. My heart goes out to you...my twins are 14 now and I still have issues around what happened, I still feel it was my fault. I didn't bond very well, and had a huge psychotic episode when they were 18 months old, I carry the guilt every day..so I'd say that it is understandable that it would upset you today..I don't think Mothers ever get over things like that, not completely.
thank you for the kind words; it means alot
I don't think you ever get over a loss like that. You can learn how to cope better, but you'll never get over it and that is okay. I lost my mother when I was a child and that is the type of loss you don't get over either.
I hope lamotrigine works for you. It does wonders for me. I wouldn't ever want to go without it.
I am not as bad off as you are but I have more than my share of health problems. Multiple surgeries and now overwhelming fatigue. Whenever I ask why something has gone wrong they throw up their hands and go 'I don't know'. I get days where I cry about how unfair it is. Where I am so angry at all the things in life I will never get to do like be a parent, and I know it sometimes leads to depression. It is hard to come to terms with physical and mental illness. Can you see a therapist? It may really help to release some of those bottled up emotions that I am sure aren't helping your heart issues.
A good release for me is painting. It is very tactile. I am shaky from the meds so I can't do any fine detail work. I do more abstracts. Whenever I can't find words for how I am feeling I paint and then the canvass does the explaining for me.
I never could do needlework. Not patient enough for it. I do crochet and knit though. Another thing you may enjoy if you enjoy needlework is beading. It is the same type of fine detail work. I make straps for my medicalert bracelet.
I have an appt in 2 weeks with a new doctor, hopefully someone with new perspective that can relate better to my personality.
I'm still waiting for my cardiologist to clear Lamictal; if he doesn't by the time I see the new psych dr I'm going to start taking it, I can't stand my moods swings any longer and can't handle getting ticked over something someone says - adrenaline is a bad thing for me and I've stayed in bed for 2 or 3 days sick now over what someone said.
I don't know why; maybe from my past or husband; when someone scolds me like I'm a 12 yr old kid it makes my blood boil and I over react then feel horrible because I let my emotions get the best of me.