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Is it depression or bipolar? or something else?

I'm 23 years old.
I've had about 2 nervous breakdowns in my life. I saw 2 doctors about it, and they both said it's depression (it lasted for months). I was put on a number of antidepressants. They only made things worse! Then I saw a therapist, and she referred me to a psychiatrist who prescribed me pills for schizophrenia! Nothing helped and I was only getting sicker. Here is a list of my persistent symptoms:

1- I often get depressed, and I can't "snap out of it", nothing helps, I just have to wait for it to pass. Usually clears up after a few hours or a few days. My worst one lasted 4 months (I was in school). During these 4 months, I had to fight with myself every minute because I was constantly thinking about suicide.

2- I get "highs and lows" (if that makes any sense). Like, I could start out a day just fine, and then I'll randomly get depressed. If it's something actually troubling me, then the depression is worse and it lasts longer.

3- My temper gets a little out-of-hand when I'm depressed. To the point where I think about stupid things, like killing someone over a spelling error, or for not saying 'thank you' after I held the door for them.

4- When I get happy, I go a tad overboard. I've had friends and family members tell me I sound like a different person. Because I'm usually mellow, and calm, not super excited and overly optimistic.

The medication I remember being on was Lexapro (did nothing for me), Seroquel XR (helped me stay asleep at night). I also remember a few others but they don't come to mind.
Although a drug named Venlafaxine helped in low dosages, but once the doctor increases the dosage, I had severe stomach problems.

PLEASE HELP ME OUT, doctors, patients, nurses, or even medical students. I'm tired of seeing doctors who don't do anything for me, except say I'm depressed and give me meds that don't work. I've been struggling with this mental issue for 7 years. And I almost lost my job yesterday because I shouted at a customer. PLEASE suggest something productive. Should I take an MRI scan? Will that help? Is there any test for any issue this may sound like?

Additional info:

I had my thyroid checked, and it came out fine. So you can rule that out
8 Responses
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1042487 tn?1275279899
While sinusoidal mood is related to manic depression (bi-polar) it can just be depression too but it really sounds like manic depression if you are experiencing really high ups and really low downs.

A number of medical conditions could be the cause of your depression but you say it's been 7 years so I would probably rule out any serious medical condition requiring imaging but if it can help your mind to have an MRI I'd go for it. I would also do a complete blood count.

As for the suggestions, I suggest you exercise. Try to get a subscription to gym or exercise at least 3 times a weeks for at least 30 min. Studies are showing great results with exercise combined in treatment of depression. Social interactions are also really important and healthy diet couldn't hurt as if the depression is really related to neurotransmitters then yeah your diet and exercise could have real impacts on you. For example some food contains amino acids that are essential for the making of neurotransmitters such as serotonin which is very linked with depression in my humble opinion. Exercise will also have an impact on your neurotransmitters but more on your hormones. Hormones are almost the same as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are used for short term action potentials (you can have like more than 50 action potential for a neurotransmitter while some hormones can take minutes, days, months or even decades to start acting) and the hormones are just like neurotransmitters but they are entering the blood stream, generally acting in the long terms with some exceptions. Basically your hypothalamus is controlling your pituitary gland which is controlling/secreting your hormones and you can do things to force the production/regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters.

You can have your neurotransmitters tested thru a urine test and this is generally expansive. You can also have your hormones checked. But having your neurotransmitters tested would not be so useful if you already know with your symptoms what is going on.

Send me a message for more information on neurobiology, diet, exercise and such.

M4
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I used to always exercise. I'm technically exercising everyday by bicycling to and from work (30 miles total). But I used to do bodybuilding. One of the reasons I stopped, was because of my obsessive personality issue (that's what a therapist told me). I was constantly exercising and didn't give my body enough change to recover; hence, I was always overtrained, and that's almost as bad as being constantly depressed. I was also constantly tempting myself to try steroids (because I strive to be the best in whatever i do). Finally, I ended it, and depression made itself welcome into this "vacant spot" in my brain, by signing another 2-year lease.

next suggestion?

btw, I'm seriously considering the MRI. I read some research that indicates distinct physical impressions that and MRI can pick up, which is generally found in people with BP.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
i think i have had all the symptoms you have mentioned, i have had break downs and panic attacks. so far i am diagnosed with GAD and depression.  I have been doing a lot of cognitive therapy on myself and i think i am getting to the root of the problem. I have behavior patterns that eventually manifest into bad physical symptoms. i dont like interacting or being around most people, so i avoid it and when i have to engage it it, it makes me physically sick. i am the kind of person that is happy alone doing hobbies and stuff.
- "I get "highs and lows" (if that makes any sense). Like, I could start out a day just fine, and then I'll randomly get depressed. If it's something actually troubling me, then the depression is worse and it lasts longer." i think i understand this, certain things will trigger certain feelings, for example if i go to the mall with my sister or mom, it makes me depressed and gives me anxiety. i hate the environment and people.
is your environment  causing your depression?  
Helpful - 0
1042487 tn?1275279899
Well bicycle is an ok exercise. You could suffer from hormonal imbalances due to your body not being adjusted to not exercising as much as you were. This can have impacts on your mood.

The MRI won't diagnose bipolar in my humble opinion but could indicate a underlying medical condition that is causing depression and the mood disorders your are describing.

Keep doing your things alone you feel more comfortable this way but studies are showing that social interaction are important when dealing with depression. Just do your hobbies tho, don't stop doing them.

Even a new psychologist could be helpful.

M4
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Nah, I don't think the environment is the culprit, cause every environment seems to bother me. Although, the ideal environment for me is much like yours (alone). As for user "M4YOU", It's not a hormonal issue dude. I stopped bodybuilding 2 years ago. I would think that hormones would of "regulated" by then.
Helpful - 0
1042487 tn?1275279899
Not saying it's an hormonal issue as it is clear that it is depression and maybe manic depression but as I said earlier hormones and neurotransmitters are important factors. As for therapy it is important too.

You came here and asked for advices, so my advice is to see a new psychologist and get a mood stabilizing drug. There are a lot you can try. Since you already tried different antidepressants and one atypical antipsychotic I guess it's the next step.

Good luck in trying to find a treatment option that suits you and get that MRI if that can stop bothering you.

M4
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
i have found that anti-depressants have worked very well for my depression, it took a while, at first i thought it was making me worse and more crazy but eventually i started feeling better, and all the bad side effects went away, it took about two months, how long did you take the anti-depressants? maybe you haven't found the right one yet.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yeah, that's what a doctor told me; I haven't found the right one yet. I don't remember the name of the particular drug, but there was one driving me literally insane, and it would get worse as time went on. I'm definitely going to get a second opinion and try a different drug. Hopefully one that actually helps. Thanks for your insight whitecat78.
Helpful - 0
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