Am i Bi polar?

I have been diagnosed with depression for many years now, but im starting to wonder if this is not just depression and maybe more.

The reason why i think this is because i cannot remain in one frame of mind for more then one day. My moods continuously chop and change, one minute im very happy, then i want to die,then im angry. The slightest thing can set any of these moods off and i often over react to most situations. I have to admit i am extremely paranoid..ive been in a relationship for 5 months now and he loves me very much. I can say this because i feel my mood is currently balanced. If i was on a low i tend to dis believe he loves me, has ulterior motive, and i become suspicious of everything he does. Then when i come back down to earth it suddenly hits me like a bus how crazy ive been acting. Then the paranoia comes back..and then i think but what if i am right? haha i have to laugh. If not i would cry. It goes round in circles, when i feel ok.. im fine. When i start to feel low i dont want him looking at any other women, im become overwhelmed by extreme jealously. Everything becomes very intense and i often become quite aggressive. Its really bad...then i cant sleep which only makes the delusions worse. Then theres the extreme highs where my sex drive goes through the roof and then were able to have a very fun happy playful sexual relationship. I also alter from being extremely insecure, to over confident and cocky. Basically all these mood changes are going to destroy my relationship and i need to help. Im currently on 100mg of sertraline, which has helped with the sadness side of things and its helped me see my behaviour much more clearly and how...maniac it is.

So what do you guys think ? is this just depression? bi-polar?personality disorder?

Would mood stabilizers be of help? Maybe Anti-Psychotics?

Please all let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading.

11 Replies

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  • You say that your mood is cycling quite quickly. Bipolar, as I understand it tends to be a longer cycle so it doesn't sound to me as if you are bipolar.

    Have you talked to your GP about it? or are you seeing a therapist who can help? If not it sounds like you ought to go back to the GP. How long have you been on the meds? Did the 'manic' episodes start around the time you started taking the meds? Have you read the list of potential side-effects that comes with the meds just incase what you are describing could be a side effect of that or something else.

    Definitely think the best thing would be to see the GP

  • Right, yes mine is more rapid i cant stay in one mood for longer then a few hours really.... I have suffered with these manic episodes before, but it has been triggered by coming off amitriptyline, I was taking amitriptyline for CFS/ME to help with pain. Which worked really well with the sertaline. From the mental health view they helped really well...but physically they made me in more pain. So i had to come off them which was about 3 months ago. And ever since coming off them ive been very up and down. I was reading last night amtitrlene can cause rapid mood cycles, but its been 3 months.. surely its out my system now....but then again the extra physical pain it caused me still has not left either. Which i did tell my doctor about but he didnt seem to really care and just told me no its not the amtitrilene... i really need to start growing some balls when i talk to my doctors.There Utterly useless. Ive been on sertraline for about 9-10 months, and i was on amtitalene for 5 months

  • It is certainly worth discussing this with your GP as there is such a thing as 'rapid cycling bipolar', which may be triggered by antidepressants.

    Good luck.

  • Ah ok, i didnt no that. Maybe thats a possibility then. These rapid mood cycles where definitely triggered by coming off amtitralene, every since i came off them mentally and physically i havent felt right since. Which i did tell my doc but he just dismissed it and said it couldnt be them still. As i came off them in feb...you wouldnt think they could but..thats when it started(although) i have previously experienced times like these of rapid mood changes. My rapid mood changes always seem to get alot worse when im in a relationship :/

  • Diagnosis can be the most difficult thing to achieve, for a variety of reasons.

    Firstly, there are a very broad range of 'symptoms' or indicators of mental illness that most people will exhibit to a greater or lesser degree.

    Secondly, some of these indicators are common to a number of the types of issues with which a person may be affected.

    Thirdly, even the mental health professionals do not always agree with the exact definitions of the various types of illnesses.

    In essence, there is a wide spectrum of mental illness, and individual people may or may not exhibit symptoms that are common to one or more of each of the various classifications, the exact definitions of which are subject to debate by professionals anyway.

    It is a bit of a moving target, really.

    You mentioned you have been prescribed drugs, specifically Sertraline and Amitriptyline.

    You didn't mention as to whether those medications were prescribed for you by your GP, or by a Psychiatrist.

    Basically, I would suggest that if you have not as yet seen a psychiatrist, ask your GP for a referral.

    Whilst most people on this site will be able to empathise or at least understand to a degree the way you are suffering, it is important to remember that we are not mental health professionals.

    Most, if not all of us, are fellow patients.

    We will support you as best we can, but there is no substitute for seeking professional advice.

    Without becoming aggressive or over demanding, suggest to your GP that you feel the drugs currently being prescribed are perhaps not working as well as they could be in your personal case and that you feel you may benefit from a referral to a psychiatrist, if this has not already happened.

    He or she should be able to help you far more effectively than anyone on these forums.

    Everyone is unique, everyone will be affected in different ways.

    Everyone will respond better to one medication than to another - and a psychiatrist will have the knowledge and understanding to help identify the issue and to treat your individual case as well as is possible.

    For that reason, don't spend hours taking self diagnosis tests on internet websites - it will only lead you to make yourself even more worried than you already are, because the tendency is to 'catastrophise' and think the very worst.

    A good example would be if you were to find a small breast lump - the immediate reaction would be to think, ' Oh no! I have breast cancer !!!', whereas, in fact, lumps on the breast can be caused by many things, the vast majority of which are totally harmless, or are very simply and effectively treated.

    Which wouldn't stop one googling 'breast cancer' and scaring the living daylights out of oneself.

    Even so, if you were to find a lump, you would go and see your doctor, and he or she would refer you to the hospital and the specialists at the screening clinic.

    Exactly the same situation applies mental health.

    Regards,

    Stuart

  • Symptoms and behaviours are duplicated over many mental health based illnesses and it would be difficult to say my opinion from your information above, and I am not a medical professional.

    The only thing I would strongly recommend based on my own experience and recent diagnosis of Aspergers and ADHD and treatment for the latter seeming to have lifted my forty years of depression thirty of which medicated for depression with some improvement on each AD prescribed; is that you need to explain in as much detail as possible and how it affects daily activities, relationships, work etc how it effects all aspects of your life, try to make a note of frequency and intensity too, to your doctor and ask for referral. For me at first they gave me an appointment with a psychologist who said I was just very unhappy with childhood problems so referred me to psychologist then my life eventually started to get sorted!

    Good luck with everything I hope you find help quickly!!! Remember there is also hormonal imbalance like thyroid etc which can create same problems so you need medical diagnostic experience xxxx

  • Do you have someone who could go to the doctor with you? I found it very helpful when I was seeing the doctor some years ago and being treated for depression as I really don't like or trust doctors - was someone that could also hear things that I was just missing because I was too stressed as well as being able to help me express things when I was really tongue tied by the stress and not able to communicate coherently?

  • Hi

    This definitely does NOT sound like bi-polar where the most important factor is the lack of wareness of the way the moods are imappropriate - it's a psychotic illness where the person is out of touch with reality. You are aware of how you are feeling and that the mood swings are unusual.

    I wonder whether something triggered the shift from functioning relatively normally with depressive symptoms and now swinging between moods? We all have defences against underlying feelings and when something breaks through those defences we can feel frightened and try to close them down again but find it difficult - that's when extreme mood swings tend to occur.

    It sounds as though something has made you very insecure, particularly about your own desirability or perhaps loveability. It might have been somemajor thing or perhaps just an accumulation of smaller things, perhaps things that have reminded you of feelings from childhood.

    I would not think in terms of a diagnosis of what is wrong but instead perhaps talk with someone about how you feel when the mood swings begin, what triggers them and how they relate to your overall feelings about yourself. Talking with a therapist would be likely to enable you to begin to understand, particularly why you are so jealous which does sound as if you are insecure about being unwanted, abandoned, because you feel perhaps that you are not good enough. Those feelings may come from much earlier times in your life. Talking with a therapist who looks at those links would help you to understand what you are feeling, reduce your anxiety, thereby reduce your depression and make it less likely that you need to act out the feelings. Your GP could refer you to a psychotherapy service locally.

    I hope things settle down for you with help.

    Suexxx

  • Dear sarahuk26 ,

    Lets first see what is bipolar disorder and then try to find out if you have the symptoms to call it bipolar.

    The bipolar disorder is of 2 types. Bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder.

    Bipolar I disorder is characterized by Mania and depression. There can be history of mania in the past even one episode and then depression, then it is bipolar. It is also possible that it is the depressive phase of bipolar and mania has not yet manifested.

    Mania is a state of extreme energy. In mania, you will talk too much. There will be racing thoughts in your mind and you will be constantly changing topics when talking. You can develop risky behavior. The need for sleep is tremendously decreased. You feel very powerful and on top of the world. Increased sexual drives also come in it. Mania if present is very difficult to miss and someone would take you to a GP or Psychiatrist for consultation.

    Now the Bipolar II disorder has the Hypomania and depression. Hypomania has the same characteristics of mania but in less intensity and IT CAN BE MISSED by you and your family members. They might think that you are happy today. If there are episodes of hypomania and depression then it is biplolar II disorder.

    Paranoid thinking can occur with depression as well. The good thing is that you have understanding of your feelings and thinking. This is an important think. Someone in the reply mentioned psychosis but it does not appear to be that. In psychosis you will not have insight into the problem.

    Waiting your response,

    Take care.

  • Dear sarahuk26 ,

    Lets first see what is bipolar disorder and then try to find out if you have the symptoms to call it bipolar.

    The bipolar disorder is of 2 types. Bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder.

    Bipolar I disorder is characterized by Mania and depression. There can be history of mania in the past even one episode and then depression, then it is bipolar. It is also possible that it is the depressive phase of bipolar and mania has not yet manifested.

    Mania is a state of extreme energy. In mania, you will talk too much. There will be racing thoughts in your mind and you will be constantly changing topics when talking. You can develop risky behavior. The need for sleep is tremendously decreased. You feel very powerful and on top of the world. Increased sexual drives also come in it. Mania if present is very difficult to miss and someone would take you to a GP or Psychiatrist for consultation.

    Now the Bipolar II disorder has the Hypomania and depression. Hypomania has the same characteristics of mania but in less intensity and IT CAN BE MISSED by you and your family members. They might think that you are happy today. If there are episodes of hypomania and depression then it is biplolar II disorder.

    Paranoid thinking can occur with depression as well. The good thing is that you have understanding of your feelings and thinking. This is an important think. Someone in the reply mentioned psychosis but it does not appear to be that. In psychosis you will not have insight into the problem.

    Waiting your response,

    Take care.

  • Dear sarahuk26 ,

    Lets first see what is bipolar disorder and then try to find out if you have the symptoms to call it bipolar.

    The bipolar disorder is of 2 types. Bipolar I disorder and bipolar II disorder.

    Bipolar I disorder is characterized by Mania and depression. There can be history of mania in the past even one episode and then depression, then it is bipolar. It is also possible that it is the depressive phase of bipolar and mania has not yet manifested.

    Mania is a state of extreme energy. In mania, you will talk too much. There will be racing thoughts in your mind and you will be constantly changing topics when talking. You can develop risky behavior. The need for sleep is tremendously decreased. You feel very powerful and on top of the world. Increased sexual drives also come in it. Mania if present is very difficult to miss and someone would take you to a GP or Psychiatrist for consultation.

    Now the Bipolar II disorder has the Hypomania and depression. Hypomania has the same characteristics of mania but in less intensity and IT CAN BE MISSED by you and your family members. They might think that you are happy today. If there are episodes of hypomania and depression then it is biplolar II disorder.

    Paranoid thinking can occur with depression as well. The good thing is that you have understanding of your feelings and thinking. This is an important think. Someone in the reply mentioned psychosis but it does not appear to be that. In psychosis you will not have insight into the problem.

    Waiting your response,

    Take care.

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