Anxiety? Depression? Or Bipolar

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Hi. I've suffered from anxiety most of my life and managed it fairly well. This march I experienced depression for the first time in my life. It's torture. Although it lifts now and again, I'm scarred to what it's done to me and how it's made me turn out.

I take venlafaxine 75mg for this although I think I need to increase to the next dose.

I am however thinking that I may be bipolar. I do suffer from some trates of bipolar although I'm actually unsure how to define these trates as bipolar trates or just a bit of what normal folk experience. I'm a 38 yr old guy. I have a girlfriend and no real worries but I get sexual urges. I look at prostitutes but never actually do anything about it. I masturbate nearly everyday and this seems to lift my mood and fix my sexual turn on. These are trates of bipolar but the other trates don't usually bother me. I have a short fuse. Not violent but lose my temper and get really stressed. I don't go on mad spending sprees but I have made a few financial errors in the past. Are these normal trates that have just gone wrong or should I be thinking I have bipolar?? No one in my family suffer from it.

I'd like to know how to define some bipolar trates as in the word excessive is used a lot. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

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  • Posted

    Chris

    I am flabbergasted at your query regarding Bipolar Disorder with respect to your sexual urges. What you are describing regarding sex are not traits of bipolar disorder. You are misinformed and quite frankly seem obsessed with sex. Bipolar Disorder is a MOOD disorder, not a sexual disorder. Yes, if you are having a manic episode you MAY have heightened sexual desires, but what you describe are no more than what I imagine many men have. If you were having a manic episode, a proper one, you would be describing here the more classic symptoms of a manic episode which you can look up yourself on the internet. You would be more concerned about getting locked up on a high security psychiatric ward than worrying about your sexual desires.

    I do note that you are on venlafaxine which has a common side effect of reduced sexual libido, so you are obviously not suffering from that particular side effect. If you did have bipolar disorder you shouldn't be on this particular antidepressant. NICE guidance does not recommend this class of antidepressant in bipolar patients due to the risk of pushing into a manic epsiode.

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    • Posted

      Hi. I think if you look it up, hypersexuality IS a trate of bipolar. It is a common symptom.

      I respect that there are others too but in tests you only have to have so many trates to be considered for the condition. I have some but not all.

      A bit of a wild reaction to something I am actually right on. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    And one other thing.

    I find it really upsetting to get an insight into what people who don't know about bipolar disorder actually think about it. Your comments about sex remind me why I only let my family and closest friends know I have this mental illness. It's a mood disorder where your life can become an absolute train wreck and you can take years to recover from an episode. It's not some list of petty sex urges and spending a bit of money.

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  • Posted

    An increase in sexual libido is a symptom of the elevated or manic side of the bipolar mood swings. It is not something encountered in depression. Since you say you are suffering from depression and it must still be a problem as you are planning to increase your venlafaxine dose you can't be encountering bipolar induced increased sexual desires.

    Do you want to have bipolar disorder?

     

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    • Posted

      What sort of a question is that? Of course I don't want Bipolar! Just like I don't want GAD, just like I don't want depression, just like I don't want social anxiety and just like I dont want panic attacks. I suffer from it all.
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  • Posted

    Hi both of you

    You are both right, while there are traits common to bipolar, individuals may have some or all of these traits.

    Chris, do you see a psychiatrist or psychologist for your anxiety? If so have a discussion with either one regarding your concerns. The hypersexuality may be related to your anxiety too as a release valve, if that makes sense.

    As an example of a different bipolar, mine is hypomanic, meaning my highs are lower level and may occur in conjunction with depression.

    Sandy, I don't tell anyone either. Not from fear of being subject to assumptions, although that's part of it, it's more being labelled as crazy and not being treated as a normal person. I share your concerns there.

    Best wishes to you both.

    Ally

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    • Posted

      Hi ally. Alas a sensible answer. Thank you.

      Not sure where you are but in the UK we can't just see a psychiatrist. We have to be referred by a doctor. We can pay privately but it's very very expensive.

      As I am on medication they probably wouldn't refer me as my symptoms aren't serious enough.

      I probably aught to thank sandy for his fairly aggressive response as it has made me think that I probably don't have bipolar. I don't really understand the condition enough but you read the Internet and assume afterwards. I think I was terrified in maybe having it. I really struggle with taking medication as my anxiety goes to 100% and I tell myself I'm going to have all the side effects. I'm really bad. It took me long enough to take the venlafaxine and I'm bothered about upping my dose. We'll see.

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris

      Same here in Australia, you need a referral from a GP and it is expensive.

      There is a good site called psych central that deals with all kinds of mental health conditions and the info is patient friendly. Also, some agencies / organisations that provide patient info on mental health also offer some counselling services. I'm sure the UK would have something similar.

      I understand your natural hypersensitivity to medication complications due to anxiety. Think of it this way if it helps - the medication is designed to help and without it you'd be no help to yourself or those you care about.

      Good luck and take care of yourself

      Ally

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