Bi-polar

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Please can someone confirm whether Bi-polar runs in families.

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  • Posted

    Hey Dustybin

    I was diagnosed as having cyclothymia yesterday (sometimes called bipolar III). I'd been reading about bipolar disorder, having struggled with depression (MDD) and hypomania for 3 years or so now. Whilst I was taking anti depressants and a mood stabilizer, I still hadn't had a diagnosis other than borderline personality disorder. Ho hum!

    Anyway, to answer your question...YES. It is largely an inherited condition although a stressful event can trigger it. As far as I'm aware, I have no bipolar in the family, only depression. But this could have been misdiagnosed. Statistically, I read, that over 70% of bipolar sufferers are misdiagnosed with depression or borderline personality disorder. It takes an average of 8 years for the docs to reach a diagnosis. This is because mood trends have to be tracked over at least 2 years and other causes, such as medication or thyroid disorders, eliminated.

    If you have bipolar disorder, it is likely that you will pass the gene on to your children, though this doesn't necessarily mean they will contract the illness.

    Hope this helps

    Potty P x

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  • Posted

    Hi Potty P

    Thank you so much for your comments. I'm sorry to hear you have now been dianosed as having 'bipolar III'. At least its a step in the right direction and that now they are able to provide you with the support and medication you need. I wish you the very best for the future.

    Mum suffered with bipola and whilst I (think) have not inherited it I think my half brother may. Also, I'm concerned that if it missed me it may have passed on to one of my children. One of my kids suffers from OCD which in itself is very frustrating, more for the familiy than for her herself. She's fifteen and as yet will not accept help.

    Mental health does concern me as all mum's family suffered from some form of 'depression' (Mums two brothers) . Additionally in the family two (possibly more) of my cousins (both of mums brothers kids) suffer from some form of depression so it has been passed on.

    Dusty X

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  • Posted

    Hello again Dusty

    Thanks for getting back to me. I now see why you are so worried. Have you discussed your concerns with your GP? Mine has been like a surrogate father to me over the past few years. His role is not just to dole out meds, but to reassure and educate too. I think this would be a good place to start.

    The trouble with bipolar disorder is that, as I said, it's so often misdiagnosed as depression in the first instance. As depression runs in your family, I would monitor your dear ones closely for any signs of mania or hyper-mania. Look out for extremely elevated mood, a sense of invincibility, high energy, no need for sleep, fast talking, mind flitting, poor conentration, being very creative and productive, self-confidence, over activity, etc. Other worrying symptoms could be sexual promiscuity, excessive spending and even heightened ideas of grandeur. Often, mania is not reported to the GP because the patient feels full of beans, energised, happy and realllllllly good. They don't see themselves as ill. This is where family come in. It is only after a bout of mania that a bipolar diagnosis will be made, so keep an eye out for these traits. I'm sure you'll read a better list if you do an internet search.

    As for OCD, I have that too, though very mildly. It's often triggered by a stressful event or can sometimes be learnt behaviour. There was a good programme on TV about it last week. Did you see it? In most cases, with the right CBT therapy and medication (SSRIs/anxiolitics) it can diminish or go away after time. In some cases it remains but in a way that the patient can control it and is aware of it. Maybe you need to find the root of your daughter's OCD. Think about what may have triggered it and see if she's willing to talk about it. Is is worse in different situations? Is there a pattern? Can general anxiety be lessened in her daily routine? Sometimes OCD is all about being in control and is often a trait of the perfectionist. Is she under pressure at school to perform? Does she feel out of control of her life and the OCD is a way of regaining it?

    Food for thought! cheesygrin

    xx

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  • Posted

    Hi again Potty P

    thanks again for the helpful advice. I know about Bi-polar through mum so understand the symptoms and was supporting her and handling her medication. Long story but unfortunatly due to complications earlier this year she sadly passed away. Not until now do I realise how much I miss her. It wasn't through bi-polar but misdiagnosis of appendix that caused her demise sad As for my brother, he's up and down but I have no input on his life in respect of his health. I'm just there if needed.

    I just worry about my girl and whether it's likely to develop bi-polar. She's not depressed but she does get over excited at times (silly excited), is very short tempered (like me there though lol!) and has very little attention span.

    With regard to her OCD, getting to the root of the problem's not easy as she simply won't talk to me or anyone about it. When she was alot younger we did seek help but whilst with the phy'c she remained seated and silent. It must have helped some though as she did get better but unfortunately in her teenage year's, as I expected, it's got worse. Of course there's the added pressure of exams, hormones, friends, peer pressure, image etc. I surpose the only course of action is to 'go with it' see how things pan out, for the time being anyway.

    ??? sad

    I have been to my GP but unless she herself is willing to get help there is nothing I can do except support her as best I can. I try not to stress her out and her problem is that she has to be in control.

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  • Posted

    Bi-polar can be very hard to diagnose. They now say there are three different levels of Bi-polar ( called Bi-polar type 1, 2 & 3.) The only person who can tell you properly if you have Bi-polar is a physiatrist even then two different physiatrist,s might not agree; it does depend a lot on how badly the person is effected.

    My own story began about 12 years a go when I had to finally admit to myself that I had a problem ( this is probably the hardest part ) so I went to my GP who thought I was suffering from depression so she prescribed some medication after 2 weeks I wasn't feeling any better so I went back to my GP's but saw a different doctor who said to double the dose of medication, after 2-3 days of being a absolute zombie I lowered the dose of medication and made an appointment to go back and see the doctor I had originally seen. ( Yes some doctors are better than others with dealing with mental health issues ) She put me on a different medication and I made a appointment to see her again 2 weeks later. I was still feeling no better so I tried a different medication but she also got me in the "system" to see a physiatrist which took about 10 - 12 weeks. I had many sessions with him on and of over about a 5 year period and tried many different types of medication none of which helped much or if there was any benefit they were out weighed by the side effects.

    During one very bad episode I ended up ( with the help of the police ) sectioning myself and ended up staying in hospital for 3 weeks. I was seen twice by a junior doctor and twice by the head physiatrist. the last time on my release, where when I and my family questioned her about my problem she said she didn't think I had Bi-polar. When asked what is it then she basically said she didn't know. I then saw my physiatrist and told him all about this and asked him what he thought. Basically his answer was yes he thought that I did suffer from "mood swings" though mainly "highs" and a few "lows" which in his opinion was a type of Bi-polar but he also did say that he thought that I needed a "label" for my problem.

    Sorry have to continue in a second post

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  • Posted

    continued

    The one thing I did find very useful was seeing a counsellor and doing a course of ( one to one ) Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

    One thing I will say if you or someone you know is going to see a physiatrist you have to be totally open and honest with them even if it means taking someone with you who will maybe say more than you will.

    Sorry the post was so long but I hope it helps you to understand Bi-polar a bit.

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  • Posted

    Hi Dusty,

    Sorry to hear you lost your mum in such an awful way. You sound like a really caring person and I'm sure she appreciated all the support you had given her over the years. It sounds also that you are very aware of bipolar disorder and have coped admirably over the years. Sometimes you just need that to be acknowledged. You love your daughter, that's clear and, whilst frustrated that she won't seek the help you feel she needs, you have probably done all you can for now. So long as she is aware that you're concerned and are there for her, as indeed you are for your brother, then she knows she can talk when the time's right. I hope her friends are as understanding and supportive and can sort of 'mother' her for you. I guess, at her age, distancing yourself from parents and being anti-authority is a natural part of growing up. It's just frustrating that she's doing that rather than confronting the issue. However, I'm sure she'll come round eventually. Just keep your GP in the loop and alert him to any new, worrying behaviours.

    There are a few OCD forums on the internet; you may find them helpful. Alas, I joined an American one and didn't find it helpful due to the time difference and poor membership. The UK ones I saw seemed to charge. I then lost interest in my search. You may have more patience.

    Anyway, good luck. I'm sure you'll pull through and your daughter will get help when she's ready. You have done all that you can for now, so sit back and be ready to listen when she's ready to talk. Love PP.

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  • Posted

    Thanks again Potty P. It was nice sharing some concerns with you.

    You take care and I wish you happiness. XX

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  • Posted

    Hey there Dusty

    You look after yourself too. You know where I am if you need me.

    Au revoir

    Potty P x

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  • Posted

    Hello, I have written numerous posts over the last few weeks i suppose and feel more and more isolated because no one seems to "get me" I was diagnosed about 3 wks ago as Bipolar 2 and felt happy that finally after 30 plus yrs of knowing i was different naively thought Quatiapine was my magic to getting a life back,i know it will be a different one but i thought a better one.I am sobbing in bed having got my dose up to 150mgs because i feel tired of it all, less confident,kiding myself i'll cope with going back to work as a frontline nurse and generally feeling sorry for myself.My Dad died aged 56 having been diagnosed a depressive but i guess at the time catagorising what sort of depression didn't happen.I've written about having a 2nd chance at life since my diagnosis but today is a crap one !!!!!

     

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  • Posted

    Ps. I don't know why i've chosen you to sound off too. I think it is because in yr other posts to other people something resonates  Best Wishes.

     

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