Bipolar 2

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Hi. I've been struggling with anxiety and depression for some time now. I just feel as though something else is a miss. Something is not quite right.

Could anyone suffering with Bipolar 2 disorder tell me what sort of symptoms I'd expect if I had this particular disorder? I don't have bipolar 1 as I'm not manic enough. Hoping someone can be descriptive in shedding some light. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Try reading the quora entry on "what does it feel like to have bipolar". I'll post the link in the next reply.
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  • Posted

    Or you could google "quora bipolar"
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  • Posted

    Hi

    i was finally diagnosed as bipolar 2 in May this year. I had always suffered from what I now know was depressive episodes, as early as 7 years old, but they didn't start to get too bad until I was early 40's after a horrendous divorce and assaults. The anti depressants worked for a while (venlafaxine) but stopped working last year. I slowly started to go downhill about this time last year. I tried suicide, but it was more a cry for help. My mood wasn't helped by me being ill (very bad tonsillitis), my father being ill, by brother diagnosed with cancer and then I had a major car crash.

    anyway, interspersed with my bouts of severe depression I had periods where I felt well. But "really" well. As if the future was an amazing thing. And I was invincible. I booked holidays I couldn't afford, I bought shoes in every colour, I exercised everyday for 2 hours, and made plans for nights out, dinners, weekends away, new careers etc etc etc.

    but then I'd crash. I couldn't get out of bed. I was tired. I cried for no reason and felt no point in living.

    the best way to describe it was the way my daughter put it:

    "when you are in a good mood it's as if you are drunk, but I know you're not. You make exciting plans and get the families hopes up. And then one day it's as if someone has turned all the lights off. And you are not there"

    i had enough of feeling either up or down and never feeling normal. I went to my GP and said I just wanted to be like my friend. Go to work, go home, have tea, look forward to the weekend, exercise a couple of times a week and do things with my family.

    when I explained my symptoms I.e. Excessive shopping and exercising her referred me to a psychiatrist as he suspected bipolar. I went to see a psychiatrist about a month later And the diagnosis was confirmed. But because I did not display psychotic symptoms I was diagnosed as bipolar 2. I am now on new medication (quetiapine) and was told the old one (venlafaxine) was not good for bipolar symptoms. 

    I have been on the new mess for about 6 months now. I started on a low dose which increased every 2 weeks by 25 mg until I reached 200 mg. and I can honestly say I have never felt so well. I am happy. I feel normal. I can relax, chill out and best of all I have a wonderful nights sleep, every night. I no longer pace the house all night with insomnia and my mood is greatly improved. I don't have the highs, but I don't have the lows. 

    I hope to god it stays this way. I don't know much about bipolar 2. Bipolar 1 is very easy to recognise and I know I haven't got that. And maybe I'm out really bipolar at all. But the mess work and for that I am grateful. Without them I prob would have killed myself by now.

    so Chris, if any of this sounds familiar, p,ease go to your GP. And try and get a referral to a psychiatrist. You can't always get an appointment quickly ( which in itself is a massive flaw in mental health care. When you urgently need help you need to wait 6 weeks, but by the time you get an appointment you are either dead or the moment of "madness" has passed and you feel like a freak). But if you are able, please go and see a specialist, explain your symptoms and get the help you need. No one and I mean no one needs to feel so bad.

    liz xxx

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Liz. Thanks for your reply.

      Some of the trates are recognisable and some aren't. I've never really bought something I can't afford. I did however buy a car earlier this year on finance. It was expensive but it only matched a debt I was getting rid of that is been paying for 2 yrs so it wasn't an addition, just a continuation. When I got the car, I felt as though I didn't deserve it and looking at it gave me raging anxieties. I kept it 3 months and got rid!!

      Everything else I don't tend to go mad on. Cars are my passion and I've bought dozens since I passed my test. I keep one, then get bored and buy another. I've got one currently that's cheap to run but I'm getting the urge to change! Is this boredom? A passion? Or a trait?

      I also plan ahead. I wanted to go into property development after I'd done up my house I'm in at the minute. I wanted to keep busy every day to keep my mind off the depression so completely renovated my house from top to bottom when I bought it back in March. I've one more room to do so that's how quick I've done it.

      I tend to stay away from going out or holidays because of my anxiety.

      Can you have bipolar and anxiety together?

      I am up and down too often. One day good and I think I've turned a corner, the next boom my mood drops and I feel nothing but impending doom and nothing to look forward to. I've got many plans for the future but none of it 'excites' me when it should.

      So, some things you've said relate to me but not all of them. What people do have to be careful of from what I've found, is that most symptoms are repeated across the board of mental illness so because I have traits of bipolar doesn't necessarily mean I have it as that symptom may also be associated with a different condition.

      What do you think?

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris

    The only way to know if you are really bipolar II or not is to get a diagnosis from a psychiatrist.  I was dignosed as such in 1998 after years of it wreeking havoc in my life.  Once I was diagnosed everything changed and I got proper support and medication so I would strongly reccomend that you talk to your dr. about this. It took them a long time to stabilise me, but with great meds and support of psych, gp, and friends/family I have been stable for years.  I used to miss the highs but now I am just glad to be content and level, and sane.

    Happy Christmas

    Lizzie

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    • Posted

      Hi Lizzie. Thanks for that. I will see if I can get that appointment although it is tricky asking for one in the UK. They are reluctant to just give you access to those types of specialist.

      Have a great Christmas.

      Chris.

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    • Posted

      Hi Chris

      I'm in the UK too, but when I was diagnosed the NHS wasn't in the dire state it is now, especially mental health services.  I know I was very fortunate and you have my utmost sympathy in your distress.  I won't go into all my symptoms as I'm sure plenty of people who have posted on this forum have already done similar things, but one thing I will say is that when hypomanic I did spend fortunes impulsively, and I was very promiscuous (thats two things), which is what lead to the disintegration of my marriage.  I made very bad decision when high and sometimes got into a condition which used to be called mixed states which is where depression and mania combine, truly horrid and totally destructive.  I'm so glad I came though it.  If you are not feeling suicidal I would suggest going to your gp first and trying to get a referral to a psychiatrist, if you are suicidal take your self off to a&e pdq where they will help you as best they can.

      Am listening to English folk music from the 60s and 70s tonight, that shows my age, and am going to have a very pleasant Christmas just me and mum.

      Blessings

      Lizzie xxx

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    • Posted

      Forgot to answer one of your questions, which is yes, anxiety and bipolar often go hand in hand, which is one of the things that makes diagniosis, and hence treatment, diffiult.

      L x

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    • Posted

      Hi Lizzie. Fortunately I'm not suicidal. I'm quite balanced and grounded in that department. I have to make an appointment soon anyway to get more meds. I'm also on venlafaxine. Been on them before and came off after 5 yrs. worst mistake I ever made as this time round I'm struggling with them.

      Lol the old music is the best. Better than this trash you hear now!! I'm so glad you are feeling better. I've had two friends this year commit suicide. This stigma and set up of mental health needs to be changed and now!!!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Chris, your kind words mean a lot to me.  Glad you like the old music too, its great isn't it!  I ripped my entire CD collection to my mac as well as constnatly downloading albums, I have very wide tastes in music, a lot of classical but loads from the 60s, 70s and 80s, I'm very eclectic but agree with you, contempoarasry music is not a patch on what we used to hear when things just seemed so original and groundbreaking.  I now have over 23,300 tracks on my mac.

      Lizzie xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris

    The only way to know for sure is to insist on your gp referring you to a psychiatric consultant or because of the long nhs wanting list and if you could afford it go privately. Privately it's can cost just for an assessment alone £250 so it's pricey but worth it if you can do it to get an assessment and the diagnosis more quickly. Ask your gp about these options and discuss what's right course of action for you regarding your treatment plan. Also be more specific on your symptoms of your mental illness and say want your concerns are.

    I hope this helps you and good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi thank you for that. Yes I'll persist in getting a referral. Some days I wake up feeling unsure and paranoid and other days I feel right as rain and wonder what I'm fussing about.

      Happy Christmas.

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  • Posted

    I was struck by your words as I've often wondered about the existential side of Bi Polar Disorder.   I have found Art a great steadier eversince school days when I would go visit Tate Britain.   Still unable to decide what to do with my life at senior school, I worked as an administrator for many years finally getting a college degree in Fine Art in my mid thirties.  Some of the Artists who I have found most healing in what I now know to be BiPolarII are: Sara Lucas (humour),  Anya Gallacio (Gerberas)   J M W
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  • Posted

    Hi Chris! You are not alone! The problem with psychiatric diagnosis is that it is not objective. You can get different diagnoses from different people even though you describe the same symptoms! If only it was as easy as having a blood test and being put on an anti-biotic or whatever.

    About 10 years ago,a psychiatrist diagnosed me with Type 2 Bi-Polar. Six months later another said I was having episodes of severe depression with short breaks,  inbetween so not bi-polar. Or it could be rapid-cycling type 2 bi-polar. Or not.......

    I have periods of feeling well and periods of feeling very depressed and sometimes suicidal, but they can fluctuate in just a few days. I have never been manic. It doesn't sound as if you have ever been manic either. Anxiety and depression go together like a horse and cart unfortunately, and sometimes it feels like you are dragging them both along behind you.

    Having said all that, I agree withe others that you need to get referred to a psychiatrist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. There are SO many drugs availiable and only a specialist has enough experience to know which to try. After 15 years of struggling with it all, I have accepted that it doesn't really matter what it is called. After trying many many drugs over the years I have finally found a combination of 2 different anti depressants and a mood stabiliser which is a good recipe for me. I needed the psychiatrists to help try various concoctions of drugs to get the right recipe for me.

    And I have learnt to accept that I'm just as well as I can be. I had four hours of feeling suicidal the day before yesterday (well it is Xmas, sure I wasn't the only one!), and after sleep and kindness to myself (not beating myself up etc) today I am fine again. So I am lucky. It doesn't seem to last, though I cross my fingers as I type those words...................there is always a fear lurking somewhere isn't there?

    Good luck. Hope you get the right help 

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