Doctors say I have depression, but I don' think so. Can anyone help me understand what condition I have?

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I am a 31 year old female, who has suffered for many years with a condition I cannot understand, and that many doctors I have seen say is depression. Although I don't agree with them.

As a child my father would talk to me about his diabetes, he had many stories about food and was quite negative which I believe effected my attitude towards food at that young age of 11. This is when i started to get anorexia, although i never forced myself to be sick or vomit. It got much worse by 13 years old and then finally I recovered from anorexia at around 14 years old after being in hospital. I was told my brain had shrunk by the doctors which scared me a lot and helped me to recover. The doctors finally told me I was free from anorexia after that.

Since then up until now at 31 I have been trying very hard to have a normal life. So growing up and going to school and work etc I managed to do it, although for me it was very difficult, as I was always so tired with very little energy. My family thought I was okay because I was managing to do normal things like everyone else, but in truth it was so difficult for me. So occasionally, once every two years, for about 6 months i cant manage to lead a regular life. At these times i spend most of my time in bed, eating normally, but not really going outside or socialising. I've tried but it makes me too tired and after I get home I feel horrible and cant get my energy back. (My doctors have said that I get so tired at these times because I am so scared of social interactions and have depression, but I am certain that they are 100% wrong about this.) I am a very social person when I am in a phase of being able to work etc. I like to meet people and talk to them, I enjoy travelling , backpacking and also I work in a bar, serving customers. So I do not suffer from social anxiety as they suggest.

I feel like i am stuck in a cycle of working hard like regular people at the bar, for some months, but eventually I get very tired and work becomes too difficult for me, forcing me to quit.

Then i enter the stage where I stay at home in bed all day and eating normally. Weighing about 50 kilograms, but I am so tired and with no energy at these times. Eventually the cycle begins again and I can go outside,be social and work again eventually, but I always get to a point where during that time of working hard I have to leave again. I cannot break this cycle , but it is preventing me from having a regular life. The doctors don't seem to be able to tell me what is causing this. They say it is depression , but I really don't think it is.

I hope that someone out there can make sense of this and help me understand what could be causing this.

Thank you for reading. I hope to hear from you guys.


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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Mika

    has anyone mentioned bi-polar disorder. it seems that you are having cycles of high energy and then low energy which is typical of bi-polar, all ups and downs. If you have no confidence in your doctors diagnosis then keep trying other doctors or specialists until you get an alternative explanation. Some doctors are good, some not so good. Find one you can work with. Keep trying, I'm sure you will find the answer. It could be a biological or hormonal imbalance rather than a mental health issue. I'm sorry I cannot be of more use. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Have you had a thyroid check? If not then get one. If yes then what most doctors rely on is the "normal" range and ignore any other possibility. You can have a result that fits the normal range but a small percentage of people need medication regardless. Then it becomes a matter of convincing your GP to put you on  a trial of  taking the meds and monitoring your results.

    You should also pursue checks for diabetes.

    Autism and bipolar are conditions that present difficulties for psychiatrists in some cases. Having had to research a lot of this because of a misdiagnosis for my son it does not seem to me that you should think about bipolar.

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  • Posted

    I am no medic, bur I feel a certain amount of sympathy with you. I'm not lucky enough to weigh on c.50 kilos (quite the opposite, in fact) but my energy is still low. Personally, I strongly believe, firstly, that 'you are what you eat', and, secondly, that this statement is qualified by 'you are what your body does with what you eat.'

    In the first instance, if you eat "rubbish", then don't be surprised if you subsequently feel like a refuse sack. Secondly, my experience of most of my friends these days is that they don't actually usually eat that badly. Therefore, perhaps one is reacting adversely to something perceived as quite normal. So, the big problem becomes identifying the culprit. Many people claim to have food allergies. However, for me good old sugar appeared to cause real digestive problems. I'm not actually diabetic, but the metabolic problems were definite.

    good luck in identifying the problem.


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  • Posted

    Hi Mika,

    Start with the facts...

    1. No one knows your 'condition' better than you do.

    2. The web is a vast 'knowledge base'.

    If you've not already done so, consider these:

    Find matching symptoms on the web and make a list of possible things to consider being behind the problem. Base this on the number of matching symptroms, your own 'gut' feelings and likelihood.

    Consider the effects of any medications you're already taking - even regular ones.

    Consider foods you're eating and possible allergies.

    Consider other non-natural chemical exposures.

    Consider not single items but combinations - as these are much harder to spot.

    Depression is honestly a good starting point. Recognising depression is not always easy - either for you or the medical profession - until it becomes severe. There is no reason depression can't come and go in cycles. There have been odd times I've spent 2 days in bed - with the exception of eating and toilet trips - and felt better afterwards. Treatment for depression may help even if it's not depression !

    Sleep is another big mystery. When you're more tired, it could be connected with poor sleep. That can be from an over active mind, bed the wrong temperature or stomach not satisfied.

    As you raise the question now, are you having one of your tired periods at the moment ? How long do they last ?

    Anaemia would show up in blood tests - but only if you get your blood tested at the time. Arrange tests with your GP for when you feel really tired and when you feel fine - so that comparisons between the two can be made. I'd prescribe a steak pie to anyone !

    Have a think about the above info and come back to us with your thoughts and any further info you're happy to share.


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