Is This Normal For Bipolar? Do Cycle Lengths Change?

Posted , 6 users are following.

I've just been told I might have Bipolar. I'm not so sure and would love your detective guys's help?

Can it change super quick.. a few days quick?

I get really depressed and then extatic which seems like bipolar... but within a few days of each other. So Monday, Tuesday crazy acting like a toddler. Then thursday wearing off but Friday and Saturday I can't even get of bed,sleeping 18 hours at a time.

This has been happening for a few months but before it was weeks between changes in mood.

It's so hard to deal with, please does someone else have this too?

0 likes, 18 replies

Report / Delete

18 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Emma, 

    I have the exact same thing as you, my moods can be extremely complex. In my experience it can be one of two things.

    I myself have Bipolar Disorder, but also have Borderline Personality Disorder. Speaking broadly, my psychiatrist explained that bipolar is responsible for long terms shifts in mood, i.e. I'm manic for a month to two months, then I 'crash' and I'm in bed for months on end. Borderline is responsible for day to day shifts in mood- I have severe emotional reactivity and this can mean I'm really happy one moment, angry the next, then feeling suicidal the next- and so it goes on. I'm medicated for Bipolar with Lithium, and Quetiapine to help taper my emotions with Borderline. 

    Another explanation is that you have 'rapid-cycling' Bipolar. I'm told this is extremely distressing and one is contantly at the mercy of one's moods (or brain chemistry). I'm no expert, so I would suggest going to your doctor and asking for a referral to see a professional psychiatrist, if you haven't already. I only advise you because I see a lot of myself in what you've written above. A good psychiatrist will spend time getting a grasp of your moods, and present you with a diagnosis that you can both work on with either medication or therapy. 

    I hope this helps- please do comment below if you have any further questions. I would advise getting educated on bipolar and seeing if you recognise any symptoms in yourself. My psychiatrist is great in that he works with me and takes my opinions into account when working out diagnosis and treatments.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Charlie,

      Firstly thank you so much for replying and replying so quickly. I was sure that no one would really care but anyway thanks.

      So Ive not even heard of Borderline Personality Disorder, does it get misinterpretted as mood swings alot? Are the two related, so do they come hand in hand or is it just random for people that have have Bipolar too?

      How does the fact that Bipolar affecting months of (for example) depression react with BPD when you get a high? Is it just that is muted effect? What if you go low does teh depression get even worse? That must be so hard to deal with.

      See I did look at that and even that said it's not really 'classed' as Bipolar until you have weeks/months of a time.. which seems so unfair as even within the same symptoms you can be 'Outcast'.. I don't really know what I'm saying but hpefully you can make sence of it?

      I went to the doctor and now I'm currently on waiting lists for CBT and all that jazz so hopefully it will help. But I think asking questions to people who truely know and have experienced it will help a lot too.

      I've done my research and I'm quite scared really. It's quite scary to see what sometimes happens and the idea it may get worse horrifies me. Which may all be b*s but yes it seems like a possibilty disregarding the time scaling issue.

      Thanks again, Emma

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Not a problem Emma. 

      My diagnosis is really complex and I've been really blessed to have a great psychiatrist who's helped me a lot. Sadly, Bipolar and Borderline are often mistaken for each other, because they can exhibit in the same way. Bipolar type 2 is often comorbid with other diagnoses, which can be a personality disorder like I have, or substance misuse for example. 

      The best way I can explain is this. My psychiatrist put me on Lithium as an 'experiment'- what it's done is removed my hypomanias (or what you said running around like a toddler) and has also helped me to feel much less suicidal when I get low and I'm not as inclined to self harm as I would be without it. It's levelled me out a lot, and I'm able to engage better with people, learn new facts and read books, all of which I struggled with when I was undiagnosed. What it doesn't do is change my emotional reactivity day to day- for example, I still get really angry, still get upset etc. Whilst Quetiapine (an antipsychotic medication I would recommend highly) helps with this, the way forward for me now is therapy to help go back in the past and see why I behave this way. I had a really difficult childhood and was abused badly during my teenage years- my dad also passed away when I was 10 which I've never really dealt with. 

      There's no need for you to feel like an outcast- all of this has an explanation, you just need to bare with it and trust the professionals to help you. If your condition is giving you real problems in your day to day life I would suggest getting help from a CMHT (Community Mental Health Team) if you haven't already. You can be referred by your GP and they will help you out- they will also push you up the list for CBT if you need it. It may be helpful for you also to find a support group in your local area- I go to one and the guys in my group are pretty awesome to talk to. People with bipolar are not 'mad' or 'wierd'- I'd actually argue we're far more interesting than most people!

      Finally, don't be scared. It's true that both of my conditions have got worse as I've gotten older, but if you seek help, get on some good medication and get people around you to help out, you will be absolutely fine, I promise! I would suggest the 'Mind' website (just google mind.org.uk) as it's a good place to find out about your condition and get some extra support.

      I hope this helps- all the best to you and don't be scared!!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you, Thats cleared a lot of questions up.

      Lithium does sound like it helps a lot and Ill deffinatelly give both that and Quetiapine a go at your recomendation.. if the doctor does prescribe it.

      Im currently going through exams and it obviously effected this alot. I was put on to the waiting list for CBT six weeks ago being told that it would most likely take four weeks at the most. They also told me that I couldn't be put on a waiting list for secondary care such as Chams as well. Which is very annyoying as showing that the process is going to be slow and I'm most likely going to have to resit the year because of this. I will try to get back to the GP and ask about any way to help this.

      I would deffinatelly agree in saying that I am very intresting on the highs!

      Thank you and I'll be sure to check that out.

      I'll try not to look too far in the furture an focus on facing the soon to be exams, thank you.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi emma

    I did the same but mine wasnt really acting like a toddler more like I had loads of energy and didnt know what to do with it so I tryed everything even extreem sports for the adrenaline aswell as sex loads of sex with anyone just so I could try and get rid of the energy. But no matter what I did I couldnt. I embarrased people when I was out by starting fights and acting like a teenager to witch I still do sometimes act like a teenager that is as medication only helps yolu so far. and no sleep at all and thinking that i was someone specail and put here by god for a reason.

    My lows was me sleeping 12 + hoursThen scared to even go out as was addiment people where talking about me aswell as following and stalking me or addiment they where going to take me away if they got me. Saw what I call devil shadow people with red eyes and vioces 100 vioces all at once even people I didnt know tellin g me how low life i was and to just kill myself. I took 2 over doses cut myself 3 times and It got that bad I was hanging myself every night as I just wanted it all to stop and had no clue as to what was going on with me. and I abused alchol.

    Now Im on tablets I feel ok but i still am not on the right strength and still not getting the correct help. I was first diognosed with depression but I knew something else was going on. its now been 3yrs and still not on the right stength or getting the help needed.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Aww Stacey that sounds so hard to go through. Do you have any tips to help when it gets really bad from your experience?

      How many types have you gone through to get the right dosage and tablets?

      Is it just a given that it'll take a long time to get right?

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I was diognosed a year ago hunni and still not one the right dosage but seeing the mental health doctor soon who fingers cross will place me on the right one.. It depends on how strong you are to depending on how long it can take to get the right dosage. Yes you have meds but you still have low and manic days but you have to control them and its only you that can do that and as soon as you have that control you realise that it gets easyer as your in control but you have to keep on saying it.. also say to the voices your not real and the shadows helps. I Cope using this and singing (not very well mind lol) but singing dancing all helps with emotions on helps control emotion. I also watch films sometimes like when im on a train or bus to forget about other people as sometimes find it hard to go out. I also use you know hidden treasure games (big fish games) really good to take your mind off things and get lost into a fantasy world and not go out and think your in one. xx
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      plus i will point out i nearly got sectioned but i told them i wanted to go back home and back to normal witch is better for bipolars to try and get back to there normal routine xx
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I never thought singing could be the fix hahaha

      Thank you stacey sounds like you have it more sussed than me and I hope to get there soon!

      Yes sounds judt like me.. I got told that I might have to resit the year but refused to give up and trying to get back to normal. xx

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    One aspect of BD for many is 'cyclothymia' - rapid changes in mood within the same day or week (check it out online, eg. Wikipedia).  I have this condition and it makes you feel like a psychological yo-yo. You have to get used to people around you saying 'what did I do to make you behave this way?', and let them know that you are a mental shape-shifter, and you don't need anyone or anything for this to happen: "I'm a million different people from one day to the next, I can't change my mold, no no no"... (Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve)
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks I will and it sounds very similar acctually.. Do you know how to help stopp it from happpening so quickly? I flip out alot and it's so hard to not push away frinds.

      I love that song! Hahaha

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Emma

    regarding how to control rapidly changing moods: a lot of the stuff Charlie and Stacey said earlier is good advice - such as listening to music and singing along with it - though different things work for different people, and its best to try the main things out. There's some evidence that loud music works better than quieter music (actually boosts relevant neurotransmitters in your brain) - rock and dance music does it for me, but I know some bipolars find classical music works better for them (probably just a matter of taste). Similarly, watching happy/funny/upbeat movies can help with lower moods (sounds obvious, but seems to work), while meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques can help with high moods. But a lot of the time, I can't control the mood-shifting whatever I do, and then its more relevant to work out how you can get yourself and other people to cope with it better.  As I said before, explaining to people that you a rapid mood-cycler can help (it relieves their guilt/anger/confusion with you); and you can also try to avoid people who have no empathy for your condition when you are yo-yo-ing around a lot. I am sure you have heard a lot of stuff like 'just pull yourself together' and 'don't be so self-indulgent; or 'calm down' or 'cheer up' or other useless directional advice haha. Lastly, I also try to make use of some of the more mid-range moods - like reading a long book when I am feeling low and fatigued; and doing house-chores I usually avoid and tricky computer work when my brain goes fast and wired. good luck.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yeah everything can be delayed at least by blasting loud music!

      Never tried yoga and that type but will deffinatelly look into it.

      I know that it will help to tell people but it's hard.. and the stigma and not wanting to look attention seeking etc etc

      Oh see I find it quite hard to read the words when I'm down.. they repaet themselves and move haha but glad you get that indulgence!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    got brain-freeze today but wanted to say I should have also said: not a good idea to let some people know about your condition (eg. at work) because it can be held against you (no promotion, getting sacked, etc.). But when people tell me I am unreliable because I am late (again) I sometimes can't help but tell them. Then they may avoid you etc., so its a tough call. Only a few per cent of the population are bipolar (there aren't many of us), but people really do need educating about this condition - though you need to pick and choose who they are. Its not worth it to educate many people because they are prejudiced toward people with mental disorder. In the end, many such people are just scared of the unknown: best to leave them with their certainties. bye
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I think that everywhere you go you will come across people that are prejudice towards you on something even small. These people you just have to learn to live with and ignore. So yes sometimes I do agree that not telling people is a good idea, but if you do, it ultimately would be their problem not yours.

      Well aren't we unique! How lucky... eventhough most people may dissagree with that, I still think that the highs make up for the lows.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up