Waiting for Diagnosis

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi all

I've suffered from anxiety and depression for many years, and bipolar has been mentioned as a possibility by some therapists,but not all. What led to your diagnosis? What made the drs or therapists actually decide? I wouldn't say I have mania, more hypomania. But I can be badly depressed for many months,then times of very productive anxiety,then back to depression. This has went on for many years, but noone seems willing to make any kind of diagnosis

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  • Posted


    Doesn't sound like u have manic highs.. that's a big part in bipolar... youv got to have them to describe them also .. you go on drugs for stabilising the moods to stop the highs ..

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  • Posted


    I was diagnosed at 13 with bipolar which is quite rare. It was my mother that noticed my mood swings and believed they were not those of the average teen, knowing my father also has bipolar she told my doctor who asked me to keep a mood diary.

    The mood diary really aided the diagnosis. I suffer badly with the depression side and like you experience hypermania instead of full blown mania but I have had manic episodes also. My doctors had to get second opinions from a number of other doctors to confirm his diagnosis but that was mainly due to my age.

    Don't stress over the word bipolar being mentioned if you are diagnosed it's not the end of the world and it can be managed but try not to fixate on it. Even though I'm currently experiencing a relapse I can usually lead a pretty normal life with the correct support.

    I hope this helps and wish you well.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, I would rather be told I'm bipolar to be honest, then at least I would be able to have a treatment plan. These last 20 years it's been cycles of depression and anxiety, with painful creativity, bad choices and debt etc. Some therapists have thought bipolar, others just say depression. It's infuriating, on the NHS I feel it's just throwing some therapy at you for as short a time as they can then you go straight back to the end of the queue. The only time I was on meds years ago I felt they sent me into crazy anxiety so I refuse them now and try to stick to just therapy
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    • Posted

      Wow weldone for managing without meds.. I think I'd be dead or in prison if it wasn't for them. Iv been on them for so many years for mental health .. my meds pass 3yrs have made a big change in my life for the better ..I wish u luck & good health .

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I was diagnosed with Bipolar in November last year. 

    A therapist/ psychiatrist will look for the presence of both mania, hypomania and depression. I would recommend you look at the Wiki article about Bipolar to give you the criteria for diagnosis. 

    Personally, I was diagnosed for several reasons. The first is that my depressive episodes were extremely severe, involved psychosis, and lasted for over a month. They weren't really linked to any environmental factors, and there was a radical shift in mood over a day or so from normal to depressed that wasn't linked to stress, trauma or outside influences. I also experience hypomania which, put simply, is a less intense form of mania with flights of ideas, excitability, grandiose thoughts and actions and rapid speech and thoughts. I had also experienced a severe manic episode whilst taking antidepressents, which added weight to my Bipolar diagnosis. A psychiatrist will look for the presense of both of these elements. Being honest, if you look at the diagnostic criteria, you will know in your heart whether you really have it or not- I've always known, even pre-diagnosis, that I had it because I had both depressive spells and major shifts with manic symptoms. It's really hard to explain but, as I said, if you have it you will know. 

    With regard to your description, just having hypomania is ok- you will probably have with Bipolar Type 2, or cyclothymia. Having a manic episode is the criteria for Type 1, but all of the above are still forms of the same illness. It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the DSM or ICD criterias before you see your doctor so you can keep on track during your appointment. So many doctors will try to diagnose outside of Bipolar- there are crossovers in symptoms to Schitzophrenia, Schitzoaffective Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and some personality disorders, so it's a good idea to have in mind the criterias before you begin!

    I really hope you get the diagnosis you're looking for, and you get on some good medication. Quite honestly, I wouldn't be here had it not been for my psychiatrist giving me the right diagnosis and a good combination of meds!


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    • Posted

      Thank Charlie,that's the infuriating part,I feel GPs aren't at all interested in mental health,they put me on waiting lists for 7 months,I go into therapy, you get a ridiculous 6 sessions with a therapist who then boots you to the kerb regardless of whether your any better or not. Sick of the whole cycle
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