Does This Imply BP II
[Home] [Bipolar News] [Bipolar Disorder] [Medications] [Treatments] [Bipolar Disorder/Job/School] [Disabilities] [Ask the Doctor] [Ask David] [Self-Injury] [Personal Stories] [Graham's Column] [Steven's Column] [Storm's Column] [Columnist Archives] [Suicide] [Community Support] [Family Members] [Expressions] [Greeting Cards] [Books] [Awards] [Links & Rings] [About Us] [Contact Us]

 


Q:  Does This Imply BP II


Early in my treatment for mental health, I have been diagnosed bipolar 2.  However, I was in a severe major depression for months which lead my psychiatrist to believe that I only suffer from major depression w/ psychotic features.  I went to a group home and got some treatment.  I've been in the group home for 3 years now.  Strange things happen.  When I'm out of a depression, I will have at least 4 nights in a year in which I won't sleep from 30-58 hours.  It just creeps up on me out of no where.  I don't feel tired at all until I get a sleep aid at the end of that cycle.  This current episode, I was on top of the world--setting up a support group, working at an animal shelter 5 days a week voluntartarily, cleaning more and more, real hyper, real jokey, feeling powerful because I had money, spending money, cheerful, etc.  Does this imply that I have bp II?

Katie


Dear Katie -- 
Let's see if we can come up with some other way to explain the symptoms you describe.  Caffeine, other drugs?  Thyroid ok? Otherwise, as you've obviously already learned, you're describing a classic set of manic symptoms.  So, if a person has classic manic symptoms, and depressive episodes, she/he has bipolar disorder (she might have something else too, but by definition she has bipolar disorder.  Which kind of bipolar disorder?  If symptoms fall short of disorganized thought or frank psychosis, that's bipolar II; in a fairly common variation the depression symptoms are much more prominent than the manic (technically hypomanic) ones, thus it is easy to call it "major depression, recurrent", unless the psychiatrist was to hear the story of the symptoms you just described.  

If she did, and still didn't call your illness bipolar, then she's probably one of those psychiatrists who doesn't like diagnosing bipolar disorder for some reason.  There are plenty of those psychiatrists and reasons.  Somebody could freak out and say Dr. Phelps, you've never even seen this patient, what are you doing offering a diagnosis?  Answer: I'm not offering you a diagnosis; I'm teaching you what the DSM-IV says about how a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made.  You can make it, or you can review it with your psychiatrist, as somehow you're going to have to maneuver your way to treatment, which is when this "diagnosis" is really going to matter (i.e. whether the doc' agrees with you or not. A thoroughly referenced discussion of the diagnosis of bipolar II can be found on my website.)

Dr. Phelps
 

Published February, 2002

 

 

Bipolar World   1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Owners: 
Allie Bloom, David Schafer, M.Ed. (Blackdog)
Partners:  John Haeckel, Judith (Duff) 
Founder:  Colleen Sullivan
 

Email Us at Bipolar World

 

About Us  Add a Link  Advance Directives  Alternative Treatments  Ask the Doctor   Ask Dr. Plyler about Bipolar Disorder   Ask The Doctor/ Topic Archives  Awards  Benny the Bipolar Puppy  Bipolar Chat  Bipolar Children  Bipolar Disorder News  Bipolar Help Contract  Bipolar World Forums  Book Reviews  Bookstore  BP & Other mental Illness   Clinical Research Trials & FDA Drug Approval   Community Support   Contact Us  The Continuum of Mania and Depression   Coping   Criteria    Criteria and Diagnosis  Criteria-World Health Disabilities,  DSMV-IV   Dual Diagnosis  eGroups  Expressions (Poetry, Inspiration, Humor, Art Gallery, Memorials  Family Members   Getting Help for a Loved One who Refuses Treatment  Greeting Cards  History of Mental Illness  Indigo  Job and School  Links  Manage Your Medications  Medications   Medication and Weight Gain    News of the Day  Parent Chat  Pay for Meds  Personal Stories  Self Help  Self Injury  Significant Others  Stigma and Mental Health Law  Storm's Column  Suicide!!!  The Suicide Wall  Table of Contents   Treatments  Treatment Compliance  US Disability  Veteran's Chat  What's New?