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Bipolar? - May 25th 2011, 05:26 AM

On the advice of a friend, I read the book "The Dark Side of Innocence," by Terri Cheney, which is about childhood bipolar disorder. That book...was just amazing for me. I feel like I could have written it. Everything she described are feelings that I have also experienced. All my life I've been "diagnosed" with different things- depressed, anger issues - but never been "officially" diagnosed, they just said maybe I had it but the issue was never pressed.

I have frequent mood swings, my depressive moods can be numbing and can wipe me out for days. Right now I'm slightly manic...it's past 1 AM and I'm just up writing poetry and thoughts are just running through my head. Two of my friends have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but they haven't told me much about it.

I fit most of the symptoms for bipolar disorder, but my counselor doesn't want to diagnose me with anything, which is really confusing. She says a label isn't going to help me get better and she doesn't believe in medicating. I just want to know if I was bipolar so I could have some explanation for why I'm feeling this way. I always feel like I'm different, like there's something wrong with me, and I just want something to explain it, so it's not just like...who I am, if that makes any sense.



   
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Re: Bipolar? - May 25th 2011, 05:44 AM

Your counselor will not diagnose you because they are not allowed to do so. She has to be a certified doctor but a counselor is not, so if she were to officially diagnose you, then she can be sued for practicing medicine without a license and/or impersonating a doctor. Likewise, she cannot give you any medications so her answers may be saying what I am just in a more beating-around-the-bush manner. To her, the label doesn't matter because she's formed a method of psychotherapy tailored to your needs. Thus far, nobody can suggest a possible diagnosis because you haven't described yourself. Also, childhood bipolar disorder is quite uncommon as the symptoms must be extremely severe. Bipolar disorder is best treated by medications. Research has indicated psychotherapy is nearly as effective as medications for depression but not for mania, hypomania or mixed episodes.

Lastly, your counselor may think you are not likely to have bipolar disorder. When you describe yourself as being manic, the feelings cant simply last for an hour or day because officially, it's not mania nor hypomania. Officially, it must last for at least 1 week, cause significant impairment to your functioning and may result in you being admitted to a psych ward. Hypomania is a reduced type, needing to last at least 4 days. Depending on the type of mania and presence of mixed episodes, you would have different types of bipolar disorder.


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Re: Bipolar? - May 26th 2011, 02:02 AM

Thanks for the information. I talked to my family and a few members of my family (on both sides) have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My psychiatrist from back home said that he didn't believe in medication unless it was absolutely impairing, and that if I was ever officially diagnosed I would, "wear it on my sleeve," and just live according to that label, so he never wanted to officially diagnose me with anything.



   
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Re: Bipolar? - May 26th 2011, 04:55 AM

That's an odd sounding psychiatrist seeing as their job is to basically prescribe medication and make diagnoses lol.I don't know what he meant by living by a label though, because bipolar is kind of something you can't really control. And its something you actually need medication for, its not really a if its bad enough or not kind of basis, if you have it its bad enough.

What do I hear calling in the distance? I think its the winds of a required second opinion, which coincidentaly is required in almost every case!


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Re: Bipolar? - May 26th 2011, 08:19 AM

Are you sure it was a psychiatrist? That's something I wouldn't expect a psychiatrist to say because medications are needed to help control bipolar symptoms. I understand the label issue as I think the psychiatrist meant the disorder will define who you are and others will see you as that disorder. If you go to another doctor for whatever reason and they see you're bipolar, they may treat you differently in terms of how they approach talking to you. However, I agree with Rick, you need a second opinion because this psychiatrist seems very odd.


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Re: Bipolar? - May 26th 2011, 09:08 AM

Yeah, they do treat you differently. Everytime I go to the hospital no matter what the reason I get a psychiatric room and a security guard, just because when they type in my name there it says bipolar disorder...and probably that security has been called on me several ttimes


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Re: Bipolar? - May 26th 2011, 11:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wilson View Post
Yeah, they do treat you differently. Everytime I go to the hospital no matter what the reason I get a psychiatric room and a security guard, just because when they type in my name there it says bipolar disorder...and probably that security has been called on me several ttimes
It's in part for their safety because if they know (or you tell them) the medications you take, as mentioned in your other thread, it tells them if you're off the medications, shit is going to go flying and won't stop. I'm not sure if the hospital you go to does this but from the sounds of it they would, each time the security guard goes to you, that probably is indicated in the hospital's records. So every time they pull your name up, they see "oh, he has bipolar and uh oh, we've called security on him in the past, he must be unstable so we need security guards here again for him".

When I worked at a hospital, we had some patients who had psychiatric disorders but usually never called for a security guard. A few times, when some of the patients came onto the floor I was on, we didn't call security right away but when the nurses, doctors and I went to see those patients, we tried to be nicer than usual. In the end, we only called for security once it became too difficult to deal with the patients, such as having them throw stuff at you, yell with profanity and so forth. Granted, the floor I was on wasn't the psychiatric ward, although some patients went to and fro there.


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Re: Bipolar? - May 26th 2011, 11:36 AM

Are you sure you're talking to a psychiatrist rather than a counselor/therapist/psychologist? I feel like you may be mixing up terminology because a psychiatrist's JOB is to give a diagnosis and prescribe medication.


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Re: Bipolar? - May 28th 2011, 09:04 PM

Hello, i am not actually from the Usa but from the UK and i have been diagnosed with this disorder however i have always argued that it is not true and have only recently come round a little having had thought that there is no hope of ever getting free of the constant telling from doctors that i am disorderly and maybe i should give up and admit it is true. its not a pleasant experience for me and i am suprised you are so accepting of people labeling and berating you becuase it gets on my nerves, but no two are the same right? i cant see why you would want to admit it to be honest.
   
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