Bipolar Disorder Community
Bipolar
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Bipolar

What exactly makes someone bipolar? And how can the  doctors prove it?
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585414_tn?1288944902
Well as for psychiatrist's there is the DSM-4 which is what they use to determine the exact criteria for any psychiatric disability. There is no exact test but they can tell by a person's specific behavior patterns, how it affects their life and their mood changes. There are some websites linked up on the welcome page for informational purposes that would provide more information. As well its good to keep a mood tracker and print out the results for a psychiatrist so they can determine what's going on as there are a variety of subtypes of bipolar and they would then understand it further and know how to treat it more specifically.
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1221705_tn?1297196669
Ok But how can they prove it? I am 16 and was diagnosised with Bipolar Disorder in Febuary. I was forced to go to a psychologist because I harmed myself with a hammer. I was anxious about missing a week of school because I was sick and I took the stress out on myselff.I was not angry i was stressed.The doctor thinks because i Self Inflicted Harm on myself thati am bipolar.I am the calmest person in my family.So  I do not agree witht he diagnosis. I am a 16 year old that is in college classes. I am very smart and I run a babysitting buisness.I have never lost my temper other than with my brother who is 13 month older. They doctor put me on some stupid medication that I do not think I should be on.

How can a psychologist determine that I am bipolar within a 50 minute session? I think that is way to short of time to diagnosis someone. I want some sort of prooff.
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603015_tn?1329866573
Bipolar disorder does not mean you are angry, it may be a symptom for some bipolars but not all. I am Bipolar II and I do not loose my temper easily, its usually a combination of symptoms that lead to a diagnosis. Unfortunatley there is no "test" that can "prove it" but you are entitled to a second opinion, so why dont you ask for that. I had 4 opinions before I could start to accept my diagnosis. I would suggest a psychiatrist as apposed to a psychologist should be making a diagnosis though. It will be important to get a diagnosis that you have confidence in or you will not get the treatment you may or may not need. I wish you luck and you can get good support from this site should you choose to use it.
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574118_tn?1305138884
any bipolar person passes by a period of denial long or short, so perhaps that's it.
However also you SHOULD seek a 2nd and a 3rd opinion before you embark on any medication. doctors can do mistakes like all other human beings. Moreover you are still young and many factors intervene the least can be hormonal etc...etc...

Still if you end up being convinced that you are, then the better to start treatment, also don't underestimate psychotherapy it helps a lot.
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952564_tn?1268372247
I would suggest starting yourself a mood tracker and just keep an eye on your ups and downs. When I was a teen I had euphoric symptoms such as lots of laughing, joking, giggling, you know very easy going and joyful but kind of in a "back away slowly, she's way too happy" kind of way. A lot of mania is refereed to as the "life of the party." This is offset by depression, of course, which is not angry, either. It is only now that I'm in my 30s that I no longer have euphoria and instead dysphoria which is the irritated and frustrated type. Also mania and hypomania are different in that sometimes hypomania goes undetected because it can be very, very mild. Bipolar is actually a depressive disorder at the core, but with the added feature of mania. I am very laid back and have a very live let live attitude, except in recent years as the dysphoria sets in.

Also I want to mention about self-harming here because I also self harm. Self-harm comes out at the most stressful times. It is not anger necessarily, it is pain. Sure you may be angry with yourself and not even realizing it. But really, it is about how much emotional pain you are in at that moment is far too intense to handle. People with self-harm can have bipolar or boarderline personality disorder, possibly even straight depression (although I think I hear this is less likely.)

Now, I agree with the others that if you are not comfortable with a diagnosis to get a second opinion. But do a mood tracker and educate yourself on bipolar, BPD, and self-harm and so on. You're not alone in that, but it is serious and you need to take care of yourself.
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574118_tn?1305138884
>>Bipolar is actually a depressive disorder at the core, but with the added feature of mania. I am very laid back and have a very live let live attitude, except in recent years as the dysphoria sets in.

How true you expressed it saying " depressive disorder at the core" because it means that not BP2 whose main concern is depression but also 1. So many years elapsed and still i can't tell - neither my pdocs - (i've seen plenty of them) whether i am 1 or 2.

although depression is a concern, pdocs address mania because it's this which is important in order not to harm the brain.

If - i am saying - if they can resolve depression by an AD that doesn't induce mania, then not only 1/2 the illness is resolved but all of it, escept the sad case in which one can become manic by himself without any triggers. In one of the polls i did here, 70% said it all started by depression and an AD provoked the mania, only 30% claimed they started to be hypomanic 1st.
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1221705_tn?1297196669
If I am bipolar what can be the best way for me to accept it? I am a 16 year old in college. I am going to start taking 5 classes a semester. I do not see how I have bipolar.Im not understanding it. The psychologist thhinks I do but all of my friends and teachers and people at church think that I am the calmest person they know.I do not switch moods easily. I stay a mild mood. Where I am happy but not exstatic.I have alot of stress in my life right now that it.
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1221705_tn?1297196669
I do not really want to be on medication.Thje psychologist put me on medication and I hate them. I am a teenager and they are trying to lable me as something that I do not feel I am.
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1039200_tn?1314915608
I think you really need your psychologist / doctor to sit with you and explain to you exactly why they have come up with the conclusion that you have bipolar, and I think you should be able to state your case to them. You deserve this at the very least. I agree with Xila31 about keeping a mood tracker too.  In the meantime you could read up about bipolar and see if you can identify yourself as having any of the symptoms and if you still feel the diagnosis is wrong I would get a second opinion as soon as possible.

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1221705_tn?1297196669
What is a mood tracker? My psychologist said that I am bipolar becasue of my self harm . I honestly do not think I am bipolar.I know that I self harmed myself but I knew what I was doing I knew that it was going to cause me damage internally I knew all that. I did it because I have read and heard people say that it releaves their stress and I felt that maybe it would releave mine. So I did it.then i got into the habbit of doing it. That was when it got bad.Then I made myself stop. I quit doing it I didnt hurt myself from August - Feburary. then in feb I got stressed out because of missing aweek of school and my mom possibly having cancer and our living conditions that I did it again. It was not as bad this time.

The psychologist did not do a individual evaluation she did everytihing with my parents and me. So my parents kept saying things like she is lazy and defiant.I am not lazy I am 16 taking  college and high school classes. ihave 9 classes in all and I have As and Bs in all of them. How is that lazy.I am difiant because I put my homework before chores.

These are the reasons that my psychologist gave me and I find them lame.I do not want to be taking the meds that she put me on. I do not think that I need them.
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1039200_tn?1314915608
From what you say you are right to have concerns. Self harm is not by itself a reason to suspect bipolar disorder, neither is being 'lazy' or 'defiant'.
Bipolar is an affective disorder, meaning that moods changes are the primary symptoms - you can look up the specifics if you type 'bipolar definition' in a search engine.
This is why a mood tracker can help you to clarify whether you have this condition, and can giva an idea how your moods cycle.
A mood tracker is available through medhelp, where you can leep a 'daily log' of how you are feeling and how it relates to other things such as changes in medication or life changes. Just click on most popular trackers and it is easy to set up.
Even if the bipolar diagnosis is incorrect I would still say that you could do with some kind of support, as you have been through a lot for someone so young. You could probably benefit from some kind of psychotherapy or counselling either way and of course you can always post here for additional support. Good Luck.

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1221705_tn?1297196669
I do go to therapy every week.I know that I have gone through a lot for someone my age. I love going to my theripist she is so cool and down to earth. I just do not like being on meds. I do not believe that I am bipolar and I want something to prove it.
Self harm is bad but it does not make me bipolar it just means that I have low emotional status right now.
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1039200_tn?1314915608
If only there was a definitive test for bipolar - it would be great! I have had and still have periods of denial especially when I feel 'well' and could do with a black/white answer.
Unfortunately there is no such thing as a black and white yes or no - it is diagnosed by assessment by a professional. Your concerns are valid and need to be heard if you disagree with the diagnosis, but really the only way to challenge the diagnosis is through a second opinion. State all the reasons why you disagree with the diagnosis and ask the pdoc to convince you that their decision is right.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm concerned I have a friend that's been diagnosed with bipolar, he lashes out, tells lies on friends nd family, spends excessive, makes up stories nd feels everyone is out to get him. Are these common symptoms? Will this continue throughout the rest of his life? He's changed so drastic.
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585414_tn?1288944902
This can be part of bipolar but only a psychiatrist could provide a specific diagnosis but it would be worthwhile for your friend to seek a referral.
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1167245_tn?1353882100
Unfortunately, I think bipolar disorder has become the hot diagnosis in psychiatry, and these serious disorders are being tacked onto people after really brief assessments. I don't think a doctor should be able to make these judgments so quickly, even if someone is presenting with what appears to be a classic, out-of-control, raving manic episode. I think that a lot of doctors are skipping over the more in-depth analysis in favor of just slapping a diagnostic label on the patient's chart and sending them off with a prescription (or, more often than not, 2, 3, 4+ prescriptions at once). Of course, there are no definitive tests for mental illnesses, and the mind is an extremely complex thing. Doctors have the responsibility of making the most accurate diagnosis as possible given the subjective nature of the situation. But a misdiagnosis can ruin a person's life, and I think that overall, psychiatrists have become stupidly reckless, or even worse, just plain lazy.

I don't mean to sound bitter. There are some doctors who do take the time to really get a good, comprehensive view of the individual, and who are more conservative with their treatment approaches. I think you're being very smart and mature in having reservations about such a serious diagnosis. If possible get a second or third opinion.
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Avatar_m_tn
Metatron4lyfe
Yes these symptoms can be common but only a psychiatrist can figure out if they're being caused by your friend's bipolar disorder.  After all, they went to medical school for a certain number of years to learn this stuff.

moonpanda
I actually think the same thing that they diagnose people with things like bipolar disorder way too fast.  I got diagnosed with it in less than an hour and then when I went and got a real diagnosis, as the general practitioner put it later on, I didn't get diagnosed with schizophrenia until a week later after they read through my papers that I wrote about my illness in and the general practitioner made it sound like they were qualified to make a diagnosis such as bipolar disorder so I thought for all that time I was bipolar even though it's my thoughts and perception of reality that are mainly F'd up.
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