Bipolar Disorder Community
How do I explain things?
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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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How do I explain things?

I've been struggling internally for what seems like years and recently it's become very scary. Especially since I'm just beginning to act on some of the least dangerous thoughts. I've expected that I was depressed for a long time but I've been to ashamed and embarrassed to week any help. But then I noticed my depression was getting a lot worse. I was confused because I thought to myself that the depression is so bad but I snap out of it so quickly and I get so full of confidence. And then I start projects and come up with ideas that I never follow through. To make a long story short. I stumbled upon bipolar disorder. I never really looked Into before but when I started reading the symptoms, it was like I was looking into my life. It was terrifying a relieving. So my problem is, I feel like my symptoms are out of control. I feel like they've been out of control for months now and that's what was starting to make me realize there was something up. I feel like I can't control myself and that's making it hard for me to explain to my doctor what is up. Like the words come out right and I start to panic that's he's not understanding and it makes me angry. I'm afraid I'm not going to explain myself fully and he won't be able to diagnose me. How can I explain how i feel to the doctor without overwhelming him with what he thinks is usually information? Sorry for the rambling I can't control it at this point.
Tags: How do I explain things?
10 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I have some understanding of your out-of-control thoughts. I am in a similar state of mind.
I was lucky and found a GP who chose to listen to me and expected me to come back at least once a month for a followup chat. I feel I was/am lucky.
Keep trying different doctors until you find one that seems to want to listen.
Yes I as put on Antidepressants, but we (he and I) decided after some months that I needed something else.
After going to several psychologists I now have two I visit on alternate weeks. They have different ways of thinking, but I can see that I need both type of the thinking philosophy to put my mind back in order.
I know that I'll need long-term help, but believe that if I can stick with it then I'll understand myself and importantly "What is my normal self!".

In summary - keep asking for help. If you don't think you're "clicking" with someone ask if they can help you find an alternative person to guide. It may take time, but when you get it right you WILL know that you're heading down the right path.
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2190999_tn?1397182731
Hi there. I go through the same thing trying to find the right words. Basically I just go over my thoughts and practice in my head what I will say to the doc when asked what's wrong. It usually takes me awhile to pull my thoughts together... it's not easy for me.

I wouldn't mention bipolar. In my experience... As soon as a person mentions what they have googled... docs usually raise an eyebrow and talk to you like your a kid.

I would describe my most intense feelings and let the doc know how they impact your life. For example, I had to talk to my doc today and told him I was using all of my energy to calm myself down. I've been so anxious but to say just that doesn't do it justice. So I explained how I was having to plan each thing I do. I've been talking myself through getting dressed, putting on makeup, making coffee, etc. the simplest little things feel like mountains to get around. I can't  sit still and I'm pacing all of the time. When my anxiety gets to this point, I see depression on the horizon, so I explained that I was afraid of going to bed and not getting up for weeks. Trust me I've done that before.

Anyway, write down a short list of the highlights you want to point out to your doc and take it with you. He/she is there to help, just do whatever you feel comfortable with to get through this and find yourself help.

Not many primary docs are very good with this kind of thing. I think I would see a therapist or psych doc for answers if your primary seems not to understand. But remember, psychiatrist can prescribe medication, a therapist/psychologist can not. You can always ask your primary doc for a referral to a psych doc.

One thing for sure... keep posting. We are all here to support each other through the good and bad times.

Have you scheduled another appointment with your primary doc yet? I ask bc I thought it sounded like you had been to see him but had a hard time explaining yourself. I understand, been there myself many times.

Stay in touch,

M
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Avatar_f_tn
I went to the doctor and I couldn't help myself from telling him that I thought I was bipolar. And he did have that reaction like oh but everyone goes through stud like that. I kept telling him how I feel like I have no control over t an he old me it sounds like I have the blues. He then asked what I wanted? Did I want a pill that would turn me into a zombie? I wanted to tell him if it means I won't do something crazy then yes but I hesitated. I told him I was afraid to say what I wanted and then he prescribed me zoloft. Is it weird he didn't take blood or go further into when I told him I'm not eating and that I was really concerned about it affecting me? Basically his solution was write a blueprint on what I want to change about myself and take a happy pill. I can't wait to tell him how this pill seems to be putting everything on turbo.
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2190999_tn?1397182731
I'm not surprised about the attitude you received. It's common. If it were me (since I'm a nurse and very good at being bossy, lol), I would call the office back and ask for a referral to a psych doc. It might be worth calling your insurance first to find out what mental health providers are in your area so you can ask for a referral to a specific doc. Also, "Health grades" is a site I use to check out a physician and to see how he's graded by patients on his care.

The ball is your court. Don't settle for medicine dished out by someone who hasn't properly evaluated you. Oops... Told you I'm good at being bossy. What I should say is... please continue to search for answers. It's often a long road and can be stressful, but if you can find any relief.... it is well worth it.

Zoloft may be the right med for you at this point, but maybe there is a better choice... and maybe you can get some additional medicine to use on an "as needed" basis for when a meltdown is imminent. And let's not forget talk therapy for coping strategies although it never helped me much. This forum helps more than my psych doc does by far.

Let us know what you decide and stay in touch. We are all here for each other :).

M
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you everyone for your advice. I'm such a confused person right now. I have people telling me they think I'm just depressed and I'll snap out of it. Then I have my mind telling me it's not, that it's definitely this. Is it uncommon for people who are bipolar to realize they may be?
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6827092_tn?1389388419
Hi Fran, yes happened to me. Diagnosed for years as depressed. 10 or so years on antidepressant and finally started to fly so high that it just wasn't right. Last two years I had happy manias in the summer to be deeply depressed after Christmas. In between Iwas snappy, angry, raging etc etc. I found out by myself that I am bipolar. I couldn'tbelieve it at first but as you all what happened in the past started to make sense. I wasn't simply depressed as you don't fly when unipolar depressed. So Bipolar 2 and Lamictal - my choice (described in my other post) and I hope that I will live happily ever after on it or at least for a long time. And I was confused and scared when found out - same as you. It took me few weeks to digest it. You will get there. Hoping you will find your pdoc soon. Marie x
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Avatar_m_tn
What I did is found a doctor and therapist who work together. I talked with the therapist to affirm that Bipolar is the issue, talked to the doctor to discuss how to treat it, and am going to Psychiatrist for another opinion. I realized that I was responsible for the decision and wanted as much input as I could get. I went 28 years untreated. Mine too escalated to scary levels, that is when I knew I had to get help, even though I am responsible to decide which meds, if any, and I am the one who has to take them each day. It has been a process for certain, but I feel I am moving toward something now. Spinning my wheels was tiring. A doctor alone could not have treated me, it really has taken a team of support and opinions, but I feel more hope than ever. Not saying I feel great all the time, but I have hope to heal. That's huge for me. Keep searching and look everywhere, even if you don't feel it, there is always hope.
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Avatar_m_tn
Maybe ask your doc of a therapist they recommend and can work with.
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Avatar_f_tn
Get a referral to a psychiatrist, or see a different one if it was a psychiatrist you saw.  

You do sound bipolar, but it's important to check for medical conditions that can mimic it.  At the very least you should be getting your thyroid tested.  Even if it's normal, some bipolar drugs have a chance of screwing with your thyroid, so you'd want a baseline anyway.  My psychiatrist also tested my vitamin D, and it came out pretty deficient.  I would have had no idea otherwise.  Other blood tests would probably be a good idea too, but I'm not sure what all of the recommendations are.

Putting you on Zoloft was fairly irresponsible, in my opinion.  SSRIs are know to trigger mania in people with bipolar, and the fact that you report being "on turbo".  I realize you might have had troubles articulating your worries, but it sounds like he was just brushing you off.  I have trouble with that, but thankfully I have an awesome psychiatrist, and when I came in super depressed and told her I thought I had BPII or BPNOS, she listened, and I walked out with scripts for lamotrigine and wellbutrin (least likely antidepressant to cause mania).  He should have been concerned about the not eating thing, although maybe he thinks it will go away once you're not depressed.  Also, not all bipolar meds make you feel like a zombie.  Some can, but that's when you rearrange things as needed.

So that you don't end up having that happen, write down all of the things that worry you, and bring the list to your next appointment.  If it gets overwhelming writing it (happens to me), take a break, do something else, and come back later.  This will also help make sure you don't forget anything.  Start using the mood tracking feature on this site, or make your own in Excel, or find another one.  Having an actual record is really useful.  Journalling is also a good plan.
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Avatar_f_tn
People cant just get over depression. And people just cant get over bipolar. It doesnt work that way. You shouldnt have to settle for a pill without a proper diagnosing process. Expecially the way your doc ignored your thoughts. Sometimes you have to do a bit of research on whats going on expecially if you feel what you currently have doesnt fit. Thats my opinion. I think you should try to find another pdoc that will evaluate you properly.
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