My current psychiatrist (or should I say former as I won't go back to her again...) refused to diagnose me with anything however she has me on Seroquel and I'm supposed to also take an anti-depressant AND another med for who knows what.
I've been keeping a mood diary now for the past few weeks and I write in it whenever I feel a change in mood (from up to down or normal to down or up etc) and have noticed that my moods can cycle several times in a single day. For example, today I was alright when I woke up, then extreemly depressed bordering on suicidal, and then I was "up" for about an hour and now I can feel myself heading back down to a low mood state and am extreemly tired.
I know there isn't much research on Ultradian Bipolar but I'm wondering if anyone else experiences these types of mood swings? It is frustrating as I can't seem to get a grip on any given day and I feel like I'm running out of options. I am having trouble finding a Bipoar specialist in Melbourne but really need one...
"Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is defined as four or more affective episodes yearly"
Its a new defintion on me - I was told that rapid cycling was far more than that by my pdocs - i cycle on daily basis at times as do many rapid cyclers.
I think there is a tendency to get hung up in this stuff and terminology far too easily.
Id sort of not want to say much here as if a psychiatrist refused to diagnose then its not my place, you're an aussie like me and quack pdocs are not that common down under where the standards of practice are pretty rigid and high - this is why there is a major problem getting into private pyschiatrists (its taken me a year to find one who will take a BP patient in Brisbane). Did they give you a reason why not?
Its hard to know what the problem is if you don't have a diagnosis - there are other mental illnesses and disorders which can manifest like this and plain old clinical depression can also have some of those symptoms.
You wont find a bipolar specialist most likely - there are very few psychiatrists who would specialise in something like BP - there are a number of very experienced BP pdocs down under but I always caution as well - I saw one "BP" specialist psych whose speciality turned out to be teenagers.
What you need to do first of all is get a pdoc - sit down and be open and honest about EVERYTHING in your life, your childhood, family, symptoms, drug use (if any - yes its one everyone lies about but its important), every bit of your life and what you feel and when and how - this is how you can get a diagnosis - reading about obscure things on the web is not a way to diagnose nor is self diagnosis - its a common thing and its a bad thing - its amazing how many people fit into neat pigeon holes of symptoms only to turn out to not have that problem.
Please understand I am not criticising here but I find this hard to understand - you said you wont see this doc however "refused to diagnose me with anything however she has me on Seroquel and I'm supposed to also take an anti-depressant AND another med for who knows what. "
Look im going to be honest - ive been though a major 3 year depressive episode, suicide attempt, hospitalisation, I have a pdoc and 2 therapists and I can say without a word of a lie that in my experience NO pdoc in australia is going to prescribe a drug like seroquel and an AD and another drug (what was it BTW?) without a stab at a diagnosis - our medical system is such that the behaviour could lead to criminal negligence or manslaughter charges if there were bad results. I cant see it happening..
What did she tell you about the reasons for the drugs? Surely she must have said something ?
Trust me you aren't alone, I can cycle several times in a day, I can wake up fine, and be suicidal by mid afternoon, and then slowly come out of it. I have had days where I can be cranky then hyper and bottom out.My moods can change over 20 times in a week, and the longest period I have gone w/out a mood swing is 2 whole days! It's very tiring to say the least. Do you think you may have not wanted to hear the diagnosis, because it's hard to swallow at first, I was diagnosed once at 16, and totally refused to hear it, I went to a pdoc in my later 20's who never said anything. It took going onto Cymbalta, and then a manic phase which within 2 days made me suicidal, I walked into my local hospital where I was diagnosed.
I'm on serequal and lamactil, and hoping to get onto some sort of AD because my depression is agonizing. I'm in Canada and our medical systems are quite the same, and I've never heard of a BP specialist. Pdocs are trained to handle BP, maybe have a further conversation with this one? Good luck and best wishes.
There are a few psychiatrists who style themselves Bipolar Specialists in Brisbane where I live and its not uncommon in Australia under our system to specialise in some ways - I have a friend whose speciality and practice is violent mental patients, primarily psychoses and schizophrenia - she no longer takes cases outside of these but then again she works exclusively for a private psych hospital.
But they are rare in BP i dont think that neccesary, I saw one here for one session and she drove me mad, not only a pediatric specialist but one with her own ideas on what treatment was which were set in stone and rigid - i couldnt work with her.
Hi all. Thank you for your responses. I must be honest...I'm really not in a good frame of mind today but I'll do my best to answer some q's that were raised.
My pdoc hasn't ever given me a "diagnosis". I've been waiting for one for over a year and a half of treatment. The Seroquel was pescribed (after trying Risperidal - originally pescribed by my treating GP, and Abilify) to try and stablise my mood swings. The AD was pescribed for depression. The new med she pescribed was Valproate but it wasn't really made clear to me why I should be taking this new med twice a day. I assume it is supposed to help with the mood swings also but I'm not sure.
I specifically asked her about diagnosis and she just skirted the issue and set about adjusting and adding medication. I was left very disallusioned by all this as I have been on many occassions after seeing her.
I did actually find a pdoc who deals with BP but he said that he won't take me on unless I was referred by another pdoc. I'm afraid to go back to my one and ask for such a referral...but he did give me the name of another pdoc who may be able to help me.
I'm not after someone to simply tell me that I have BP, I just want to know why I have all these mood swings because I'm almost at wits end here and before I go adding medication on the advice of a pdoc who won't give me a diagnosis, I'd rather get a second opinion.
I'm sorry if I sound grumpy or whatever, I really do appreciate your responses, I'm just not in a very good head space today.
Yep. That's me to a "T". Been that way every day for over 10 years. But after the first 2 of those were spent in the hospital with no diagnosis besides "depression," I gave up on ever understanding the problem or finding a doctor who cared enough to help me identify (and therefore treat) it.
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