Bipolar Disorder Community
misdiagnosing bipolar disorder
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misdiagnosing bipolar disorder

Are any of you wondering if you have been misdiagnosed for bipolar disorder? Have you  experienced only 1 episode of mania after taking an antidepressant? Do you read the bipolar questionnaires and  feel that you do not quite fit the criteria?

The diagnosis for bipolar disorder criteria is currently being debated by the top physicians in the field  of psychiatry and mental health.  I believe there are many of patients who have been labeled bipolar when their first episode of mania was a result of taking an antidepressant.

If anyone has additional info., could you please it share with the group?
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23 Comments Post a Comment
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212753_tn?1275076711
Well I think alot of people with thyroid problems get misdiagnosed as bi polar and hyp and hyper thyroid mimic  bi polar.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Love Venora
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432009_tn?1304753441
I have heard that especially on this forum. It especially concerns me that a patient is diagnosed as BP after they have an episode of mania, after a course of antidepressant therapy is begun.

This phenomenon is seen with the SSRI's, from what I understand. I'm wondering how many forum members have experienced this personally.

Thanks for your input, Venora.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had been diagnosed as bipolar a year and a half ago and now i feel that my symtoms (symptoms) indicate more towards hypothyroidism. The bipolar treatment has not helped much.

My psycriatrist says that i am definitely bipolar. i recently got my thyroid levels checked.They have turned out to be in the normal range of that particular lab. (it may sound absurd but i was sad that they were in the normal range because it would be better for me to have hypothyroidism that be bipolar as the bipolar treatment is not helping and i am really suffering). I will be meeting a endocrinologist  to discuss the chances of having hypothyroidism but i will be very dissapointed if he says i don't have it. When i read about hypothyroidism I really feel i have it and that i don't have many symptoms of being bipolar.

I am now also seriously finding out other illnesses that could mimick bipolar.)
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432009_tn?1304753441
What are you taking for your bipolar, if anything?

And, I am in the same boat - I don't have the symptoms of bipolar disorder that you read about - I only had 1 episode of mania, and that was after I took an antidepressant...it triggered the episode.

My psychiatrist thinks his diagnosis is correct, but I also don't think that he would change his mind at this point since he's been prescribing lamactil for it. It would then appear then that he misdiagnosed me.  I would probably have to switch psychiatrists to get the diagnosis changed...(sigh)

At this point, all I'm doing is trying to wean off xanax then I'll tackle the other stuff later...
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Avatar_m_tn
My current medication is.......
Divalproex (Mood Stabalizer)-500mg
Lamotrigine(Mood Stabalizer)-50mg
Qquetiapine(Antipsychotic)-50mg
Pramipex - Pramipexole Dihydrochloride (Dopamine Agonist)-0.25mg

My psychiatrist has diagnosed me as bipolar II and says that i am currently in the mixed state.

After not inproving for 18 months now - after being diagnosed, I have started reading alot about my illness and different cures. The internet is my only source for any help. Because this is my second psychiatrist and it is of no help. I read alot and have found that many other illneses have to be ruled out before diagnosing a person as bipolar.

Some Are---

----Thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism may be common in bipolar patients, particularly women. (This condition can be identified with a blood test).

-----Adrenal disorders (e.g., Addison's disease, Cushing's syndrome).

-----Vitamin B12 deficiency.

----Certain neurologic disorders (e.g., Huntington's disease, epilepsy, brain tumors, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis).

----A number of medications, including corticosteroids and certain drugs used to treat anxiety, Parkinson's disease, and depression can cause mood swings.



I don't know what to do. I have no help. I am 23. My sister first came with me to the psychiatrist. But now I am on my own because she (like my psychiatrist) thinks that i have bipolar II and that i have to keep taking my medications and have to learn to live with my ilness. Each time i try to tell her that i need help and that i cannot live like this, she says things like there is no cure and that i have to learn to live with it by reducing my stress levels and having a routine in my life. That does not help. Trying to help myself alone like this is killing me. Trying to fight my illness with my family's support feels like half the battel is won. Now its come to a point that my family thinks i'm doing ok (learnt to live with my illness) and they ahve gone back to their lives.

My current aim to find out if i am hypothyroid. I really don't know what other options i have after that. But really, if things go this way i might just give up helping myself. And trust me though i live with a family I am totally alone in fighting my illness. I go to my psychiatrist alone, i take decisions alone, buy my medicines, everything possible. My family thinks i'm doing ok and that i'm leading a productive life.

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212753_tn?1275076711
Post your labs so we can take alook at the numbers. and what is your lab saying  is normal? we wiil help you through this .I am firm believer that when a bi polar dx is being considered the thryoid should be ruled out first.
Love Venora
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432009_tn?1304753441
I read your post with great sadness -I am so sorry that you are suffering. Have you tried to write to Dr. Gould here on the site? He is the featured physician on the expert forum - you find him under mental health. Try asking him for some help with your information. Also, go to the area for hypothyroid discussions and see if you can get some help there. I'm sure the site also has an endocrinologist that you can post to.

Are there any bipolar support groups in India? I wish you well and I hope that you find the answers and get some peace.

Also, go into the anxiety area and read the posts that Ryan gives - he is incredibly knowledgeable of medications and may provide you some direction. Let me know if you have problems finding him and I'll send you his user name.

Good luck - don't give up!
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks for your replies.

xanweaner-I will do as you said.

Please find my message on the other question :
Bipolar OR Hypothyroidism--PLEASE HELP
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439168_tn?1307935340
Well for years, I was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD (suspected bipolar), but treated for ADHD. Even tho it helped with many aspects of the ADHD, it didn't help with the emotional fluctuations. If anything, at times, it made the mania worse.

I was rediagnosed about 2 years ago. It didn't take very long to diagnose it with my history and the fact that my sister has it as well. When I was told during the ADHD diagnosis that I might have bipolar instead, I disagreed because no one else I knew had it (I didn't know at the time anyway) and I didn't know what it was.

But now, my emotions are 95% controlled on a mish mash of medications.

If you think your MD made a mistake on your diagnosis, please by all means, go see someone else, because as you see....I was misdiagnosed with ADHD before appropriately diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Ashley
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432009_tn?1304753441
Thanks for your input...I think I need to get another opinion as I did discuss this with a psychologist (ph.d.) briefly who felt this needed to be readdressed.
I guess I just need a push in the right direction...
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439168_tn?1307935340
Best wishes to you!

Ash
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Avatar_f_tn
I see where your having had only the one episode would make you question the diagnosis. I questioned mine too in the beginning. I had one episode, was on meds for a bit, then got pregnant and did not take meds for 7 years. I thought I was in the clear, but I have had two additional episodes since then. Another bit of information is that once you have had an episode you are at a greater risk for having a subsequent episode, and they tend to get worse over time. SO question the diagnosis all you like, but be weary you may be in a position where you have to think prevention, lord knows no one can risk an episode if they are anything like mine. Best of luck to you.
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432009_tn?1304753441
Thanks for sharing...
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432009_tn?1304753441
I'm not sure if you've read any of Dr. Peter Breggin's (a well- respected psychiatrist with an impressive academic resume) publications or interviews, but I thought I'd post what Dr. Breggin said in an  interview on his reaction to Tom Cruise's comments on psychiatry and drugs:

"My colleagues lie by saying the antidepressant merely “brought out” their mania, psychosis, violence or depression, rather than the drug caused it in the otherwise innocent victim. Jane Pauley thinks she is a victim of bipolar disorder when she sounds to me like a victim of psychiatry.
It’s no small matter to falsely inform a person that their drug-induced mania shows they have bipolar disorder. It results in a false diagnosis and a stigmatizing label (bipolar or manic-depressive disorder) that follows people for the rest of their lives. It leads to additional medications, often including antipsychotic drugs like Zyprexa and Risperdal that can cause lethal diabetes and pancreatitis, and tardive dyskinesia, a potentially disfiguring and disabling neurological disorder characterized by bizarre-looking abnormal movements."

You can read the entire interview by googling Dr. Breggin and reading about his publications, credentials, etc. He has an impressive resume.

Currently, there are many medical psychiatric opinions about the actual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the onset after taking AD's.

I wanted to share this info. as I continue my search for answers...
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337492_tn?1212462436
I was having highs and lows w/o any medications before I was diagnosed.  When I had sleeping problems I got wacky out of it mania and that is when I went from being diagnosed with just depression to being bipolar.  I stopped using prozac a year 1/2 before I was diagnosed and before the prozac I used wellbutrin.  Wellbutrin worked great and the prozac threw me into little hypomanic states, but tollerable.  I quit taking prozac because I believed that I was not depressed any longer.  Now I am on a Lithium/Wellbutrin combo and am pretty stable compared to this last year of a huge rollarcoster ride while they tried to find what works for me.  I am also a rapid cyler with mixed state.  Funny thing is, I was borderline hyperthyroid for years before starting Lithium, now it is in the normal range so I am happy about that.  Even though my thyroid is functioning normal, I still have little ups and downs.  I had really really bad ones when I was using Lithium by itself so I know it is not my thyroid.  Hope this helps your research!  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the referral source. The words are very wise and I feel the same way in that my diagnosis may very well be a result of psychiatry. However, the cold hard truth is that for whatever the reason I had the episodes and now have to deal with the problem of making sure it does not happen again, and for that I am dependent on psychiatrists so it is a damned if I do damned if I dont scenario. AS much as I hate the stigma I cant argue that I have had episodes, only what caused them. SO in some ways it is better for me to make my peace with the diagnosis, much like someone who gets cancer, and not let the "whys" get in the way of "how" not to again. This forum is great, thanks for the words of encouragement.
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574118_tn?1305138884
I am very happy to have across your post because I did have one mania after using tricyclic AD and diagnosed BP. Until now I am skeptical about this. I want to share my histoiry with you. I already wrote this on this forum lately but no replied on this special experience
adel_ezz1000***@****
pls I want to pursue this discxussion with you
I want address or writings of Dr. Breggin
ezz
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574118_tn?1305138884
Yes but iterating, my pdoc confessed that AD can provoke mania but only for bipolar people, i..e. for normal people it will not induce mania. Since it will be damped, however for bipolars it works like a sparkling plug and then self-sustained.
Of course I like to believe that I am not bipolar but it's due to the AD. It needs a pdoc to answer this question. Does anybody know of one who can do it out of kindness to relieve sadness of a patient. I wonder
Ezz
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574118_tn?1305138884
I read people writing in forum many times about thyroid. Hypothyroid, etc..
Does thyroid show a deficiency so that one attributes wrongly to BP yet it's the thyroid that has something not functioning well. i.e. should one check thyroid examination first before indulging into BP business. OR perhaps people mean effect of drugs on thyroid. Pls explain relevance to pschyc illness in general
ezz
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581210_tn?1220838380
I wonder if you are over medicated, causing the mixed state.  A mixed state is not necessary for BPI or II, but often caused by medication.

I said on another post that it is not normal to go manic on an AD--it's the sign of an underlying problem.  The first thing a competent pdoc does is rule out thyroid.

BPII is usually diagnosed when you didn't become deluded or the mania isn't bad enough to make them think you might become deluded.  But if your mania was med induced, maybe your symptoms aren't typically so severe, and maybe you don't need as much medicine as someone whose bp is not med-induced.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't like taking more medicine than I actually need.  I would be looking at the meds, not the thyroid if I were you.  Are they right and are the doses right?  Why did your pdoc choose those particular meds, etc.
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574118_tn?1305138884
Hi

i wonder whether your answer was for me or the group. I wish to pursue my query further and search for someone who is knowledgeable enough to send him my case so he can give me an opinion about a possible diagnosis. I have been diagnosed BP and yet my mania appeared after AD, so I wonder before indulging in BP meds thereafter
thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
It's hard being bipolar with an under active thyroid have ADHD depression anxiety PTSD and border line personality disorder.... Could it all be caused by my under active thyroid? I can't even afford my medicine anymore and all my so called "problems" are just getting worse.
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432009_tn?1304753441
I would do everything that I could to get your thyroid condition handled properly. It can definitely cause many mental health issues on top of affecting your organs.
If you can, go to a free clinic for help if you can't afford medical care.
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