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Bipolar, OCD and neurology

In 1991 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after living with this disorder for 14 years. During this time period, my appetite for sex was far beyond the norm, as were my moods. I've been on antipressants, as well as lithium and OCD related meds such as Paxil. Today some 18 years later, I'm off all my meds. I was overmedicated, and felt very weak.
I could not walk 10-15 steps without having to stop. At one point I was on 3 different meds. Nothing seemed to work for me medicinally, at least not long term. Antidepressants work well for 3-4 weeks and then I feel severely depressed and suicidal. No more!  My best drug was Paxil to date. My symtoms go far beyond what's listed. I also had a massive outbreak of psoriasis, which was treated with UVB lights, only to the dismay of my Dr's was very stubborn to treat. Chronic obsessive masterbation and the excessive need for a sexual partner was my main focal point since my late teens,  and my biggest distraction in life. My physical symptoms include, lightheadedness, inability to concentrate, blurred vision, mild headaches, chronic fatique that is to some extent disabling, and physical exercise leads to me being very disoriented. Here's the clincher! Since my late teens, my pupils (wrap around the pituitary gland, hyper sexual...) have been very hyperactive. They are in constant motion under a fixed light source, such as lights in bathroom. I had a visit with an optomology specialist and he confirmed my diagnosis. I get extreme pressure on my optic nerve, which causes extreme physical fatigue, and continues to haunt me. Is this caused by my tendency to perhaps have OCD, which is a subcatagory of bipolar. Is OCD a nuerolocally based disorder? My question lies within this. Did I actually have bipolar or OCD or perhaps a combination of both. I'm now 52 and yes, my sex drive has diminished, due in part to aging and drugs, but the symtoms still reside. I'm tired of being drugged! I'm tired of feeling sick. I'd beg for anyone to please help me. The psychiatrists that I have seen are in limbo as to what is going on with me. They have no idea. I've never had, nor will any Dr.'s comply to my request of a PET SCAN or any other nuerologic research on the brain to see what caused, or is causing my condition. My symtoms feel very nuerologically based, with lightheadedness, short term memory loss, confusion, and fatigue. I'm frustrated, not to mention scared.
8 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
Ocd and bipolar are psychiatric. What you are describing could be neurological in origin or perhaps something else entirely such as a thyroid disorder. A neurological disability is physical however (I know because I live with tardive dyskinesia and am under study for tardive psychosis, those are treated by a neurologist, that is no manner what you are experiencing, I am just saying I know how to get a referral to a quality neurologist) and since it could be many things having a psychiatrist do the examination doesn't make sense. Ask for a referral to a neurologist and if your psychiatrist won't give one, go to a general physician, get a blood test for general health (including thyroid, liver function, white blood cell count, etc.) and then they will if warranted refer you to a neurologist. But do have any physical or neurological criteria ruled out and I didn't check your posts but you could also describe your physical issues (apart from ocd and bipolar which are psychiatric) in the "ask a doctor" forum under neurology because that would be a seperate issue from anything treatable by a psychiatrist.
607502 tn?1288251140
The biggest problem from what I see is it could be neuro but you are also diagnosed with a mental illness and not medicated which is likely why the doctors won't take a request for a PET scan seriously (not to mention the massive cost factors)

Sexual obession can be a Bipolar or OCD symptom BTW and its not unusual.

Oh and OCD is a not a sub category of Bipolar BTW its a seperate DSM classification and criteria - not all OCD's are BP (most are not) and not all BP's are OCD though there are obsessive aspects to Bipolar which leads to misdiagnosis and clouding of the diagnosis in a significant number of cases.

The major problem you face is this - Doctors are not interested in treating patients who won't follow treatments - Most psychiatrists will give up trying with patients who won't take meds or follow instructions no matter how well meaning their reasons - the big issue patients suffer from is doctors who over medicate and do not listen to the patient.  In the middle is the happy medium.

Yes a neurologist is a smart idea.  But so is a psychiatrist who is reputable and trying the right drugs to manage the other symptoms - From where I sit I doubt you will find a neuro wiling to do much unless he is certain the symptoms are not from the OCD and BP which is unmedicated - Paxil btw is an SSRI Anti Depressant and bad for Bipolars who are not on a mood stabiliser leading to mania and other symptoms.

Meds work but unless you work with your doctors you wont get there - If you are taking meds that make you exhausted, numb or tired or have other side effects you need to speak to your doctor and work with them - trusting a doctor to know the right meds is a crapshoot and if its a family doctor then youre taking a risk - ive seen too many GP's diagnosing everything from schizophrenia and BP as ADHD and giving ritalin to patients and ive seen (and this is my local GP here) one who has over 75% of his female patients on an Anti Depressant and is being investigated for prescribing them to toddlers.

Psychiatric diseases need specialists for medication who will work with the patient.

As for med free - i convinced myself for 15 years I didnt need meds and now looking back I can see the episodes, losts jobs, destroyed relationships and damage done to myself and others from my "stable and med free days"
574118 tn?1305138884
OCD and Bipolarity are two separate things. But as far as I know from a book issued by the health ministry in Canada that OCD, panick disorder and ADHD are gateways to BP. This is why the symptoms of BP can be hidden for a long time and misdiagnosed  as OCD and the like. In my case it took me 4 years to realise this as I was OCD at first

LedfCoastChick has a good definition, she said BP is a compartment of many psychic diseases
good luck
607502 tn?1288251140
Gateway diagnoses yes. Mainly because GP's diagnose those because the most common symptoms stand out - you see a manic patient its ADD, you see a fixated patient hes OCD etc etc etc etc etc ad nauseum.

This is why they are GP's and not Psychiatrists - 6 years or so more study to be a pdco versus pushing pills at the local health center and getting anything more complex out of the medical books on the shelf.

The average general practitioner in australia can just about manage to diagnose the flu on a good day and going on recent results and reporting is just as likely to prescribe Prozac for it as a treatment as anything else.

The answer is simple - you cannot trust a GP to treat mental illness (or family doc or whatever they are called in a given country) in 99% of cases - i mean if you needed a knee operation would you get the GP to do it?  No you would see a specialist and Bipolar is a disease for life not just for christmas so you need to take it seriously.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the feedback. I've had numerous blood work done on all that you've listed. All fine.I've been to (2) nuerologists. NOTHING. They just tickle my feet, "follow my finger" ******** and say I'm fine. Pay me and be gone. It's frustrating. To begin with I was diagnosed by a doctor at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in NH who was an internist. He studied Bipolar at Johns-Hopkins because he has family members that are BP. So that's what I've gone on. I assumed my condition was chemical so that's the road I chose after seeing 3-4 shrinks prior to him, and no one ever told me it was BP. They just said that masterbation, and high sex drives in someone my age was common....and I'm depressed, so they put me on anti's.They DO NOT LISTEN! How they practice is a mystery to me. Anti's work for me for a very short period of time. 5-6 weeks and then I feel like I'm not even taking them anymore. I'm back to where I started, and in most cases I feel worse than when I was not taking them. It's just not effective. It's like taking pain killers. Like my body builds up a resistant to them and they wear off.  I have a psychiatrist here at home, as well as a phsychotherapist. My psychotherapist says some of what I have told her is not related to BP. My shrink is pill happy 2-3 kinds. I feel much better being off all my meds. I told him I just need to cleanse my system and start from scratch. My brain felt polluted with drugs, and I was lethargic, slept a lot, and could not function. The both of them are puzzled. My shrink told me one day that he's just come to roadblock as what to do for me. My moods swings are almost non existant with no drugs. I did not have moods swings while being on drugs either. So it's like why take them at all. I know my body, I know my brain. I know how I feel. I'm not in a danger zone at all as far as doing something out of the ordinary. Sex, yes it has been a major distraction in my life. It has lead me down some roads perhaps I should not have gone. It's cost me relationships. Does an addiction to sex or OCD cause moodswings, fatique, confusion, lightheadedness?  That's where I'm torn. I don't know if I should be treated for OCD, BP or both. I have considered Abilify for BP. Are you familiar with this med? The PAXIL killed my sex drive or any sexual stimulation that I had prior to. It numbs "it"! For me it's fatique, lightheadedness which causes short term memory loss, inability to comprehend or stay focused. It's like I'm just not connected to my surroundings. I told my Dr's that it's like having a couple of beers on an empty stomach. Your not drunk, but your just not as responsive. It's a weird feeling. And the pupils being so hyperactive. That's just not normal. I'm a photographer, so I know how light works. My pupils just never stay fixed. I figured it was something with the pituitary gland being overactive, increasing my sex drive, causing the pressure on my optic nerve, causing my lightheadedness. I've thought of seeing an endocrinologist. My primary care physician tried to get me to see one, but he told them that I was Bipolar, and they just told me they do not deal with people with mental illness. Again...Go AWAY! I was very upset. Where do go to get in, and do you just lie about who you are. This has been one frustrating roadblock after another for me. Thanks for your time. Greatly appreciated.
Avatar universal

If you have not been given a firm diagnosis of BP and you dont sound like you have BP if you don't have mood swings then I'm assuming that the main problem here is the addiction to sex and the problems with your pupils?

Correct me if this summary is incorrect :-)

I am no expert on sex addiction but have heard that cognitive behaviour therapy is a way towards dealing with that.  As for medications to control it, I have no idea, certainly nothing I've read springs to mind at the moment.

With regard to the problems with your pupils, surely only a qualified opthalmologist or neurologist can deal with that.

Perhaps I have simplified things too much and if I have then I apologise.
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