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To think I don't have bipolar

(20 Posts)
Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 12:24:04

Dh has decided I have bipolar disorder. Dh does have a bit of a medical background although this area isn't really his forte.

Looking back, I can see I presented with some mental health problems from being quite young. I started pulling my hair out and compulsively pinching my skin when I first went to secondary school. It was very strict and very stressful for me. Then I displayed a bit of an eating disorder later in my teens. Nothing too dramatic but I was very controlling about what I ate and I made myself sick and took laxatives.

But I've never displayed any massively dramatic behaviour, no drug taking (never even smoked) and I don't really drink.

He thinks I show signs of cyclical depression. I don't think I do. It's more that I need a purpose and if i don't have a purpose, I struggle. If there's a structure of sorts to the day I'm fine.

I'm quite impulsive. I have driven badly, doing stupid stuff like texting when driving, spending money quite compulsively, losing expensive items.

I don't know - does it sound like bipolar? Or anything else?

pinkie1982 Fri 03-Nov-17 12:41:49

Some people just function better with structure. Sounds like coping/control mechanisms (the eating disorder/hair pulling/pinching). Doesn't necessarily automatically indicate a mental illness.
Some traits could be in line with ASC but also could just be 'you'.

Do you have manic episodes? Why does your partner think you are depressed?

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 12:43:17

People often mistake other things, sometimes even normal human experiences like fluctuations in mood, as bipolar. But it's a discrete mental health issue of its own and really you need to see a professional for a diagnosis or to rule it out. You can start by ringing your local IAPT and be clear with them in the assessment your concerns about bipolar. They don't work with that but if they assess it as a possibility they can refer you into another secondary care service to see a psychiatrist.

But to be honest it doesn't sound like you even believe you have it, it's more your husband. Is your mental health in a bad enough place that it's affecting him and the relationship? None of us here can say anything beyond 'That does/doesn't sound like a symptom of bipolar': it takes a lot more than that to find out for sure. Sorry to say I think you're wasting your time asking on this forum.

zebedebe Fri 03-Nov-17 12:48:29

It’s so easy to pathologise normal human fluctuations in mood etc.

Are you experiencing considerable emotional distress and struggling to live your life as you’d like to? If not, and actually you’re doing pretty alright, then what would be the point in pursuing a diagnosis. Unless you’re wanting therapy or medication.

I’m curious as to what your husband thinks would be gained from you “having a disorder”.

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 12:53:12

I really don't think I have it. I'm also not sure about ASC because I don't mind change at all, it's just that if I don't have a purpose to the day I find it difficult to manage and motivate myself.

Lemon, I get that, but there's no one else I can ask so I have to ask here!

I don't know if there's any real gain to DH 'diagnosing me - I don't know whether it's a dig (as in, oh well, we can trust what you say as you're mentally ill) or if hes genuinely concerned, or both.

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 12:57:06

So very true zebe. I have noticed in the last few years a massive increase in the number of patients seeking a diagnosis for very normal human experiences, and even more medics seeking to apply a disorder label to someone again dealing with a normal human experience.

A doctor diagnosed me with depression a month after I lost my mum as a 22 year old. I told him at the time it was wrong, it wasn't depression, it was grief and normal and I turned down antidepressants. I had only gone for a physical health issue. Ended up with depression on my record when it simply wasn't true.

Also very suspicious as to why the husband thinks a label/diagnosis would be beneficial: what's he trying to get out of this? To use it to tell OP she's crazy whenever she disagrees with him? To try claim benefits/carers allowance? Very odd.

I've met people who think they have bipolar because on Monday they were really happy and on Tuesday they felt a bit down. It hugely undermines people who really genuinely do have such a life changing difficult health problem to deal with. There's a massive misunderstanding about MH in this country and in some ways the increased publicity and advocacy about it is contributing to that by making everyone believe they have something. Don't even get me started on people who like things tidy referring to themselves as 'OCD'!

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 12:57:49

There are others you can ask, as I mentioned above. Definitely more reliable places than here!

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 13:08:45

I agree with all of that, Lemon, and I'm disputing it, not trying to be diagnosed with it! I also agree normal human emotions are too quickly labelled.

I'm definitely not going to be having it on my record that I thought I had a personality disorder, so I'm asking on here. If you don't like it- and I do appreciate where you're coming from - I'm sorry, but maybe you'd be better not replying then, as I don't have anyone else to ask.

LemonShark Fri 03-Nov-17 13:15:09

Well if you're disputing it then there's nothing he can do about it. You're in a position now where you don't as far as you know have bipolar and don't have a diagnosis of it, there's no possible way for him to force you to have it or get a diagnosis! So how are you gonna deal with him when he brings it up?

I'd be inclined to be straight with him and say 'I've done some research into bipolar and am confident it's not something I have. Don't mention me having bipolar again, it's demeaning to presume you know more about my health than I do and plain wrong.' And if he does say it again, repeat 'I told you not to say that' and walk away as many times as necessary. Though to be fair I'd not want to be with a man who kept telling me I had a mental health problem knowing it was upsetting me. It smacks of trying to get you to doubt yourself. Doesn't sound like someone with your interests at heart.

Sorry I guess I misunderstood, your first post seemed to be asking if you had it and how to find out and that's what I was responding to, now it seems you're saying you don't and so I'm not sure what advice you're seeking: how to deal with husband maybe?

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 13:23:18

I don't know, lemon I don't think I do have it, but maybe it just don't know much, or maybe I don't have bipolar and I do have something else. Sometimes people can recognise something and you think 'oh yeah that sounds like ...'

It was just a bit of a shock when he started saying it and finding things that 'fit' the diagnosis.

Appuskidu Fri 03-Nov-17 13:27:10

It doesn't sound like bi polar. Not to minimise, but eating issues and stress responses aren't totally uncommon in the teenage years-do you suffer from either now?

I have driven badly, doing stupid stuff like texting when driving, spending money quite compulsively, losing expensive items

That's more worrying-do you mean deliberately driving badly? Texting when driving is just illegal and bloody dangerous rather than impulsive. Losing expensive things sounds more like being disorganised.

There seems to be a lot of armchair doctors out there at the moment-people saying they have an 'anxiety disorder' just because they can't tell their overbearing MIL to stop interfering or they don't know how to tell a friend/colleague/neighbour that they are being a cheeky pisstaker.

Just because you had some stress-related issues in your teens (that have not been present since?), and make poorly-judged decisions (over spending, bad driving, texting when driving, disorganised) I don't think that really means anything?

RavingRoo Fri 03-Nov-17 13:31:07

I was diagnosed with moderate bpd, and did almost everything you described. I also had cyclic depression and cyclic great moods. If your dh is worried enough to research it, I’m guessing there is something not quite right either with you or the way you are communicating with him and others: what harm will it do to speak to a GP about your symptoms?

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 13:35:55

The thing is, raving, I've met a couple of people with bipolar, and they were very excitable, talking very quickly, it was just kind of - not quite right, i can't explain it. That doesn't describe me, at all.

I agree with the driving, ive started putting my phone in my glovebox.

snorkmaiden68 Fri 03-Nov-17 13:42:19

Go and be honest with your doctor, they will know. It doesn't sound like it to me. I have had it for years and I have had some extreme episodes I cringe to think about now. Spending £3000 in a few days, no sleep for nearly a week painted my old kitchen an appalling pink colour at 3 am and believing I was super important. Also managing 4 part time jobs successfully so I thought. That was the manic bit. Depression when it hit caused me to completely break, stay in bed for ages and lose 3 of those jobs. I was suicidal and paranoid and believed people were spying on me in my house. I m now on the right cocktail of medication and I m careful not to relapse, still in touch with gp/mental health team. I am mortified how I treated people I love and scared of becoming that monster again. You really don't sound bad at all

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 13:43:38

I can see some very mild versions of myself in that post, but VERY mild!

I really don't feel I can go to my G.P., but thanks!

Allthewaves Fri 03-Nov-17 14:07:07


RavingRoo Fri 03-Nov-17 14:14:28

I don’t talk quickly. That’s just a stereotype. A moderate version might give you nothing of the stereotypical symptoms but just affect mood.

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 14:21:28

Ive wondered about ADHD, as it happens.

snorkmaiden68 Fri 03-Nov-17 14:40:54

Borderline personality disorder?

Goldandsilverhorses Fri 03-Nov-17 14:42:30

What in the above makes you think I've got BPD?

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