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Recent bipolar diagnosis, feeling very lost

(18 Posts)
Moominmamamoos Thu 31-Dec-15 17:24:20

After a lifetime of emotional ups and downs, I finally got my diagnosis 10 days ago. Bipolar affective disorder. What does that mean? Is it bipolar1 or 2 or something else? There's so much info online but it just makes me feel dizzy. I'm honestly reeling at this, I don't even know why.
I've been prescribed Abilify, and so far I think it's helping a little, even though I know it takes time.
I'm worried about so many things; that my kids will get it, that it's linked to dementia etc etc.
I would appreciate any comments from anyone with experience of bipolar disorder.

CloakAndJagger Thu 31-Dec-15 18:07:09

There's three kinds of bipolar and your psychiatrist should've told you which one it is. BP1 has full on manias. BP2 had hypomania, but very bad depressions and cyclothymia has cyclical hypomania and hypo depressions.

I have bipolar and am on a combination of quetiapine and lamotrigine. I'm not sure what the generic name for Abilify is.

What lead to the diagnosis?

ProfessorPreciseaBug Thu 31-Dec-15 18:11:26

First thing.....

Welcome to the club!! There are quite a few of us about and you are in very good company.

Ruby Wax
Stehpen Fry
Spike Milligan
Robbin Williams
George III
Winston Churchill...........

The 1 and type 2 is simply a way of describing how severe your mood swings are. Some people are vey extreem going from, out and out raving life and soul of the party to attempting suicide... Others are less volatile. Also the speed at which your mood changes seems to be variable.

I tend to swing with the seasons... though I can get very low in mid summer., I know of people who swing in a matter of days ... Some people change in hours!! (M .i allowed to say eek?)..

I don't think it is something you can "catch" though it deems to run in families.. Which would seem to indicate a genetic link. BUT... as yet there is no known genetic cause... and the is probably not one.

I have not heard of manic deprssion (I prefer the old fashioned description to this new fangled "bi-polar disorder) being lnked with dementia...

Keep posting as you go through your journey... We are all here and we will try to help.

Candlefairy101 Thu 31-Dec-15 18:16:52

I have bipolar and I've never heard of bipolar effective disorder? Maybe it's a new term with the newer qualified doctors, mental health is a subject constantly being learnt.

I take quietiapine and venlafaxine, my bipolar is at its worst when I'm pregnant, how did you feel when pregnant? With my boy he kinda cured me for 4 years then I feel pregnant with my girl and I spiralled into deep depression, I'm currently pregnant again with another girl and he dept still hasn't lifted, my girls will only be 18m apart so I've had a lot of oestrogen in 2 years. Hopefully by next year I'll be back to hypo manic which was my 'normal' state for 4 years.

What state do you suffer with the most? Hypo, depression, you can have a mixed state which is awful because you feel high and low at the same time?

KittyandTeal Thu 31-Dec-15 18:19:26

Hello!

I'm bipolar 2. I have suffered episodes of rapid cycling but I generally have fairly 'mild' short ups and slightly longer downs. I think if I was re-diagnosed it would probably be cyclothymia now.

I was medicated on lamotrigine which worked a treat for me. I'm now non medicated but manage with lists of regular exercise, healthy diet, vitamins and working part time (to reduce stress)

I know it can be genetic/hereditary but then so many things are. I've not heard the dementia link.

It took a long time for my dx but I've lived with it for a long time. I know my triggers, I know when I'm on the way up or down (as do the people around me) and I've got much better at saying I need help. I usually book into counselling if I'm in the midst of a low that's not shifting. Often it's linked to life events as well.

I remember feeling like it was a life sentence and would now be this thing that defined me. It's not. People are often surprised when I tell them my many diagnosis.

Moominmamamoos Thu 31-Dec-15 20:26:16

Thanks for replies. Abilify is aripripazole. It's an anti psychosis med.
Thank you professor, makes me feel a little better 🙂
Just feel so overwhelmed. My family is not the kind of family where mental illness is looked upon kindly. sad

cloakandjagger I've been very very depressed for a long time now, and been treated with Prozac, which did nothing. I had some sort of breakdown, ambulance was called, I refused and then police arrived. Seven cops in my bedroom...not very nice. I was suicidal though, and finally ready to accept help.

I've had four pregnancies, and I felt more stable than usual. Unfortunately, PND was quite bad though.

Thank you again for replies, don't feel so alone now. smile and happy new year!

Moominmamamoos Thu 31-Dec-15 20:28:13

And thank you kitty

Pidapie Thu 31-Dec-15 21:38:06

I'm here too! Also on abilify + lamotrigin + an anti depressant I can't remember.. I have type 2. You're not alone smile

Moominmamamoos Fri 01-Jan-16 07:40:16

Thanks pidapie and wishing everyone a happy new year!

Moominmamamoos Fri 01-Jan-16 07:44:14

candlefairy I've been depressed for ages, but also get very irritable and restless. The psychiatrist mentioned mixed episodes...I'm still quite confused about all this. When I was younger, I used to get high ( manic ) and I lived for those times, they were just fantastic. Now I don't get them anymore, which is why I finally admitted defeat and realised I need help.

KittyandTeal Fri 01-Jan-16 07:59:12

Oh god, yes! I've had a few mixed episodes. Thur are actually like hell on earth, all those horrid negative feeling but with all the energy of a high. I self harmed a lot in mixed episodes.

If you've not read it get a copy or de suess my many coloured days. It's a kids book but it made me cry when I read it, it describes bipolar perfectly

thedevilinmyshoes Sat 02-Jan-16 13:12:34

my diagnosis is bipolar affective disorder, one diagnostic system (UK/Europe) uses bp 1 and 2 and the other doesn't

it has got better with age, I can recommend the self management courses run by the old mdf (now called bipolar UK I think) they are a very helpful organisation for people directly affected and for the people who care about us so do think about contacting them

thedevilinmyshoes Sat 02-Jan-16 13:14:32

www.bipolaruk.org

thedevilinmyshoes Sat 02-Jan-16 13:20:10

I meant it the other way round, eg my code is something like F31.12 using the European system but would be whatever the code is for bp 1 using the dsm

MagpieCursedTea Sat 02-Jan-16 14:03:29

I have bipolar affective disorder, diagnosed 10 years ago. I was stable on Quetiapine for a long time but I've just come off it as the side effects got too much. I've been on many other medications including sodium valproate, olanzapine, haloperidol, aripiprazole, lamitrigone and probably some others that I've forgotten. The long term plan is lithium but I want to have another baby (I have one DS) so waiting until after that.

I also use a WRAP (wellness recovery action plan) which I find incredibly helpful. It details my triggers, warning signs I'm becoming ill, what to do if I become ill, my crisis plan and things to keep me well. It's not just helpful for me but for DH and my family to know how and when to support me. Well worth looking into (my MH team gave me a paper copy but you can also get an app to store your plan on).

It can be a difficult illness to live with but it gets easier as you learn more about it and yourself. All the best.

Candlefairy101 Sat 02-Jan-16 15:35:13

Magpie, I've been taking quetiapine for a year now (400mg at nighttime)

What side effects did you get from taking quetiapine?

MagpieCursedTea Sat 02-Jan-16 16:59:29

Candle I've been on it since 2007 (with a couple of breaks) and have gained a lot of weight, I have food issues anyway and it's worsened them. I was always hungry, had overwhelming carb cravings and rarely felt full. Whilst it's helped me sleep, I'm permanently tired, and lacked motivation. I've also experienced disturbances to my menstrual cycle which my GP said was caused by Quetiapine raising my prolactin levels. I've had to have medication to conceive my son and am now struggling with trying to conceive our second.
For a long time, the benefits outweighed the side effects but that just wasn't the case for me anymore.

TaliZorah Sat 02-Jan-16 17:05:53

I have bipolar. It's never been specified whether it's 2 or 1. I only take antidepressants, which isn't normally recommended. But I've been on them 4 years and they haven't triggered mania and keep me from getting very depressed.

I was diagnosed at 15. At first I was devastated but now I'm fine with it. I know my triggers, I know how to keep myself well.

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