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Bipolar, BPD, depression or anxiety? Or all of the above?

(17 Posts)
OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 28-Oct-16 16:04:22

I'm going to see my GP in 10 days and want to discuss my mental health.

History of treatment for depression, more recently also for anxiety. Treatment has been ADs (currently citalopram 20mg) and CBT (for a year, leading up to divorce/job change) and counselling. Talking therapies helped a bit but it's such hard work to put into daily life. I don't think it really works for me. I think it's chemical.

Circumstances have always been present that could cause this - alcoholic parent, illness, divorce/single parenting etc.

However, I really don't think it's that. I think I'm wired wrongly. ADs don't really help; they just take the edge off, keep me from falling into a black whole of suicidal despair (for the record, I would never kill myself; I have DCs and family that would be devastated. But if not for them...) But even when oh higher doses (30-40mg) I still feel wrong.

Ive always suffered with social anxiety and been a deep thinker. Saw a psychologist at 17 who told me to stop reading philosophy books hmm

I think bipolar is close, but I don't have many 'highs'. I do identify with it though, periods of manic inspiration and creativity. But I'm too tired/down most of the time to act on them. I think BPD is closer maybe.

Lately, due to a very ill DF and imminent change of career/home life, anxiety has been the overriding symptom. My driving is affected. I go into a shock-like state on certain roads. Blood drains from all my extremities and I feel I'm going faint. I had to ditch the car the other day. Luckily I was in convoy with DP at the time.

I feel detached, behind glass.

One incident - the first- of the driving issue, I wondered afterwards if I was actually dead. I wondered if DCs and I had all died when I fainted on the dual carriageway and now I am in another world. I know that's madness. But now each time I travel on the same stretch of road, I feel odd. Often I wonder if I'm still here or not.

Oh my word. Writing it all down is scary.

Thanks if you read this far. Anyone been through similar and found anything that works?

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 28-Oct-16 16:47:16

Bump. Anyone around?

dangermouseisace Fri 28-Oct-16 19:27:45

You should print what you wrote out and take it to the GP. It will probably help with diagnosis. FWIW though you sound a bit similar to me, I have depression.

I get the wondering if I'm dead or not. When I'm unwell it feels like I am already dead. And the detached thing behind glass. Or feeling like you are very, very, very far away from everything else and looking through a telescope.

Driving thing sounds like my kind of anxiety attack…my limbs stop working. Tip- don't drive at the moment!

I think the thing is, AD's don't take away your problems/experiences…they just stop the absolute abyss thing (well sometimes…)

I found that the right combination of AD's and time helps. And support through the worst times.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 28-Oct-16 22:01:15

Thank you dangermouse- it certainly helps to know this is not just me! flowers to you

BecauseIamaBear Fri 28-Oct-16 22:15:34

Don't forget it is also autumn and the evenings are drawing in very fast.. It certainly has a dampening effect on my state of mind... I have also been feeling detached from myself and no va va voom of late.

And apologies for not replying sooner...

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 28-Oct-16 22:21:20

Bear thank you. I never used to suffer with SAD before but I think these days the darker nights do affect my mood. It certainly doesn't help with the detached feeling, that's for sure!

BecauseIamaBear Fri 28-Oct-16 22:31:36

Do pop into Wrists Bitches..
Even though it may sound like it.... I promise it is not kinky...

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 28-Oct-16 22:44:33

I stumbled in there earlier today but was confused on what it was, so stumbled out again blush

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Fri 28-Oct-16 22:56:26

Melancholic depression, spot of anxiety, possible bipolar 1? Could be several things and what stands out to me is that you're under a lot of stress.

We are very keen to label ourselves. I've worked on depression drug trials and reading patient histories has cemented my opinion that a lot of mental illness is a perfectly rational response to intolerable strain.
The detatchment could be several things but isn't uncommon as a reaction to extreme stress, for example. Your mind and body are telling you to stop, regroup. Depression has a lot in common with 'sickness behaviour ' - that state you go into when you're really poorly. It's protective in some ways. There's mounting g evidence that the idea of a chemical imbalance being the cause of depression is at best far too simplistic and at worst just wrong - bear in mind we have no real idea how antidepressants work biochemically.

Cbt isn't the panacea the NHS pushes it as.

I'd push for a better talking therapy. Try a different AD. For the love of god do not let anyone label you with borderline pd.

And I think bear in mind that you are under huge strain - be kind to yourself and realise that a lot of your symptoms don't mean you're ill or broken or there's anything wrong with you - it means you're reacting to a pretty bad time. Take care

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Sat 29-Oct-16 11:24:01

Thank you hubbles. Can I ask, why do you advise to avoid a BPD diagnosis?

Thehubbleswindscreenwipers Sun 30-Oct-16 00:00:20

Well, obviously if that's what fits you best then that will help you get treated but none of your symptoms except the dissociation fit. And that can be caused by stress.
A bpd diagnosis can be a hard label to shake and still (sorry) carries quite a negative stigma

I think what I'm saying is don't jump to the conclusion that you are at fault here - you're under severe strain and symptoms like dissociation can be caused directly by that.
ADs, a good talking therapy (not bloody cbt) and most importantly an objective look at your situation are what you need. Some of it you can't change (df for example) but are there any ways you can reduce pressure in your day to day life?

Wolfiefan Sun 30-Oct-16 00:06:14

OP wrists bitches came out of another thread where a few of us posted. Wrist joked we were her bitches. Started anew thread with that name.
Somewhere we could chat and a few of us have admitted anxiety and MH issues. Safe and unjudgy!

colouringinagain Sun 30-Oct-16 00:22:34

Thehubbles it was great to read your posts a lot of what you say rings true. I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for a while now. But as you say they're not irrational reactions to a lot of very difficult life stuff. I'm on ADs though not sure that's the best strategy. Counselling has helped. Fewer difficult things going on at the same time would help!

Sorry OP didn't mean to hijack, I'd just echo Thehubbles perspective, but def see your GP and print out your original post - seems a good description. Take care.

Thehubbleswindscreenwipers Sun 30-Oct-16 11:01:44

I suffer with depression and anxiety myself so I really do understand- and I recognise that 'wrong end of the telescope' feeling all too well. In my case I know I have a predisposition to depression and anxiety and then I have certain situational stressors on top. I'm also experiencing serious sleep deprivation with my little one who wakes dozens of times a night.
The difference even a bit of sleep makes to me is incredible- so it really is possible that you're reacting to external stress - sounds like you e got a lot on your plate.

I'd approach your doc and request a talking therapy (not cbt, this sort of stuff it's useless for) using the approach that 'I'm prone to depression and anxiety and recent events are putting me under heavy strain. I can feel myself getting worse and I need support to protect my health.'
Obviously no one can diagnose you over the web, but just being given a label isn't going to help you - a different AD and good talking therapy might. If you have t tried different ADs please consider it - I've tried four and they were all very different in their effects.
Self care is important too - don your own oxygen mask before helping others, as they say. If you have a family who rely on you it is essential you see caring for yourself as important as caring for them. I know I struggle with this and need to remind myself often.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Sun 30-Oct-16 12:20:02

Colouring more than happy for you join and and get advice too! It's great to be able to discuss these things with people who understand flowers

Thanks again hubbles for the great advice.

I think for me, I'm vaguely hoping that they can diagnose something different and switch to different meds and I will magically feel normal.

Holy grail isn't it.

Purplebluebird Mon 31-Oct-16 13:51:56

Diagnosing you with something might mean that you have a life long illness to manage, rather than something you can get past once and for all! It's much better to have "just" depression and anxiety, because you can get better smile If you have bipolar or Bpd, you will have it for life.

colouringinagain Mon 31-Oct-16 23:09:22

Thanks oncemore.

I'd also echo the importance of sleep. And self care - looking after you is vv important when you have so much to deal with.

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