Questioning Bipolar

According to the article, Loving Someone with Bipolar, as much as 50% of people with Bipolar Disorder refuse to accept their diagnosis or refuse to accept help.

I’m going through another questioning phase.  I recently read the criteria for a bipolar diagnosis in the DSM IV.  At the bottom it says,

Note: Manic-like episodes that are clearly caused by somatic antidepressant treatment (e.g., medication, electroconvulsive therapy, light therapy) should not count toward a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder.

I’ve always believed that my manic episodes were at least in part due to the Cymbalta I was taking, and I wish that they would have  just weaned me of the Cymbalta before starting other drugs.  Maybe I’m not so bad as long as I’m not taking an anti-depressant?  I feel like I’ll just never know.  The doctors are dead set on their diagnoses.

But every so often, I begin to doubt my diagnosis.  I mean, how do they really know?  Have they ever seen me in a manic episode?  Have they ever seen me depressed?  It’s all based on what my wife and I have said.

But you know?  I’m never going to know one way or the other.  I see no way of getting out of this, while keeping my marriage intact.  I’ll never be able to experiment with this theory.  She would leave me.  And honey, if you’re reading this, I know you are agreeing with me.  And you’re probably angry that I would even consider this at all.  No worries.  I’m sticking with it.

Perhaps my questioning is irrational.  Perhaps the anti-depressants just exacerbated my disorder to the point at which it was just so blatantly obvious that I’d have to do something about it.   And maybe it’s just so easy to question when I’m well.  My meds are working.

I’m sticking to the program.  But it’s still hard to accept.


6 thoughts on “Questioning Bipolar

  1. have you had a therapist or psychologist give you a test that helps determine exactly what you are suffering from? I took one several years ago and that is how I got my diagnosis. It is a long test, I couldn’t hardly sit through it. It asks you a bunch of question. A lot of times it seems like you are answering the same questions over again. But it gave my therapist a good idea of where I was at.

  2. I’m with you there. Can’t count the number of times I’ve stopped meds due to questioning my bipolar. I’ve learned better now (I think).

  3. I heard that antidepressants especially Zoloft can trigger mania in bipolar patients. But I don’t think it can cause a nonbipolar person to become bipolar. I’ve heard that bipolar is chemical/biological and you’re either born with it or not. It’s not like depression which can be situational, like death in family, etc. but from the symptoms you described in your previous posts, the mania you felt when you went through your “hyper sexual” phase, that is far beyond euphoria induced by antidepressant. That period in your life lasted awhile. It’s common for bipolars to doubt they’re diagnosis because when they’re manic they feel good, and when the meds are working they feel normal. But that just means the meds are working and not necessarily that they’re not bipolar.

  4. Also if the meds are working then I take it to mean that my illness is real. It’s kind of like the way House diagnosis by treating to confirm.

  5. Almost 50%. Hey…I’m almost in a majority!

    For 20 years I have cycled to better, and therefore never explored the possibility. Once Bipolar was suggested to me, I figured it could be the case…right up until I cycled back to a good phase. Then I dropped the idea.

    A few more cycles of insanity, and I think I am on board with it now. Most days. 😉

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