How did you relate to your bipolar diagnosis? (Sorry, I typed alot!) - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 04-16-2019, 08:24 AM #1
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Confused How did you relate to your bipolar diagnosis? (Sorry, I typed alot!)

I am 22yo and have just been given a bipolar II diagnosis after years of mainly untreated depression and anxiety.

I have previously seen a therapist through a period of (not clinical) but severe depression but suddenly my lack of energy, motivation, hearing voices, overall fogginess, suicidal thoughts and visions disappeared (like it had many times before, and after) so I stopped therapy.
I almost always ignored the severity of my depression once I snapped out of it - believing it was all mind over matter and I just needed to somehow snap out of it - but it would always come back eventually.
When I was in these depressed stages I would be so hard on myself just knowing I CAN run laps around everyone else at times and I CAN accomplish well above usual daily tasks which I struggle to get done when depressed.

My entire life I was convinced I had depression and always felt like I dealt well (in hindsight, through poor techniques), because I always managed to counteract these low times for some reason always unknown to me. It always got better whether a few months, weeks or years later.
But when everything all of a sudden gets 100% better, why question it?

This time was no different to every other time, but ended in a bipolar II diagnosis - only because I was in therapy again when my depression disappeared and my partner convinced me to keep going despite the sudden snap out of all things dark.
These long mood shifts have been happening for as long as I remember, so until now I thought this was all part of the normal ups and downs in life (hence trying to cancel regular psychologist and GP visits).
After learning more about bipolar from my therapist and of course the internet - this diagnosis explains alot!

This is all very new to me (two weeks since diagnosis) and I'm still grasping an understanding of differentiating between hypomania, depression and just me.

I guess I have recognised my hypomanic states as
periodic effortless high grades in university and school, feeling the NEED to multitask (cooking dinner, washing up, mopping the floor and paying the bills with meticulous timing - well until I push myself too far and I am lost in productivity by it's 3am), becoming confident and the life of the party in any social situation whether colleagues, friends, family reunions or strangers, feeling like I can tackle any task, thriving off <4 hours of sleep a night - not wanting to waste my precious time of productivity on sleep and of course very high self esteem, lots of amazing new ideas, a sense of urgency and grandiose way of thinking (feeling as though I understand everything in the world and create my own detailed meaning of life).
These parts of my life are admittedly more brief than my depressed periods, but I can push to achieve 5x the amount in just half the time of the depressed period before that.

I can see the huge difference in productivity during hypomania, but the negative effects (risk taking, mild irritability, tunnel vision once set on an idea, sense of urgency and impulsivity) don't seem anywhere near as bad in comparison. Am I just naive and yet to recognise the bad?
Are hypomanias really harmful? Can I stay 'up' without crashing back down?


How do you differentiate between your symptoms and personality?



Let me know if your experiences and understanding of bipolar II are similar or different to mine. Would love to read your stories to help me understand more!
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:42 PM #2
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Smile Re: How did you relate to your bipolar diagnosis? (Sorry, I typed alot!)

Hello miscoloured: Thank you for sharing your story here on PC. I believe this is your first post. So... welcome to Psych Central. One additional forum, here on PC, that may be of interest to you would be the psychotherapy forum. Here's link:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/psychotherapy/

And then here are links to 9 articles, from Psych Central's archives, on the subjects of bipolar disorder in general, bipolar 2 in particular, & hypomania. The first article is by our host Dr. John Grohol, Psy.D.:

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Types & Treatments

What Bipolar II Disorder Really Looks & Feels Like

How Bipolar II is Different | Bipolar Laid Bare

What Helps Individuals with Bipolar II Disorder Successfully Manage Their Illness

https://psychcentral.com/blog/bipola...understanding/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipol...-is-hypomania/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipol...dium=popular17

https://psychcentral.com/blog/10-way...pomania/?all=1

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipol...e-day-fatigue/

I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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