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Old 04-17-2019, 09:13 AM #1
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Default What is your weirdest symptom?

Between your depressive, mixed, and hypo/manic episodes, what is your weirdest symptom?

Mine: During a depressive episode, my head feels physically heavy and "stuffed up," as if it were overstuffed with wet cotton balls and ready to burst open. During a manic episode, I feel "energy" emanating from my heart.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:08 AM #2
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

This is a difficult question for me to answer because I am not 100% sure if my "weirdest" symptoms were even 100% part of my bipolar disorder. I can say that when I have bipolar episodes, I usually exhibit all symptoms in the DSM-5 symptom list for bipolar disorder, and most all in the standard way. Because of that, my bipolar disorder is absolute and has been confirmed by several psychiatrists.

Before I list my "weirdest" symptoms, I do want to mention that I have received a diagnosis of Simple Partial Seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy) from a neurologist in the past. And yet, despite a CT scan, multiple EEGs, a PET scan, MRIs, and the neurologist's diagnosis of the above, an epileptologist said my test results were "not definitive". The epileptologist was a national expert on interpreting EEGs. He wanted me to have a 3 to 6 day in-hospital EEG, but at my husband's urging, I refused that. My psychiatrist was quite upset with me about that because he felt there was more than just bipolar type 1 disorder afflicting me. He had even spoken to the epileptologist about my abnormal "extra" symptoms.

So...
  • Episodic brief stuttering - Only when I have been in a severe manic episode.
  • Extreme rapid fire bursts of strange, but related words ("Yellow peppers, green peppers, purple peppers, orange peppers, chili peppers, pickled peppers, jalapeno peppers...")
  • Rapid fire repetition of phrases/words ("I'm gonna go there. I'm going to go there. Go there! Go there! I'm going go there! There! There! There! Go there! Gonna go therererererere!") usually with extreme building up of seemingly manic agitation maybe leading to screaming.
  • Periods of extreme screaming. These were bad, and happened often at times. Once I called 911 and only screamed and screamed and screamed. I couldn't say anything. Six cops were immediately sent to my house. I had since left the house accidentally locking myself out. All they heard from me was screaming and screaming, with no other communication. Most just stood staring at me, all but one officer that tried to calm me and ask me questions. Luckily, my husband arrived home soon after and it stopped. They told him I "appeared to be in an episode". My husband agreed. I had an emergency pdoc appointment a couple hours later and avoided the hospital. Another time this happened at my old job for the whole floor to hear. They dragged me into my boss's closed office. HR called my husband to get me. En route to the hospital I attempted to jump out of my husband's moving car. At the hospital, I started to flail around on the floor screaming. Then the catatonia mentioned below occurred. Other times I would roll up into a ball or start slapping my own face continuously or punching walls. Sometimes there was screaming that included extreme furious declarations, usually that involved God or hell. Those often resulted in being dragged into isolation rooms and given injections.
  • Brief catatonia of the type where I was unable to move or speak for several minutes (this was what inspired my first EEG and CT scan)
  • Musical hallucinations - May or may not have been related to my bipolar disorder.
  • Visual distortions different than more typical past psychotic hallucinations I've had (things appearing bigger or smaller)
  • Time distortions (several minutes seeming like seconds, and seconds seeming like many minutes)
  • Auditory distortions (hearing people say things they didn't say, and hearing things in a very odd way, i.e. like how you hear Charlie Brown's mother speak - Waaa, Waaaa, Waaaa.
  • Tactile and olfactory (usually smoke) hallucinations
  • Extreme (and I mean extreme) bursts of adrenaline that made me feel like electricity was running through my body
  • Violent outbursts seemingly out of nowhere (i.e. started beating a cement wall at my IOP with my pocketbook repeatedly, then they got me to sit where I began to speak rapid fire gibberish that no one could understand, and several other similar type actions, most leading to hospitalization)
  • Momentary black outs without loss of consciousness - Different from and briefer from manic blackouts, which I have also experienced. During theses supposed blackouts, I was still communicating with people.
  • Significant deja vu experiences
  • Feelings of floating in the air
  • Out of body experiences (walking while seeing the back of my body walking, and yet though I didn't see what was in front of me, I somehow knew where I was going)
  • Panic attacks out of nowhere, mostly triggered by flickers of light. Only seemed to happen when I was outside or in my car on extremely sunny days. The best relief from these was to be inside with all of the curtains closed, in the dark. Often time-sound-space distortions were also involved. Often I would become obsessed with staring at electric lines and then the sight of the electric lines would remain in my head kind of zipping past like rods.
  • Extreme odorous breathe, or so my husband says.
Simple Partial seizures is not the only voiced possible issue I've experienced in addition to bipolar type 1 disorder. I have also been told that I might have experienced depersonalization/derealization and dissociative amnesia. I was also told that I may have experienced silent migraine auras. Some of the "weird" symptoms above could be explained by some or even all of these potential diagnoses, or my bipolar disorder.

My Tegretol XR is an important part of my medication cocktail. It covers lots of bases. It has been helpful at curbing some of the types of symptoms above, particularly the musical hallucinations I experienced for a period of months (long story). Antipsychotics have been crucial for me, too. They control my manias the best.

I was quite traumatized for a while as a result of my worst bipolar episodes (often with psychosis) and all of the weird stuff above. During a period of about 6 years, I was seeing various doctors. Once I saw a psychiatrist who also had a specialty in neurology. She was one of many that confirmed my bipolar diagnosis. After seeing all my test results (EEGs, etc.) she stated that a theory out there is that bipolar episodes themselves may be a type of seizure.

Over the years, I've done some extensive research on links/similarities between bipolar disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy (focal aware/simple partial seizures), and migraines (of various sorts) that I've shared in my blog. If anyone is interested in any of it, just PM me. My discussion on that covers a couple additional shared symptoms between two or all of them, common triggers, and of course the fact that anticonvulsants are sometimes used as treatments for all three.

A lot of the above can be relevant in some with schizophrenia, too. A good article is at Schizophrenia and epilepsy - Harvard Health
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I have Bipolar type 1

Tegretol XR generic (1200 mg)
Lamictal generic (100 mg)
Seroquel XR generic (600 mg)
Latuda (20 mg)
Klonopin generic (0.5 mg)

PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)

Last edited by BirdDancer; 04-17-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:27 AM #3
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

When I'm manic my hands get hot, really hot but not sweaty. It's like I have too much energy. I sometime have the delusional thoughts along with this that I have special powers and can heal people.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:01 AM #4
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

Time lapses. Half the time I'm manic I don't remember it (thankfully)
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:35 PM #5
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdDancer View Post
This is a difficult question for me to answer because I am not 100% sure if my "weirdest" symptoms were even 100% part of my bipolar disorder. I can say that when I have bipolar episodes, I usually exhibit all symptoms in the DSM-5 symptom list for bipolar disorder, and most all in the standard way. Because of that, my bipolar disorder is absolute and has been confirmed by several psychiatrists.

Before I list my "weirdest" symptoms, I do want to mention that I have received a diagnosis of Simple Partial Seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy) from a neurologist in the past. And yet, despite a CT scan, multiple EEGs, a PET scan, MRIs, and the neurologist's diagnosis of the above, an epileptologist said my test results were "not definitive". The epileptologist was a national expert on interpreting EEGs. He wanted me to have a 3 to 6 day in-hospital EEG, but at my husband's urging, I refused that. My psychiatrist was quite upset with me about that because he felt there was more than just bipolar type 1 disorder afflicting me. He had even spoken to the epileptologist about my abnormal "extra" symptoms.

So...
  • Episodic brief stuttering - Only when I have been in a severe manic episode.
  • Extreme rapid fire bursts of strange, but related words ("Yellow peppers, green peppers, purple peppers, orange peppers, chili peppers, pickled peppers, jalapeno peppers...")
  • Rapid fire repetition of phrases/words ("I'm gonna go there. I'm going to go there. Go there! Go there! I'm going go there! There! There! There! Go there! Gonna go therererererere!") usually with extreme building up of seemingly manic agitation maybe leading to screaming.
  • Periods of extreme screaming. These were bad, and happened often at times. Once I called 911 and only screamed and screamed and screamed. I couldn't say anything. Six cops were immediately sent to my house. I had since left the house accidentally locking myself out. All they heard from me was screaming and screaming, with no other communication. Most just stood staring at me, all but one officer that tried to calm me and ask me questions. Luckily, my husband arrived home soon after and it stopped. They told him I "appeared to be in an episode". My husband agreed. I had an emergency pdoc appointment a couple hours later and avoided the hospital. Another time this happened at my old job for the whole floor to hear. They dragged me into my bosses closed office. HR called my husband to get me. En route to the hospital I attempted to jump out of my husband's moving car. At the hospital I started to flail around on the floor screaming. Then the catatonia mentioned below occurred. Other times I would roll up into a ball or start slapping my own face continuously or punching walls. Sometimes there was screaming that included extreme furious declarations, usually that involved God or hell. Those often resulted in being dragged into isolation rooms and given injections.
  • Brief catatonia of the type where I was unable to move or speak for several minutes (this was what inspired my first EEG and CT scan)
  • Musical hallucinations - May or may not have been related to my bipolar disorder.
  • Visual distortions different than more typical past psychotic hallucinations I've had (things appearing bigger or smaller)
  • Time distortions (several minutes seeming like seconds, and seconds seeming like many minutes)
  • Auditory distortions (hearing people say things they didn't say, and hearing things in a very odd way, i.e. like how you hear Charlie Brown's mother speak - Waaa, Waaaa, Waaaa.
  • Tactile and olfactory (usually smoke) hallucinations
  • Extreme (and I mean extreme) bursts of adrenaline that made me feel like electricity was running through my body
  • Violent outbursts seemingly out of nowhere (i.e. started beating a cement wall at my IOP with my pocketbook repeatedly, then they got me to sit where I began to speak rapid fire gibberish that no one could understand, and several other similar type actions, most leading to hospitalization)
  • Momentary black outs without loss of consciousness - Different from and briefer from manic blackouts, which I have also experienced. During theses supposed blackouts, I was still communicating with people.
  • Significant deja vu experiences
  • Feelings of floating in the air
  • Out of body experiences (walking while seeing the back of my body walking, and yet though I didn't see what was in front of me, I somehow knew where I was going)
  • Panic attacks out of nowhere, mostly triggered by flickers of light. Only seemed to happen when I was outside or in my car on extremely sunny days. The best relief from these was to be inside with all of the curtains closed, in the dark. Often time-sound-space distortions were also involved. Often I would become obsessed with staring at electric lines and then the sight of the electric lines would remain in my head kind of zipping past like rods.
  • Extreme odorous breathe, or so my husband says.
Simple Partial seizures is not the only voiced possible issue I've experienced in addition to bipolar type 1 disorder. I have also been told that I might have experienced depersonalization/derealization and dissociative amnesia. I was also told that I may have experienced silent migraine auras. Some of the "weird" symptoms above could be explained by some or even all of these potential diagnoses or my bipolar disorder.

My Tegretol XR is an important part of my medication cocktail. It covers lots of bases. It has been helpful at curbing some of the types of symptoms above, particularly the musical hallucinations I experienced for a period of months (long story). Antipsychotics have been crucial for me, too. They control my manias the best.

I was quite traumatized for a while as a result of my worst bipolar episodes (often with psychosis) and all of the weird stuff above. During a period of about 6 years, I was seeing various doctors. Once I saw a psychiatrist who also had a specialty in neurology. She was one of many that confirmed my bipolar diagnosis. After seeing all my test results (EEGs, etc.) she stated that a theory out there is that bipolar episodes themselves may be a type of seizure.

Over the years, I've done some extensive research on links/similarities between bipolar disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy (focal aware/simple partial seizures), and migraines (of various sorts) that I've shared in my blog. If anyone is interested in any of it, just PM me. My discussion on that covers a couple additional shared symptoms between two or all of them, common triggers, and of course the fact that anticonvulsants are sometimes used as treatments for all three.

I experienced many of your weird symptoms during my mixed episode. The repeating phrases, screaming, black outs, out of body experiences, floating feelings, adrenaline busrts, violence, hallucinations, etc.

I once had a doctor who was treating my mother tell me brain scans of patients in mania look like those in the middle of an epileptic seizure. I believe it. I had pain at the base of my brain where it meets my spine for days before I got sick and then all if a sudden it gave way and I can only describe it as my brain was on fire. Everything happened so fast. The word trauma just doesn't even cover it.
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:43 PM #6
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fern46 View Post
I experienced many of your weird symptoms during my mixed episode. The repeating phrases, screaming, black outs, out of body experiences, floating feelings, adrenaline busrts, violence, hallucinations, etc.

I once had a doctor who was treating my mother tell me brain scans of patients in mania look like those in the middle of an epileptic seizure. I believe it. I had pain at the base of my brain where it meets my spine for days before I got sick and then all if a sudden it gave way and I can only describe it as my brain was on fire. Everything happened so fast. The word trauma just doesn't even cover it.
Thanks for sharing that, fern! Mixed episodes (manias with mixed features and psychosis) have been my worst and most traumatic episodes. To date, they have made my past severest pure depression look like a trip to Disney World. I'm sorry you've experienced a lot of this, too.
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I have Bipolar type 1

Tegretol XR generic (1200 mg)
Lamictal generic (100 mg)
Seroquel XR generic (600 mg)
Latuda (20 mg)
Klonopin generic (0.5 mg)

PRNs - Seroquel IR generic (25 to 100 mg in a day), Ativan (1 mg, up to 3 mg/day)

Others: Propranolol (40 mg), Synthroid (150 mcg), OTC multi-vitamin, OTC iron supplement (during periods), Biotin supplement (for my otherwise thin fingernails)
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:18 PM #7
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

Hiding in my closet because I thought the government was after me..I wouldn't even answer the door for friends or anyone, I was in a constant state of panic from paranoia, it lasted like 5 months, then I finally got help. I haven't had that happen in a long time though thankfully
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:26 PM #8
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

One other thing is that when I have manic episodes I feel like there's chemicals in my veins and am on fire, I have rushes of euphoria but they sometimes scare me because I feel like I'm about to have a seizure or something. I don't have epilepsy or anything but had one with severe Lithium toxicity so I do somewhat recall what it felt like before. Never have been able to figure out why that happens
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:09 PM #9
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

When I am hypomanic I believe that my energy is tied in with other people. When I am around other people they suck my energy from me so that by the end of the day I am physically exhausted but mentally jazzed. It is always the fault of other people. Any people. It makes me want to isolate to keep my energy for myself.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:55 PM #10
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Default Re: What is your weirdest symptom?

When really manic or mixed I believe I have the ability to fly or safely jump from my apartment balcony. Alternatively I’m contemplating sui. This risk of ‘harming myself ‘ regardless of mood is why I often end up in hospital.
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