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Author Topic: HIV bipolar linked?  (Read 22596 times)

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Offline mecch

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HIV bipolar linked?
« on: October 04, 2008, 08:51:29 PM »
I don't want to offend anyone by this post. I have notice in this thread and a number of others a fair number of people diagnosed as bipolar. 
Is there a link between having HIV and becoming bipolar?
Or, by chance, are HIV people subject to some stigma in which they are more likely to be diagnosed as bipolar?
Are bipolar people more at rsk of exposure to HIV through some sort of behaviour related to moods, etc.??
Just wondering why I keep seeing this diagnosis.
Best to all
mecch
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bear60

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2008, 12:31:29 PM »
I listen to NPR at work...and hear some very interesting shows.  One show I heard week before last dealt with the topic: IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN VACCINATIONS AND AUTISM IN CHILDREN.  The doctor being interviewed said he blames a lot of the current hysteria over this on the internet, and  coincidence.  He said that in his practice, a mother came in with her child to be immunized ( the usual childhood stuff ) and while in the office waiting for the shots had a grand mall seizure and was subsequently diagnosed with epilepsy.  Had the doctor not been delayed by a few minutes the immunizatioons would have been administed and the mother would have blamed the injections on the seizure. The doctor went on to say that the USA faces a serious problem because these childhood illnesses are on the rise and an epidenmic could happen.
But  there is no scientific evidence to prove that there is a connection between autism and vaccinations.
Given that people with HIV have to deal with depression, anger, grief, pain, and poverty as well as a host of other really nasty emotions .....its not a hard stretch to think that this has driven us crazy.  But I think Bipolar disorder is not linked to environmment.
In my family there is a history of bipolar and other mental disorders.  I have a nephew who is clearly ( to me) autistic ...probably has  Asbergers Syndrome..(which is a mild autism...manifests itself in the person not relating to peers, being afraid of social situations and  focusing on one thing well but not several things well at the same time).  But his parents will not accept it and are in denial.  These are not uneducated people.  My sister in law is a college teacher.  This kid is now almost 30 and cannot hold a job...his marriage fell apart and he seems not to have any interest in GETTING a job.  I also had a cousin who spent most of her life in an institution ( when that was the "acceptable" way of dealing with mental problems). So just becase I have HIV and am diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and have panic attacks, doesnt mean the HIV caused it.  The disorder was there waiting for a disaster to happen...which it did.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 10:09:04 AM »
That was very interesting, Joel.  Thanks.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 11:33:50 AM »

Is there a link between having HIV and becoming bipolar?

Studies have shown something like 60% of HIV patients have some sort of depression problem at some point in their diagnosis, so in our pool of afflicted individuals we have a larger % that seek mental health professionals from the start.  In turn that would simply expose a greater number to any bipolar diagnosis which was an underlying problem in most cases that pre-dates their HIV infection.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 11:38:40 AM by philly267 »
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline woodshere

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 04:28:45 PM »
Studies have shown something like 60% of HIV patients have some sort of depression problem at some point in their diagnosis, so in our pool of afflicted individuals we have a larger % that seek mental health professionals from the start.  In turn that would simply expose a greater number to any bipolar diagnosis which was an underlying problem in most cases that pre-dates their HIV infection.

I have had problems with depression a long time before I became HIV+.  I think being HIV+ makes me want to take better care of myself both on a physical and mental level.
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline Joe K

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 05:44:26 PM »
I suffer from depression and there are times that I feel Bipolar, with the huge mood swings, but I have never been diagnosed as such.  I think a better question to ask is how prevalent is mental illness in the poz community.  For years, people were afraid to seek treatment for mental illness, but as that changes, I believe we will see more pozzies who are also diagnosed as having a mental illness.

I also hold suspect, many of the tests used for diagnosis of mental illness and I think that most people, so affected, know deep down what their "real cause" of mental illness is, and do not need any test, other than to confirm their suspicions.  Most of us live much saner lives than we did before infection and I know that I am much more attuned to my mental state.

I believe the issue of mental illness in pozzies is often overlooked and that with better screening, we can help people before they suffer real damage, or pull others from the edge.

Offline madbrain

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 07:13:25 PM »
I don't want to offend anyone by this post. I have notice in this thread and a number of others a fair number of people diagnosed as bipolar. 
Is there a link between having HIV and becoming bipolar?
Or, by chance, are HIV people subject to some stigma in which they are more likely to be diagnosed as bipolar?
Are bipolar people more at rsk of exposure to HIV through some sort of behaviour related to moods, etc.??
Just wondering why I keep seeing this diagnosis.
Best to all
mecch

I would ask the opposite question - is there a link between being bipolar and contracting HIV ?

I was diagnosed bipolar at 18 during a major episode that was called manic-depression psychosis by the doctor, involving a 4 months hospital stay and ECT. Bipolar runs in my family. My grandfather was diagnosed with it late, in his 70s.

Since then, I have had mostly minor depression episodes - except for the major depression after my HIV diagnosis. I believe the manic episodes are the worst, however. My therapist is reluctant to say if my sex addiction is related to my bipolar disorder or not. My physician is less reluctant to say it. It's possible that I would have had fewer sex partners than I did, and would not have caught HIV at 30, if I didn't have that disorder.

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 07:47:50 PM »
I would ask the opposite question - is there a link between being bipolar and contracting HIV ?

I did ask your question, it was the third one on my list.

Thanks to you and everyone for sharing their experiences.  Some very insightful responses - helps me put more in perspective, and for you all too?

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jughead

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 09:27:20 PM »
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 10 years before being diagnosed with AIDS... I think there is definitely a link because of the hypersexuality that comes with bipolar disorder...

Offline madbrain

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2008, 04:17:50 PM »
Hi,

I did ask your question, it was the third one on my list.

Woops ! My bad for not reading the whole post.

Offline Paolo Tucson

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 05:04:08 PM »
Imagine for a moment that you are dropped onto a planet where the form of communication was so unlike ours that there were no reference points.  It isn't all about the words sometimes it is about body language and looks.  You can't seem to understand anything going on around you.  To make it worse every time you try to communicate you are punished or shut out.  You look around and though your environment looks familiar it just doesn't make sense to you.  After a while even the friendly looking natives shun you. You feel very alone, disparate. 
Such is the life for many of us who are Bipolar.  I saw my psychiatrist on Tuesday and he said to me, "Isn't it interesting that you have to take medication to relate to us but we don't have to take anything to relate to you?"
Is there a link between bipolar disorder and HIV?  No real studies have been done to my knowledge to make this connection, though in my practice more than 2/3rds have bipolar disorder. Mood disorders are common in those living with HIV.  That we all agree on. Perhaps we should do a poll.
Some die that we may have hope, some because they have none.

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2008, 08:06:33 PM »
Is there a link between bipolar disorder and HIV?  No real studies have been done to my knowledge to make this connection, though in my practice more than 2/3rds have bipolar disorder.

Thanks for the intersting perspective on meds and communication with bipolar people.

As for the above quote, could you clarify please?  In my practice... What is that? You are a therapist?
2/3rds have bipolar disorder - 2/3rds of HIV+ people?  66%?!

Please clarify, this is shocking to me, at least
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Paolo Tucson

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2008, 12:37:39 PM »
I am glad you found the perspective interesting.  Yes I am a therapist and when I said that 2/3rds I should have said that 2/3rds of my clients are bipolar. I only see HIV+ people in my office.
Some die that we may have hope, some because they have none.

Offline weasel

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2008, 12:24:12 AM »
If PAXEL  had been around when I was in Kindergarten  , I would have led a very
different life !

  Bipolar is an awful way to live a life ,

    BUT it sure makes for interesting stories  :o

                               HIV is more attuned to Russian Roulette .

                                                                               Karl
" Live and let Live "

Offline WillyWump

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2008, 10:41:59 PM »
I was diagnosed BP about 3 years before I was diagnosed poz.

In my case, I KNOW that BP contributed to me getting HIV. This statement may sound stupid but here is why I say that.

When I was having manic attacks I had an insatiable sex appetite, I could not get enough quick enough, Sex was the only thing that seemed to try to stem the attack, unfortunately when you are manic (and off meds) your thought process is shot, the ends justify the means the are no boudaries, so I wrecklessy had unprotected sex.

Again,  in my case,  I absolutely know BP contributed to becoming poz.

Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Peter6836

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2008, 07:43:43 AM »
I have to agree with Will here. I also believe that if I were no BP I would not be HIV+. My manic episodes led to me having unprotected sex. When I would have a manic episode I would stay out for nights that turned into days. I would drink excessivly and look for sex.
When I am on working meds, I do not have those tendencies at all. I am much more cognitive of what I am doing and do not put myself in dangerous situations.
For me being bipolar has made a difference in my behavior and thus contributed to me having this disease.
Of course now I have to live with both HIV and BP. It does seem to be a fact that people with HIV live with more exacerbated mood disorders, be they depression, or BP. So now I have to watch myself even more. I find that the depressions are worse and effect me in a much more devestating way.
Peter

Offline nicknatpatywack

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2009, 08:29:58 PM »
I believe there is a link... Think about it when do you engage in risky activity when you are on a high and feel invincible to the world which puts bipolar at more of a risk then their sane counterparts...

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2009, 08:37:35 AM »
BeWise, please talk to your therapist about bi-polar. None of us here can diagnose you and you can't diagnose yourself either.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2009, 10:34:08 AM »
BeWise,

Congratulations on getting to the Fourth Step. It's a very difficult one to work on and you should be working closely with your sponsor. If you don't find your sponsor to be very helpful as regards working this step, maybe it's time to find another sponsor, one you can work with and relate to more easily. The Fourth Step is not one you should work on on your own. It's a very intense step, with a lot of soul-searching involved. Successfully working this step lays the foundation for the successful working of steps yet to come. It's a very important step. Good luck.

(((((BeWise)))))

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline darkerpozz

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2010, 03:52:14 AM »
Hi all,
I unfortunately am diagnosed as bipolar and became a HIV club member after due to the unquenchable need for sex in many manic episodes which were not reflective of my norm. Now I struggle with existance. I can't handle 8 hours of anything and I am growing tired of being by myself and believe me i try to get out but it doesn't feel like enough. I look healthy but I feel deep down worthless and I want the new year to mean something but with the cut in benefits I will be harder  pressed to find help I read the post and feel I should cycle off the effexor but I went off twice to not good results. where will my ship find calm waters and others docked ships eager to once again float out in the sea of life free....

Offline sylvester212

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2011, 11:22:59 PM »
I have not heard that HIV is linked to any specific disorder in the brain. That said, nearly everyone who is HIV+ is more likely to feel depressed for several reasons. And one reason might be viral. HAART meds do not all cross the Blood Brain Barrier efficiently, which is why there are still cases of cognitive functioning problems being seen in HIV.

Bipolar Disorder is often pronounced rather quickly, and it takes time to recognize the signs. Sometimes, the clinician might see it one way, and the patient another.

Currently, my psychiatrist is more interested in the Borderline Personality Disorder part of my mental illness diagnosis than the Bipolar part. I argue that the Bipolar part is not paid enough attention: especially when antidepressant therapy is used.

Every time I use an antidepressant - any one - I go into mania. Drug-induced mania is not a necessary predictor of Bipolar Disorder, but it might help to see a general mood lability issue.

In my case, the mania is so pronounced that I can get into real trouble. So if I want to use antidepressants, I have to be extremely careful.

I had severe mood swings and tell-tale signs long before HIV. Moving a lot, dropping out of school, and re-entering in the same semester - all while maintaining a high GPA. Quitting jobs after 3-6 months.

I wish I had known I had a mood disorder for certain before I was infected with HIV in 1994. I think I might have been open to counseling - and my hypersexual behavior would have been at least examined. My self-destructive tendencies would have been examined. And maybe, I would have learned how to be safer.

Instead, I hope that someone else gets treatment for Bipolar Disorder (or any mood disorder) before they crash and burn the way I had to. These days, we talk about mental illness more easily, and more people have access to treatment.

peace to all. The life we live is a hard, fast, and difficult one.
sylvester

Offline thunter34

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2011, 11:30:13 PM »
major zombie thread, but no matter.

welcome, sylvester.

and yes, i agree and have said many times:  addressing my mental health issues likely would have prevented the HIV situation in the first place.

depression is a bummer, but manic is where the real trouble is.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline heartforyou

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2011, 02:03:21 PM »
I can agree on one thing : although I am mentally stable I have mood swings for no reasons.  Feeing lonely and deserted.... but I have learned to accept these moments, and I ( sometimes) know they pass.
As for  borderline.... one of my ex's had it ... it can be hell... and heaven the same day .

xxx
Diagnosed in 1987 and still kicking
Viread, Kivexa (Epzicom),Viramune once daily

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline Its_Me_D

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2011, 12:41:40 AM »
I have had problems with depression a long time before I became HIV+.  I think being HIV+ makes me want to take better care of myself both on a physical and mental level.

Yes, I'm in this exact category too.

Offline aeon jiminy

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2011, 02:16:08 PM »
I have had problems with depression a long time before I became HIV+.  I think being HIV+ makes me want to take better care of myself both on a physical and mental level.

I agree.

Offline nipper

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2011, 12:44:40 AM »
HI, i am new here but am interested in this issue.

I think this is more chicken/egg then an HIV related item. I think that humans are all bi-polar to some degree, just as we are co-dependent (which is a good thing, it allows us relationships, and a bad thing when it makes us clingy and controlling). Stress unlocks the three eyed monster, and God knows HIV is stress, no matter how well you handle it.

Myself i had been bipolar all my life. It started getting a little out of hand when i was 13. I developed tools on my own to deal with it, then after a major car accident 5 years ago it went out of control. I also have an anxiety disorder (I always thought they were the same thing). It is exhausting at times, and I really want to end it all, but I don't blame the HIV for this, though it may have thrown fuel on the fire.

I find shrinks frustraiting and useless. I have one. He prescribes meds, then when side effects pop up he blames the HIV meds for them. I havent changed meds in 10 years, so i know those side effects. Unlike my HIV Dr, who allows me to be active in my treatment. my Shrink just blows everything off. I have been told thats just the way they are.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2011, 12:52:26 AM »
First off, welcome to the forums!

Secondly, that is NOT the way a good shrink works. A good therapist will listen to you and NOT blame side effects on HIV meds, especially if you have been on the same meds for years. It's HARD to find a good therapist, but its one of the most important relationships you can have in your life.

Controlling bipolar disorder is astonishingly difficult, I won't lie. But time and trial CAN give you the right dosage of the right meds. You have to have a therapist who works WITH you, and not in an adversarial way.

PLEASE ask your primary doctor for a referral. Explain to him/her the difficulties you are having, and get with a therapist who will work WITH you to find the balance that bipolar disorder so often steals.

Living with HIV is hard. Living with bipolar disorder is hard, too. Both require a solid foundation with professionals who can help YOU be as happy, as consistent, and as healthy as YOU determine. Don't settle for anything less here. What's the point of prolonging your life with HIV meds if it's steeped in misery?  You deserve better.

Welcome to the forums, and I hope you get some great advice and support here.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV bipolar linked?
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2011, 07:14:16 AM »
Unlike my HIV Dr, who allows me to be active in my treatment. my Shrink just blows everything off. I have been told thats just the way they are.

Welcome to the forums.

You have a bad shrink.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline 7359915653

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Re: HIV bipolar linked? Poll
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2011, 07:35:52 PM »
I've discovered that most of my life I've had a low grade depression of which I managed by exercise and other activity such as music and the arts.  After taking on medications for my HIV for two months I suffered a mental break down and wanted to commit suicide due to a work related stress trigger event.  I'm in therapy. 

My intuition tells me that these meds make me feel more of my moods or emotional events - highs and lows (sort of like you have a highlighter in your head for emotions) with a bit more intensity than in the past. 

But, I'm not a researcher, just a consumer. 
05/17/2011 - Dx
VL 2422 copies/ML; 1100 CD4/ waiting on appointment with HIV specialist.
08/31/2011 - <60 copies/ML; 750 CD4/46.4% CD4..
03/29/2012 - <20 copies/ML not detectable; 904 CD4/47.6%

 


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