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Author Topic: Bipolar or just depressed??  (Read 2275 times)

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Offline heartforyou

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  • Posts: 1,105
  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Bipolar or just depressed??
« on: October 03, 2008, 05:07:54 PM »
As many of you know I have suffered from depression on several occasions.
I had tests done at the clinic, to check for bipolar disease.
They came back negative, but the fact remains that I have periods of very high energy, positive thoughts and the power to change the world.
I always tell myself the rebound will come, that I will be prepared, but when it hits I am sucked down the alley of depression over and over again.

Am I a fool to think the high will last? Or am I just hidden bipolar?

Last week I could have climbed mount Everest, where as today I want to hide and crawl back in my shell and even die.
Your thoughts please..

Maybe I should have posted this thread in the "long term survivors".. could it be that this is
the result of our long term infection???

Love

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

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline newt

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Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 05:17:01 PM »
Whatever the case, my heart goes out to you, knowing the lows of depression.

It is possible to be bipolar withiout major manic episodes, and to be depressive with intermittent periods of energy. So moot point perhaps. Have you thought about what you wanna do about this?

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline bear60

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Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 05:21:45 PM »
Hi Hermie....
Sorry you are so depressed this week. Have you read the post by Woodshere in the "Mental Health" forum ?  He said he has been diagnosed bipolar.
It might warrant a visit to a psychiatrist.  I am unaware if you have ever seen a psychiatrist.
Speaking for myself....I have not.  And I intend to try to get to the bottom of my "gloomy" mood.

Good luck

Joel
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline heartforyou

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  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 05:26:42 PM »
You have a point Newt.

I don't become a big spender in times of highs ( no money anyway).
And even with depression I manage to go on, hiding my condition for most friends, but still crawling back in my hole.
So, I still may suffer from bipolarity, let it be a masked one.
I honestly think there is a good chance that is the case.

I have thought about what to do about it.
One thing is to repeat myself that the other side of happiness is sadness. Telling myself there is  is a dark side to every sunny one.
Trying to accept that idea and implement it into my brain is something I hope will work.
Also accepting that this depressive faze will pass, as did the others.
Sort of sit it out instead of jumping up and trying to fight my depressive feelings relentlessly

And last but not least, I turn to my family on here, knowing they understand.

Thanks for you virtual hug.

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

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline GSOgymrat

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  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 05:36:59 PM »
Sorry you have been depressed. I would recommend you make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Only a psychiatrist or psychologist can accurately diagnose whether it is depression or bipolar disorder. I hope things improve soon.

Ford

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 05:54:34 PM »
Hi Hermie,

I believe in and practice keeping things as simple as possible. Rather than looking to past a label of some kind of yourself and what's going on, as much as possible focus on sticking to doing what you want to do right now. Today. And skip the rest. Take it a day at a time, Hermie.

Keeping it simple can be very helpful in bringing clarity.

Look for thing that feel right to you and use your instinct and experience to help you with that. You feel your family understands you. That's good because you want to avoid isolating since that's just an op for your head to get nutsy.

Keep breathing, keep breathing.

Cheers from here.   
Andy Velez

Offline heartforyou

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  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 05:55:23 PM »
Thanks Joel.
I read the thread... very interesting.

Yes Ford, I am seeing a psychiatrist, but he thought I was not bipolar.
Of course I still  wonder where these moodswings come from and how to deal with them.

The fact is the whatever therapy I follow, bipolarity needs medical treatment.

My fear is that it is so masked an that I have learned to sail around the worst cliffs that it will remain undiagnosed.

I will talk about it to my shrink though.

Thanks for your kind words.   And thanks Andy for your wise advice..

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

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline OzPaul

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  • a very blessed 29 year ltnp
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2008, 06:16:58 PM »
Hi Hermie

Sorry to hear you've been struggling lately with depression. I know it's something you've been dealing with a long time.

You've had some excellent advice here. I especially like the one from Andy to keep breathing. You've said that your psychiatrist does not think you're bipolar but to ease your mind you could get another opinion.

I was classified by my GP as having depression for many years then finally in 1998 I had a classic 'manic break' which is when I went to a psychiatrist and received my diagnosis of having bipolar disorder. It's been a difficult road but today with the help of talk therapy, medication and lifestyle changes I'm living a good life, so one can have a better outcome.

Andy had some wonderful advice  including 'breathing'. In the near term, try those strategies and if you want, get another medical opinion.

Take good care


((((HUGS))))

Paul

Offline anniebc

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  • AM member since 2003
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2008, 06:24:33 PM »
Hi Hermie

We all have days when we feel on top of the world and days when we feel we can't be bothered to do anything, it's all part of life, but if you are suffering from bipolar (or manic depression as I remember it) these feeling can be extreme.

For example, I have treated patients in the past who have suffered manic depression, and those who are going through the manic stage and can literally keep going for days with no sleep, can't stop talking, eat like there's no tomorrow and it's extrmely hard to get them to slow down.

When they finally do come down the opposite happens, they sleep all the time, don't want to get out of bed, they won't talk, they don't eat and it's hard to get them moving...but like I said these are extreme cases.

I don't think your mood swings are that extreme but I can understand how hard it must be for you having to deal with this..trying to fight your way through these differnt mood swings can be very exhausting and stressful..but I don't think you should be dealing with this on your own, I think you need to be working through these stages with a therapist...or maybe another Doctor.

Keep in touch and let us know what you decide to do.

Love and hugs
Jan :-*



-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline BT65

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Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2008, 10:46:35 PM »
Hermie, I'm sorry you're having these spells.  Not all people who are bipolar have extreme swings; the swings can be almost moderate.  I agree that maybe you should seek a 2nd opinion.

I have good periods, then a day or two where I think my world will end.  Maybe it is a long-term survivor's isse in some instances?  Dunno.  Thanks for bringing that up, though.

I do follow that "keep it simple" advice that Andy gave.  Sometimes that's the only way I get any tasks accomplished at all.  That might help you.  I do hope you find the answer you need to start feeling better.
  Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2008, 03:47:40 AM »
Sorry to hear that you are suffering from your moods.
You said that you are worried that a "bipolar" condition maybe deeply hidden.  Have you discussed that fear with your therapist?  He/she should be able to diagnose such a condition, if it exists, or address why you fear something that you consider so hidden.  Also, have you tried standard anti-depressants - you could be having real lows from depression, and then when you are not depressed you might mistake normal for a high. 
You must be a very strong person, deep inside, to still be alive and I hope some professionals can step in now to try to improve the quality of your moods.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline joemutt

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Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2008, 04:27:31 AM »
Herman darling, I know you a little, what I will write now has no scientific value
it s more my intuitive feeling;
I dont think you re bipolar,
from observing I think you have a lot more energy than anyone I know and you are very
idealistic and hopeful about people and things and the downside is when you
get frustrated in this you kinda turn all that energy around in a negative way towards yourself
and that de-presses you, like you implode. And then it takes a lot of the same energy you have to get back out of that mood. But I think it s also this energy and idealism that has pulled you through all these years and I admire you for that. I just wish it wasn t so damn painful.
In my personal case I ve had to develop a few techniques to not get down too deeply or too long when I get down, like to bounce back quicker and not get too elated neither.(in addition to two antidepressants, lol)
Maybe this will mean zip to you, then just see it as a message from someone who wants to see you feeling well.  :-*

Offline woodshere

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  • ain't no shame in my game
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2008, 11:09:55 AM »
Having just been diagnosed bipolar I have to agree with what Betty said earlier.  There are 2 types of bipolar disorder, 1 and 2.  Bipolar disorder 1 is probably the one more people are familiar, with the classic and severe extreme manic episodes.  Number 2 is more subtle but is more than just your average depression.  I feel pretty confident in my diagnosis as it was a conclusion drawn from my therapist, GP and finally psychiatrist.  I encourage you to continue seeking help and possibly getting a second opinion.  Of course I am not saying shop around till you find a diagnosis you want, but a second dr. might see something different and want to try a different treatment.  I wish you the best,
Woods
"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 bear60

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  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2008, 12:17:03 PM »
Andy and BT are correct in "keeping it simple".  I try to do that but often feel overwealmed when I have to do a lot at once...juggling a busy schedule for instance.  Sometimes its just...ok..now its 8 am and  I have to take my pills now...and fix a bowl of cereal. Now its 8:30 am and I am fixing lunch and getting dressed. Now its 9am and I am ready to go to work. I get to work and I am fine.....usually. But those little steps get me there.

Joel
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline heartforyou

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  • Posts: 1,105
  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2008, 04:21:02 AM »
Thank you all..
Thank's Joe.. you know your words mean more the zip to me.

I am taking it one day at the time, focusing on breathing regularly.

Woods, I will talk to my psychiatrist about it. It is just plain painful, going rollercoasting...yuck...


Yes Betty... high in the sky and then a period of darkness, where I want to end it all.

Mecch, I am on prozac.

Hugs

Hermie
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 04:23:00 AM by heartforyou »
Diagnosed in 1987 and still kicking
Viread, Kivexa (Epzicom),Viramune once daily

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline rick21007

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  • Posts: 286
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2008, 01:16:31 PM »
Hi Hermie---- People can very well find themselves outside the diagnostic fences of various mood disorders, e.g. bi-polar I and II, major depression, dysthymia etc.  For these folks there is an emerging diagnosis of mood disruption disorder which is expected to appear in the next DSM (the diagnostic handbook for mental disorders.)  For now we have "Mood Disorder Not Otherwise Specified."  However diagnosis is probably less important than getting effective treatment.  There is often an overlap in treatments that work and in any case there is not one size that fits all.  In terms of psychopharmocology there are various anti-depressants (none of which work for everyone) and mood stabilizers (same holds true for these.)   Sometimes your prescribing physician may have to try several medications or med-combos to find the right one for you.  The other thing is that therapy with medication is almost always more effective in combination.  And there again there is not one therapy that fits all.  That said Dailectical Behavioral Therapy is often the therapy of choice to teach a person specific skills to learn to self-regulate their emotions.   Oh, and one more thing---one's relationship with his/her therapist is believed to account more than either the actual medication or specific therapy to effect positive change.

Best to You-----Rick

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2008, 05:00:26 PM »
Hi Herman.

Glad to see you are still with us on the planet, they don't need you on the other side just yet.

Listen, we talked about this about a year and a half ago, and I still stand by my advise then.  Check your expectations at the door, everytime you leave your house.  We can only live the present, and to dredge up the past isn't healthy, neither is dreaming that the future will be vastly different; "If Only".  Live each day now, and make sure your internal conversations are positive and emotionally building.  Anything else is bullshit, and not worthy of your thoughts or actions. 

Love you buddy, and I trust that someday you will pull through this.  Why not make it today?
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline lucas clay

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  • Posts: 518
Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2008, 04:24:32 AM »
Herman.
So sorry to hear your down again.
a second opinion never hurts.
The "one day at a time with one eye on the big pitcher" is the only thing that works for me.
I will never forget meeting you at amg, the big grin on your face and the twinkle in your eye.
It gave me hope i can live with this "damn bug".
You were one of the people that "touched me", that let me know i was not alone.
Hang in there bro.

                                      your friend
                                                       Lucas

Offline Texan38

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Re: Bipolar or just depressed??
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2008, 08:17:30 AM »
Hi Hermie!

Hope your feeling much better.  You've gotten some great advise here so I just wanted to send you a big Texas size hug!  :-*
In Hollywood an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty per cent of publicity.
~ Lauren Bacall

 


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