View Full Version : Bipolar Disorder - Not A Mental Disorder


aminems
08-06-13, 11:17 AM
"Bipolar disorder is not a specific diagnosis. Rather, it covers a spectrum of mood disorders. It is on that basis that I state that it is not A mental disorder. Rather, it is collection of specific independent diagnoses which, grouped together, are referred to as the bipolar spectrum. This collection of mental disorders are considered to be amongst the hardest mental disorders to accurately diagnose.



There are a number of factors which make diagnosing it as being from within the bipolar spectrum difficult. If that is correctly achieved there can be further difficulty in specifying exactly which type of specific disorder is present. An accurate diagnosis makes a successful treatment far easier to achieve.



Manic depressive disorder, now more commonly known as bipolar disorder, can have a devastating effect on the life of anyone afflicted with it. It can take complete control of that person's life. This occurs as the afflicted person experiences mad manic episodes or one of those major depressive episodes. This type of bipolar is known as bipolar, type 1. Many people consider this the worst possible specific diagnosis of the disorder one can get. Not only that, it can severely affect the life of friends and loved ones of anyone so afflicted. Even when "normal" friends, loved ones and the afflicted person can be living in fear of when the next episode will occur.

As is often the case with depression it can lead to attempted suicide or even suicide. There are a number of websites on the internet which quote that one person out of two diagnosed with bipolar disorder will attempt suicide at some stage in their life. Worse still, the statistics indicate that one in twenty persons with the disorder will succeed. Statistics also indicate that if a good treatment regime is in place the risk of attempted or successful suicide is greatly reduced.



If you fear that a friend or loved one with bipolar disorder might be considering suicide seek help urgently. There are many avenues available. A good starting point could be afflicted person's health professional. This is such an important topic that I will be devoting an entire article to it in the near future.



Next down is a diagnosis of bipolar type 2. Here the manic episodes do not normally occur. Instead a hypomanic episode is experienced. These can result in:



1) Happy, excited and joyful feelings
2) Talking more, faster and often louder
3) Increased energy, more activity and an inability to sit still
4) Irritability and
5) Recklessness leading to poor decision-making.


breakdowns. Conversely hypomania can have an extremely important part to play in the successful treatment of bipolar disorder.
The next level down in a bipolar disorder diagnosis is cyclothymic disorder. With this type the highs and the lows are not as pronounced as with bipolar types 1 and 2. This might sound good. However, it does have a distinct potential disadvantage. This type can be extremely difficult to diagnose. The mood-swings can, and do, escape the notice of even the best health professionals. This is especially the case were there is a reasonably long period of normal moods between the change of mood. The potential disadvantage here is the possibility that the cyclothymic disorder may not be picked up. This leaves the afflicted person experiencing greater than normal mood-swings without treatment.



Up to now I have discussed the spectrum of bipolar disorders in terms of the levels of their highs and lows. The spectrum also includes diagnoses which take into account the frequency of the highs and the lows. The first of these is rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This diagnosis applies where the afflicted person experiences four or more episodes within a one year period. It is not unknown for two or even more episodes to occur within a twenty-four hour period. The reducing time between highs and lows can come into effect with the passage of time if the patient is not receiving satisfactory treatment for the disorder.



Another diagnosis is mixed bipolar disorder. This diagnosis applies when the afflicted person experiences the symptoms of highs and lows at the same time. Once again the conflicting, and confusing, symptoms can, and do, lead to difficulties in diagnosing mixed bipolar disorder.



Bipolar is considered to be one of the most difficult mental groupings to diagnose accurately. The first problem is the fact that it covers the two extremes of the mental health spectrum, mania and depression. The next complication is the variation in time between different patients


experiencing their personal highs and lows. Also, different patients can and do cycle in a different direction. Most cycle hypomania first, (then mania if bipolar type 1), then depression. However, a number do cycle in the reverse order



All these variations in the bipolar spectrum of mood disorder do combine to make its diagnosis extremely difficult. This difficulty can lead to further difficulty in setting up a successful treatment regime for the disorder. It is common for afflicted patients to only seek treatment for depression. This can leave the health professional totally unaware of the "high" side of the disorder. The diagnosis must then be wrong because it is based on inaccurate (incomplete) information.



A complete and accurate diagnosis makes the prescription of a successful treatment regime far easier to achieve. The key to correct diagnosis is total, and accurate, communication between patient and doctor. Can you see a pattern forming here which could lead to a successful treatment for bipolar disorder?"

Ray Tyler was diagnosed with manic depressive disorder in1982. He still lives with, and receives treatment for the disorder, today. However he has not had a manic depressive disorder since 1997.
You can follow Ray's blog at Bipolar Manic Depressive.com

sarahsweets
08-06-13, 11:57 AM
I'm confused. Are you saying BP I and II are not in fact mental disorders?

Amtram
08-06-13, 12:06 PM
It's quite possible that in the coming years, there will be new definitions of "mental disorder" in general. The National Institute of Health is directing its funding towards research in individual symptoms rather than disorders that are classified by a collection of symptoms. This acknowledges that there is a crossover of many symptoms among different conditions, as well as many patients who can meet the criteria for a condition even without having all the symptoms of that condition.

At this point, I would say that bipolar, along with other forms of depression and/or mania and conditions that mimic or share symptoms with bipolar fit the current definition of "mental disorder," but as the focus changes to symptoms, many diagnoses will change or be done away with.

That's not going to happen overnight. Maybe not even in my lifetime. But when it does, it will mean people will be treated for the problems they have without also being treated for the ones they don't.

Lunacie
08-06-13, 01:25 PM
I'm confused. Are you saying BP I and II are not in fact mental disorders?

I think he was saying that bi polar is not a singular disorder, but rather a spectrum of associated disorders.

Dizfriz
08-06-13, 02:13 PM
I think he was saying that bi polar is not a singular disorder, but rather a spectrum of associated disorders.


It could very well be. The thing is that our understanding of these is pretty much in the early stages especially in the genetics of bipolar and ADHD.

In my mind, there will very likely be more than one type of both bipolar and ADHD validated by genetic and neurobiological studies.

Not yet, but not all that far away, I suspect.

Dizfriz

fracturedstory
08-08-13, 11:43 PM
I think a lot of neurological disorders are like that. I know it's really not known if bipolar is and it's usually classified as mental illness, but it's more biological than a lot of other mental illnesses. What I mean is not everyone can develop bipolar like they can anxiety or depression.

I often look at my symptoms or episodes and divide them up into individual disorders. It's often difficult to know what's just anxiety and what's because of mania/depression. I'm getting a bit better at telling the difference.

I find bipolar fascinating (and torture at the same time), just how you can go from extreme overconfidence and energy to severely depressed. I often call it an unfair disorder to have but then again what disorder is ever fair? God's cruel joke is another term I have for it.

Lunacie
08-09-13, 11:10 AM
I think a lot of neurological disorders are like that. I know it's really not known if bipolar is and it's usually classified as mental illness, but it's more biological than a lot of other mental illnesses. What I mean is not everyone can develop bipolar like they can anxiety or depression.

I often look at my symptoms or episodes and divide them up into individual disorders. It's often difficult to know what's just anxiety and what's because of mania/depression. I'm getting a bit better at telling the difference.

I find bipolar fascinating (and torture at the same time), just how you can go from extreme overconfidence and energy to severely depressed. I often call it an unfair disorder to have but then again what disorder is ever fair? God's cruel joke is another term I have for it.

I dunno about that. Everyone is able to feel anxious or depressed over
events in their lives, but not everyone develops chronic anxiety or
depression that may be a general reaction rather than a reaction to some
specific event.

fracturedstory
08-10-13, 09:10 AM
I dunno about that. Everyone is able to feel anxious or depressed over
events in their lives, but not everyone develops chronic anxiety or
depression that may be a general reaction rather than a reaction to some
specific event.
It is possible though. And it's not just about being anxious or depressed, they can develop the full disorders.

I had very severe social anxiety before bipolar. My anxiety now is basically paranoia. I've always had some form of social anxiety because of being autistic. I was a select mute in childhood too.

Lunacie
08-10-13, 10:19 AM
It is possible though. And it's not just about being anxious or depressed, they can develop the full disorders.

I had very severe social anxiety before bipolar. My anxiety now is basically paranoia. I've always had some form of social anxiety because of being autistic. I was a select mute in childhood too.

I think it's likely that ADHD or Bipolar causes imbalances in the chemicals
in our brains - even during times when the disorders are not impairing -
and those imbalanced chemicals cause the anxiety and depression,
regardless of events that may trigger them in people who don't have brain
disorders.

workingmemory
08-10-13, 06:32 PM
It's quite possible that in the coming years, there will be new definitions of "mental disorder" in general. The National Institute of Health is directing its funding towards research in individual symptoms rather than disorders that are classified by a collection of symptoms. This acknowledges that there is a crossover of many symptoms among different conditions, as well as many patients who can meet the criteria for a condition even without having all the symptoms of that condition.


This is nothing new. Back in the day there was no distinction between neurology and psychiatry. Epilepsy used to be a "mental disorder".

fracturedstory
08-11-13, 11:50 PM
I think it's likely that ADHD or Bipolar causes imbalances in the chemicals
in our brains - even during times when the disorders are not impairing -
and those imbalanced chemicals cause the anxiety and depression,
regardless of events that may trigger them in people who don't have brain
disorders.

WTF is that supposed to mean? Are you even understanding anything I'm saying?

All I'm saying is people without brain disorders can still develop anxiety and depression and are less likely to develop bipolar. And anxiety and depression in bipolar is completely different. Do you even have bipolar?

If not then don't tell me how it is.

I could do without being constantly corrected too.

Amtram
08-12-13, 12:20 PM
This is nothing new. Back in the day there was no distinction between neurology and psychiatry. Epilepsy used to be a "mental disorder".

What is new is that research is going to be focused on what causes individual symptoms, rather than grouping symptoms together and looking for what causes the condition. When it comes to scientific research, a good deal of it, even neurological, is looking for what causes a disorder, which consists of a collection of symptoms. The change from the NIH says that looking at the individual symptoms without associating them with a disorder is going to give us more useful findings.

Lunacie
08-12-13, 02:50 PM
WTF is that supposed to mean? Are you even understanding anything I'm saying?

All I'm saying is people without brain disorders can still develop anxiety and depression and are less likely to develop bipolar. And anxiety and depression in bipolar is completely different. Do you even have bipolar?

If not then don't tell me how it is.

I could do without being constantly corrected too.

I certainly didn't mean to correct you - and don't understand how you took
my post to be doing that. :confused:

I understand that anyone can experience anxiety and depression, usually
related to something that happens to them. In ADHD and Bipolar, the
problems in the brain can cause anxiety and depression even when there
isn't any situation or event to trigger them. Maybe that's clearer?

No, I haven't been diagnosed with Bipolar, although a therapist and a
psychiatrist each considered the possibility that I have it. I do see a lot
of crossover in traits between Bipolar, ADHD and Autism.

Lunacie
08-12-13, 02:52 PM
What is new is that research is going to be focused on what causes individual symptoms, rather than grouping symptoms together and looking for what causes the condition. When it comes to scientific research, a good deal of it, even neurological, is looking for what causes a disorder, which consists of a collection of symptoms. The change from the NIH says that looking at the individual symptoms without associating them with a disorder is going to give us more useful findings.

Our psychiatrist prefers to treat individual symptoms, so is ahead of the
game I guess. But the names are needed to satisfy insurance requirements
and qualify us for assistance at school or work, etc.

daveddd
08-12-13, 03:44 PM
There's always a trigger for depression or anxiety

It doesn't have to be logical or a single event


My doctor has always been a treat the symptom guy

It just makes far more sense

Many great minds have formed a model off of this method and disregarded the dsm. They also seem to make far more sense than any categorical reductionism

Lunacie
08-12-13, 04:16 PM
There's always a trigger for depression or anxiety

It doesn't have to be logical or a single event


My doctor has always been a treat the symptom guy

It just makes far more sense

Many great minds have formed a model off of this method and disregarded the dsm. They also seem to make far more sense than any categorical reductionism

There are theories that depression may have different causes, including
social, psychological, and biological. I think often the hereditary forms of
depression are biologjcal, related to the chemicals in the brain such as
serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. I don't think there has to be a
trigger if it's biological in origin.

Dizfriz
08-12-13, 04:29 PM
Many great minds have formed a model off of this method and disregarded the dsm. They also seem to make far more sense than any categorical reductionism
Just curious, what model is this? I don't know if I recognize it from your description.

Dizfriz

daveddd
08-12-13, 07:18 PM
im not going to get to much into it

ive said quite a bit the dsm seems good for insurance and writing prescriptions

when i say makes more sense im referring to the interaction between the mind, biology, environment, personality and so on, in a final product

as opposed to i have 7 separate disorders , this causes that and so on

for people like me who want to know

theodore millons biosocial learning model is a good one, he may have personality categories but clearly states he has never seen a patient meet a one category cleanly

for someone who you may know , thomas browns comments in this first paragraph seems something he mentions a bit

http://books.google.com/books?id=4H1Wk7aKEsQC&pg=PA121&dq=depression+adhd+thomas+brown&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WWoJUovVF4iU2wWDh4D4AQ&ved=0CGMQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=depression%20adhd%20thomas%20brown&f=false

both him and joel nigg have mentioned ideas of adhd being a precurser to several disorders (something almost like a stress diathesis model)

daveddd
08-12-13, 07:31 PM
but honestly, im not even sure that any doctors hand out these page long lists of comorbids

that may be something im just getting from this forum

Amtram
08-13-13, 11:04 AM
My doctor diagnoses conditions based upon symptoms, but he prescribes based more on symptoms than conditions. I don't know if that makes much sense. I just know that I've had paradoxical reactions to a few medications, and once we've figured out what those medications and my reactions had in common, we got a much better handle on what might work and what should simply not even be considered.

Dizfriz
08-13-13, 11:18 AM
There's always a trigger for depression or anxiety

It doesn't have to be logical or a single event


This is true for those of us who have genetic depression. It often comes on for no reason and often goes away in the fullness of time for no real reason )

Dizfriz

daveddd
08-13-13, 12:20 PM
Rumination being the number one predictor of recurrent major depression


Attention bias towards negative thought-illogical. Genetic

daveddd
08-13-13, 12:21 PM
Or maybe what u scientists call epigenetic also

daveddd
08-13-13, 01:09 PM
I mention the thought process because mindfulness is being shown to help depression

And u who isn't easily swayed. Acknowledged the usefulness of that in ADHD.

Have you heard anymore about it

daveddd
08-13-13, 02:36 PM
There are theories that depression may have different causes, including
social, psychological, and biological. I think often the hereditary forms of
depression are biologjcal, related to the chemicals in the brain such as
serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. I don't think there has to be a
trigger if it's biological in origin.

I'm not arguing it. But I'd be interested to see something on strictly biological depression. Excluding tbi

mctavish23
08-13-13, 04:18 PM
fyi,

Please check out James C. Chandler's pamphlet on Pediatric Bipolar Disorder; especially

pages 7-10, where he discusses what's now commonly known as the 'ONE WAY COMOR-

-BIDITY" between Bipolar Disorder and ADHD.

tc

Robert