View Full Version : Bipolar vs Cyclothymia vs Normal


Vous
08-14-14, 02:49 PM
I have been diagnosed Cyclothymic , among other things.

I've been diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety too.

Finally with Cyclothymia being the latest and final diagnosis to date.

Now, I begin to wonder, isn't Cyclothymia another word for "the human condition" ? As in, the normality of the brain, the everyday, life, the surrounding environment and its connection between us ?

I read that Cyclothymia is such a "broad" condition that it "mimicks just about every other disorder out there" . ....

Anyways,

What I'm trying to say is. How do I truly know if I have "Cyclothymia" vs stress, social discontentment and environmental stressors attributing to a back and forth type negative circle ?

What if this "Cyclothymia" (and ADHD) is just me being me and naturally reacting to the environment around me, my needs and wants, my character ?

Can someone help me clear the air here , im a bit confused.

InvitroCanibal
08-15-14, 01:04 PM
I have been diagnosed Cyclothymic , among other things.

I've been diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety too.

Finally with Cyclothymia being the latest and final diagnosis to date.

Now, I begin to wonder, isn't Cyclothymia another word for "the human condition" ? As in, the normality of the brain, the everyday, life, the surrounding environment and its connection between us ?

I read that Cyclothymia is such a "broad" condition that it "mimicks just about every other disorder out there" . ....

Anyways,

What I'm trying to say is. How do I truly know if I have "Cyclothymia" vs stress, social discontentment and environmental stressors attributing to a back and forth type negative circle ?

What if this "Cyclothymia" (and ADHD) is just me being me and naturally reacting to the environment around me, my needs and wants, my character ?

Can someone help me clear the air here , im a bit confused.

The denial is setting in eh?

The difference is if emotional states of high energy or low energy, anxiety, or rapid thoughts, pressured speech, sleeplessness, etc occur without stimulus or there was a stimulus but it's extended over a ridiculous amount of time.

In other words, it's one thing to get angry about something, but to get angry and be angry for weeks, months, years..not normal.

You'll find your mood varies for no reason and it is often predictable by the seasons. You may think "Oh god winter is coming im gonna be depressed"

Now that could SAD/seasonal affective disorder, but if you use a sad light and starting getting hypomanic symptoms, then you know that's an issue.

I tried a SAD light once, it made me go hypomanic. Summer gives me boundless energy, increased agitation, and restless sleep. I sleep maybe 4 hours a night in the summer. Well I used to anyways.

People with multi faceted disorders such as yourself are a very clear example of bipolar. The doctors feel the elephant in the room and only feel parts of it and say you have this part of it without realizing they are describing the symptoms of a single disorder. ADHD and bipolar are close bed fellows, just like bipolar and epilepsy ae close bedfellows... not necessarily schizophrenia. The theory is that bipolar is a seizure related disorder which is why the light differentiation has different effects on the brain via seasonally.

As far as how you tel the difference between every day emotions and true bipolar/cyclothymia

You tell the difference by knowing your anxiety was not so bad that you needed a diagnosis or treatment for it, that your depression was not so bad you needed a diagnosis or treatment for it, that agitation was not so bad you needed a diagnosis or treatment for it. It's about the extremes, see? I was trained that mental illness is not a problem until it's a problem. When it's a problem, that's when you get a diagnosis. Now does that mean therapy won't help? Sure therapy, diet, exercise are all just as important as medication, but if you tried all those things and still are left with a sense of failure and suffering for it then perhaps your diagnosis is true.


Most manic states are actually dysphoric in nature and usually a mix of energy and depression. Those are known as mixed states. If you experience anxiety and depression simultaneously, that's a pretty good sign of bipolar disorder.

It's often hard for docs to explain the differences, because we as people like to zero in on one symptom and say "AHA! everyone gets that from time to time!" Which is true, but it's about the big picture not the small picture. that's what makes the disorder as a whole.

Also don't be fooled in thinking cyclothymia is just a mild disorder. It's just below bipolar and bipolar is a very serious debilitating disorder. Cyclothymia is switching from Hypomania which is the way we generally think of mania to depression or sometimes dysthymia.

True mania is expressed when a person thinks they have magical powers, or loses touch with reality, loses their moral beliefs or opinions, has hallucinations, and more. Hypomania is when you feel revved up, you exercise non stop maybe, or you sleep less and exercise non stop, you take on a million projects, and later on when it fades, you feel overwhelmed by all the projects you have. Now here's a key difference, you suddenly feel like you are not as capable as you were previously of doing these projects.

Maybe you were the life of the party, and made a lot of friends, but suddenly you can't keep them because you now feel boring, no energy, maybe depressed. Things seem like they are slipping out from under you and the world is falling apart. You once felt witty, fearless, charming, now you feel stupid, annoying, and self loathing. Your very image of yourself changes with the seasons. Your identity feels mixed up between a dr jekyll and mr hyde, not knowing which one you really are.

And most of all, when the mania fades, or the depression fades, you do what humans do best, you forget. You don't remember being in that state. You think, I was just going through a hard time, and things are just getting better now. I don't need meds because the future will be better, I feel alive again and the future looks brighter. (If you came out of depression that is)

If it was mania, coming out of it you think, why can't I focus anymore? Why did things seem to be easier before? Why do I feel tired all the time? Why do I feel like I have no motivation? Why do I feel incompetent at my job when I did so well a few months ago?

Now rapid cycling is easier to catch but the long haul cycling is harder to diagnose. This is why most do not get a diagnosis until 25 and older because as we age the episodes get worse and worse.

Remember, that the longer you stay unmedicated for it, the worse your disorder will get. Look at family history as well, most the time it's genetic. A crazy mom, grandmother, grandfather, family line, etc etc. Or an always on the go family member that moves a lot, has periods of friendlyness and then agitation or isolation.

Anyways, a final thing I want to reiterate, is that it's a whole picture disorder, not a single symptom. I don't even really believe GAD is a psychiatric disorder but a symptom of something else unless it's psychological. Again, if you tried therapy and it didn't help, or you tried non bipolar meds, such as ssri's and they made you manic or anxious, those are clear signs as well. Same with ADHD meds, "They used to work but now they don't" "sometimes they work but sometimes they don't" "sometimes I feel i'm alive when i'm on my adhd meds but now I don't..or now I do" all those things are bipolar symptoms, in fact I wouldn't doubt that a lot of people on these forums are bipolar's looking for answers as to why something still feels off even with their adhd meds.

But again, it's not just one of these, there is no clear 1 symptom that defines bipolar, it's multiple symptoms, and yes cyclothymia is bipolar, it just means your confidence levels change versus you lose full touch with reality. Many clyclothymics are also true bipolar, they just have not had a true bipolar episode yet, so they go into the cyclothymia category.